It has been only less than a month since full tax exemption for hybrid cars was announced in Budget 2011, but we’ve already seen the sweet fruits of the Government’s decision. First was the Toyota Prius’ RM35K drop in price, then came the Honda Civic Hybrid’s revised price of RM109K, making it cheaper than the CKD Civic 1.8. Now, Honda Malaysia is taking further advantage of the situation and has announced that it will bring in the Honda Insight hybrid next month. The car’s launch should be at KLIMS 2010.
The current Insight is the second-generation car bearing the name, the first being the oddball design with no rear wheel arches. The Insight is a dedicated five-door hybrid model and its hybrid powertrain combines a 88 PS/121 Nm 1.3-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine with a new generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system that’s 19% smaller and 28% lighter. It consists of a 14 PS/78 Nm DC brushless electric motor with a Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack. A CVT gearbox does transmission duties.
The Insight features a new interactive fuel economy assistant called the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). It combines a driver-activated ECON mode (Effective Control), a feedback function that uses a speedo display with changing background colours (green is good, deep blue means you’re naughty) to encourage efficient driving and a fuel-economy scoring function using a plant-leaf graphic. The latter provides current and lifetime score charts so you can keep track of how much fuel you’ve saved.
Here’s hoping that the CR-Z, which has just been crowned 2010 Japan Car of the Year, will be next up!