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Click above for a gallery of the new Honda Insight

As the clock runs down to the official unveiling of Honda's new Insight for 2009, more information is leaking out of Europe, this time directly from Honda. A new brochure covering the entire European lineup, including the Insight, has gone live on the Honda Belgium site. According to the brochure, the new Insight's 1.3L engine is rated at 87 hp in European trim and it's paired up with a 13 hp motor in the IMA system. On the EU test cycle, the new hybrid is rated at a combined 53 mpg (US) while emitting just 101 g/km of CO2.

We had an opportunity to drive the US-spec Insight just before Christmas but we can't tell you anything else about it right now. For that you'll have to wait until 9am EST Sunday morning. Come back then to read all about the Insight and stick around for our full coverage of the Detroit Auto Show. Thanks to Julian for the tip!

Update: Honda has pulled the pdf file from its site, but you can find it here.

(Source: Honda Belgium]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 4 Months Ago
      Wow, 53 mpg combined, that is the same as the original Insight (with new MPG ratings).

      But like diesel ratings, people are driving the Insight I to 65 mpg. I drive my Insight around 70 mpg.

      I dought that the Insight II will be as good in the real world. Its science. The Insight II will be heavyer, have more rolling resistance and its aero drag area will be greater.

      The prolem with diesels in the US is the extra cost of the engine and the emmision system. VW is probably loosing money on the new US Jetta TDI. Making a hybrid diesel would be uber expensive.

      The other problem is emmisions. 80 mpg of deisel is equivilent to 68 mpg gas in terms of energy and C02. So a decade old Insight would be the same as a brand new diesel hybrid? Depends on how you drive. I dont think diesles will ever be as clean as the Prius. So what if it meets T2 Bin5, the Prius is much cleaner than that already.
      • 4 Months Ago
      It's too bad Honda didn't keep the small touches from the concept...black facia, nice rims, etc....

      This could have been a nice car IMO..not that its bad...but from some angles it's pretty hideous.

      The new Prius looks better IMO.
        • 4 Months Ago
        i think im going to have to agree. I didnt like the new Prius for lots of reasons. One of those reasons being "OMG look at that new Insight!" But the details they removed really ruined the look of that car.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Curious about diesels. Obviously mileage is good. However, diesels in cars cost $2,000-$4,000 more per car. Also, gas is about $1 per gallon more. That kind of eliminates diesels as economical. Personally, I don't think diesels will ever make it in this country except for a few small numbers because of initial cost and extra cost at the pump. A car at $1.55 per gallon in Minnesota that gets 27mpg costs about the same to drive around as a diesel at $2.42 per gallon that gets 42mpg. These were the recent prices at a local gas station. Add on the initial cost of the diesel. Not good.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Months Ago
      Honda is producing what the market is demanding, this Insight is as economical as the previous models in a car that is big enough to be useful. I predict they won't be able to build them fast enough to satisfy demand. What could trump this victory would be a diesel hybrid which should get 80 mpg and be sold in the United States. What is the problem here? I am sick of hearing of these new highly efficient diesels being offered everywhere but the U.S. Aren't our elected officials listening? Obviously not.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Because diesels don't solve the problem we are in....they just compound it. Eventually something other than an IC engine will have to be put in a hybrid to offer the "hybrid" part of the powerplant.

        rrajame
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        I'm with you. Started saving for a diesel CRV that should of come out for the 2010 model year. No luck with that! Been driving Honda's since 1992. My 1994 Civic still running strong. Sorry Honda, if the Rogue comes out in a diesel I'm gone!!!!!
        harlanx6
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Thanks Rojame. I was beginning to think I was the only one who wanted the options the rest of the world has!
        harlanx6
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Thanks, Sam. You are the authority. This is the best blog if you want to understand automotive technology.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Red, seriously, I'd have to question you on what non-hybrid 4 passenger car was EPA rated at "68mpg cty/70mpg hwy". The highest mileage one that I'm aware of, the Geo Metro, had an EPA rating just over 40 mpg, and it has been discontinued for some time now. I would have thought that something with that kind of EPA rating would have made the news, or at least mentioned by name on Autoblog Green.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        We are getting off tangent the orginal point was Toyota HSD simplicity compared to the Honda IMA.

