Honda Insight

Honda Malaysia has launched the new Honda Insight at the 2010 KLIMS. The new B-segment Insight takes over the Civic Hybrid’s place as the cheapest hybrid car in Malaysia with a price tag of only RM98,000 OTR including insurance. This makes it exactly RM7,520 more than the most expensive Honda City.

The IMA hybrid system in the Insight is a 1.3 litre unit coupled with a motor assist electric motor just like the Civic IMA, but there are some differences. The system in the Insight uses a smaller electric motor with a 14 PS output instead of the Civic Hybrid’s 20 PS motor.

The Insight’s project leader Tsuyoshi Ohkubo told us that they were able to downsize the motor because the Insight is a smaller and lighter vehicle compared to the Civic Hybrid. In whole, the IMA system in the Insight is 19% more compact and 28% lighter compared to the IMA in the Civic Hybrid. Power is put to the wheels via a CVT transmission, with the motor sandwiched between the CVT and the combustion engine.

The 1,339cc combustion engine runs dual spark plugs per cylinder and puts out 88 PS on its own, and runs a conventional Otto cycle – some manufacturers like Toyota choose to run Atkinson cycle engines. Ohkubo-san says the Atkinson cycle was something Honda was currently looking into.

Honda Insight

The specs list consist of sensor activated headlamps and wipers, an MP3+WMA compatible audio player with USB and aux jack, auto climate control, VSA stability control, ABS, EBD, dual SRS airbags, and rear ISOFIX points.

According to Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, they are working on reducing the prices for the battery replacement (if necessary) and other spare parts by up to 40%. The battery for the Insight is expected to cost around RM7k+ as compared to about RM12k for the Civic Hybrid. It’s not the same battery though – the Insight’s battery is smaller and has less modules, so logically the cheaper price is expected. Honda Malaysia is also topping up the warranty for the battery to 5 years or 140,000km as compared to the usual 3 year warranty.

The Honda Insight is available on four colours – Dyno Blue Pearl, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl and Premium White Pearl.