Honda Insight Prototype revealed – production hybrid sedan launching in 2018, positioned above Civic

The Honda Insight is back, but not as we know it. The original Insight was an oddball eco-champion with two doors and enclosed rear wheels, while the second-generation five-door Insight is the one Malaysians are familiar with, thanks to CBU hybrid tax incentives that ended in 2013. Now, the Insight name is being used for a sleek hybrid sedan.

This is the Honda Insight Prototype, and it will make its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month. If it looks production ready, it is – Honda says that the NAIAS showcar is a precursor to the production all-new 2019 Honda Insight, which will launch in the summer of 2018 in North America.

The Japanese carmaker and hybrid pioneer describes the new Insight as an “upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan” positioned above the Civic in Honda’s passenger car lineup. According to its maker, the new Insight will use the latest generation of Honda’s innovative two-motor Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) hybrid system, similar in fashion to that found on the Accord Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid.

In the US, the new Insight will slot in to the model line-up above the Civic (which doesn’t have a hybrid version currently), and will form the ‘conventional’ hybrid push alongside the Accord Hybrid, with the Clarity providing resolution on hydrogen fuel cell, plug-in and full electric fronts.

Honda Insight Prototype revealed – production hybrid sedan launching in 2018, positioned above Civic

“With its sophisticated styling, dynamic stance, ample interior space and best-in-class performance, the all-new Insight embodies Honda’s approach to creating electrified vehicles without the typical tradeoffs,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr, senior VP of Automobile Sales and GM of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor.

“You won’t have to be an electrification advocate to appreciate the new Insight – it’s a great car in its own right, independent of what’s happening under the hood,” he added.

“At the 2017 NAIAS we announced our Honda Electrification Initiative with the intention to make two-thirds of Honda’s global vehicle sales electrified vehicles by 2030. With the Insight launching later in 2018 as the fifth electrified vehicle brought to market over the past year, we’re demonstrating our commitment to that goal,” Arcangeli Jr said.

Honda Insight Prototype revealed – production hybrid sedan launching in 2018, positioned above Civic

Unlike the Clarity range (Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid), the new Insight appears more conventional, which is probably going to help sales.

Honda says that the 2019 Insight has styling, packaging, premium features and performance desired by mainstream car buyers, a hybrid vehicle without any inherent compromise. The two-motor hybrid system will deliver fuel economy that’s competitive with other compact hybrid models, Honda claims.

The 2019 Honda Insight will be made in Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana plant. It will sit alongside the new 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid that will be arriving at US dealerships early next year. I prefer this simpler rear end over the new Accord’s, you?

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