2010 Honda Insight - Concept and Background

A proud tradition of low-emissions, high-mileage innovation

Since the 1970s, Honda has been a pioneer in the development of low-emissions, high-fuel-efficiency automobiles. Today, Honda continues to realize its vision of efficient, environmentally responsible transportation, delivering superior value at a reasonable price.

The 1975 Honda CVCC Civic featured Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion to become the first vehicle to comply with the US Clean Air Act without a catalytic converter. The 1985 Honda 1.3-liter CRX HF offered superior fuel economy and was followed by the 1992 Honda Civic VX, which featured the lean-burning VTEC-E engine. In combination with a highly efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT), the VTEC-E engine made the 1996 Honda Civic HX Coupe the first automobile equipped with an automatic transmission to make the EPA’s top ten efficient vehicles list.

Then, in 1999 Honda introduced the original Insight, the first gasoline-electric hybrid automobile sold in the U.S., which achieved an astounding EPA-estimated fuel economy of 61 mpg city / 70 mpg highway*. Honda’s original Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain combined a lightweight and efficient gasoline engine with an ultra-thin electric motor that supplied low-end torque and power assist as needed. The Insight also featured a special aluminum body that weighed 40 percent less than a comparable steel body.

Having proved the effectiveness of IMA technology, Honda launched the Civic Hybrid in Japan in 2001 and in the U.S. in 2002 as a 2003 model year vehicle. Along with the exceptional fuel efficiency offered by IMA, the Civic Hybrid featured 5-passenger comfort and the style and amenities of a sedan. Since then, Honda’s hybrid technology has continued to evolve, and Civic and Accord hybrid models have featured increasingly advanced IMA technology and enhanced hybrid performance.

The Honda hybrid evolves

Vehicle Type 2000 Insight 2003 Civic Hybrid 2005 Accord Hybrid 2006 Civic Hybrid 2010 Insight
Wheelbase (in.) 94.5 103.1 107.9 106.3 100.4
Engine Type In-Line 3-Cylinder In-Line 4-Cylinder V-6 In-Line 4-Cylinder In-Line 4-Cylinder
Horsepower @ rpm
(SAE net, engine + motor)
67 @ 5700 85 @ 5700 255 @ 6000 110 @ 6000 98 @ 5800
Motor Output (hp @ rpm) 13 @ 3000 13 @ 4000 16 @ 840 20 @ 2000 13 @ 1500
Battery Capacity (Ah) 6.5 6.0 6.0 5.5 5.75

side TYPE US sketch rev.tif

The 2010 Insight: a new era of efficient transportation begins

chassis composite_LOcopy3.tifHonda believes that today’s customers are no longer interested in buying a car just because it is a hybrid—they don’t want to compromise. They are looking for a practical vehicle that offers performance, refined styling and of course the fuel economy that a hybrid can deliver.

One day many people may drive fuel cell vehicles, but with concerns over resource conservation and environmental protection growing, customers worldwide are looking for efficient, environmentally responsible transportation now. Offering customers high-quality, affordable hybrid transportation, Honda is striving to expand the positive impact of economical and environmentally responsible vehicles. The 2010 Insight is the first in a new series of Honda hybrid vehicles slated to offer exceptional fuel efficiency, fun driving and practicality in a stylish package at a highly affordable price.

Three advances are the key to the Insight’s attractive combination of features and approachable purchase price. First, the new Insight is a global car, sharing platform and parts with only minor, regional variations. Honda has designed the Insight to comply with standards worldwide—with collision safety tests and emissions standards a high priority. The Insight achieves standards of quality and safety that make it world-ready, and it is designed for efficient high-volume manufacturing.

Second, the new Insight features an Integrated Motor Assist powertrain that is more advanced and compact than ever. As compared to the IMA technology deployed in the 2006 Civic Hybrid, the IPU is 19 percent more compact and 28 percent lighter.

IPU Honda-GS.tif

Third, to produce the Insight, Honda has created assembly lines at its Suzuka Factory in Japan for the manufacture of IMA components that feature the company’s most advanced equipment and manufacturing technology, providing for both the highest quality and reduced cost to maximize value.

The result is an automobile that builds upon the Honda tradition of innovation to offer not only low emissions and high fuel economy, but also exceptional performance, style and utility, all at the most affordable price.

*Note: EPA fuel economy rating adjustments occurred for the 2008 model year in an effort to make government ratings better reflect “real world” effects. Though the same test procedures are used, in 2008, city results were reduced by 12% on average and highway results by 8% on average. The non-adjusted pre-2008 EPA figures are shown for pre-2008 models. Consequently, fuel economy ratings before and after 2008 cannot be directly compared unless adjusted first.

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