After watching Toyota release a panoply of hybrids to complement the Prius, Honda is going on the offensive.
In 1999, Honda made headlines with the Insight, the first gasoline-electric hybrid auto offered for sale in the US market. The first vehicle to break the 70-mpg fuel economy barrier, the Insight was designed from the ground up for fuel economy in a diminutive two-seat hatchback.
Ten years on, Honda has revived the nameplate for a new 5-door hybrid hatchback designed compete on price with the Toyota Prius. While the final price has yet to be set, word on the street is that the Insight will sticker for well under $20,000.
Official photos of next-generation Insight concept were released today; the production version of the new Insight will debut on October 2 at the Paris Motor Show.
"The original Honda Insight pioneered hybrid technology in the U.S. and remains a symbol of Honda's commitment to innovative technology and fuel efficiency," said Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda Motor Company. "This new Insight will break new ground as an affordable hybrid within the reach of customers who want great fuel economy and great value."
In addition to expanding their hybrid product range, the new Insight will become Honda's first global hybrid offering. The Japanese automaker is planning to sell 200,000 Insights per year, with half of those sales coming from the US market. Stateside sales will start next next spring, with the Insight selling as 2010 model.