        Honda:
        IMA is not an orbital gear EVT. It use a pancake motor between the ICE and belt CVT (that has been having significant problems). That was the main point. By comparison Toyota has a simple single robust planetary gear set with practically no reported issues.


        But as far as the off tangent discussions.

        GM:
        "The fixed gear ratios are achieved by using clutches to lock some elements of the planetary gear set just the same way a conventional automatic transmission does."

        The whole point I am talking about is Toyotas simplicity. One planetary gear set. No clutches bands or any mechanical control bits to fail. The GM Two mode has multiple planetary gearsets + clutches band to achieve some additional ratios (in addition to the power mixing capabilities like the toyota). The GM system has the full complexity of a standard automatic transmission, the toyota does not.

        Ford:
        I have no argument as I always knew they were essentially the same system. Why bring this into a Honda vs Toyota discussion. Though I would like to see information about cross licensing.

        Toyota was many years ahead of Ford to market, I haven't read anything about Ford patents being traded. Not saying it doesn't exist, just that I haven't seen it before. Everything I read indicated Ford late to the game and licensing Toyota Tech. If you have a link that indicates more trading of tech than licensing, I would like to read it.

        harlanx6
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        You may be right, Collin. They are making some progress cleaning up diesel emissions, however, so who knows what the future will bring. If VW can do it, why not Ford. What I would like to see is a PHEV with a very small diesel kicker for range extension, because we produce all our own power with a 35 KW Pelton Wheel. This would be very clean because the majority of the time we would be sneaking down the road on electricity. We are off the grid, and I highly recommend it.This would be worth some extra money to me.
        harlanx6
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Noz, I agree completely. Until what is necessary to solve the problem is available, we will have to use what we can get.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        Sam, that is not accurate.

        Ford: licensed the Toyota system, so may use it in some vehicles, it doesn't count since it IS the Toyota system.

        GM: Which system? certainly not the mild hybrid. The dual mode system uses planetary gear system combined with a conventional multigear transmission.

        Honda IMA electric motor is essentially integrated with the ICE, it rotates in lock step with the ICE it has no interaction with transmission (which in theory can be any type of conventional transmission). Hondas CVT is a conventional belt driven CVT (and has had it's share of problems).

        HSD in the toyota has no conventional transmission. There is no ratio changing mechanism at all. A simple planetary gear doesn't change ratios. It is a power combining mechanism that combines power from ICE and two electric motors to vary the speed to road. It is by far the most simple, elegant and robust hybrid drive system currently on the road.

        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        "Still no word on whether or not it will have a manual trans option."

        There almost certainly no chance of a manual. In which case the Prius has a much better hybrid system.

        The only thing going for the Honda IMA, is that you can use a manual transmission. Maybe the CR-Z (hope).

        But if you are doing automatics, the Prius is much better. It gets rid of the complexity of a transmission and replaces it with simple orbital gears. Much more reliable and it allows you to run in electric only mode without rotating the engine.


        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        @Red.

        I couldn't disagree more. It is more from an engineering perspective that I prefer the Toyota system. They Do away with the transmission. That makes their system mechanically simpler and more reliable. The CVT add a level of complexity not in the Toyota system.

        No current car gets near 70MPG AFAIK. The highest rated car I ever remember seeing was the original Insight hybrid with 5speed manual.

        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        PeterG, that's not accurate. Toyota has a planetary gear CVT system just like Honda, Ford, and GM. The Honda system is actually far simpler than Toyota's, hence the lower cost.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        well its a crap chute right now with how diesel emissions will go in the next few years. If the a urea system is required to meet emission standards, I bought that you'll see a diesel hybrid here in the states anytime soon, expessially in a car under 20 or even 25k.

        Still no word on whether or not it will have a manual trans option.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        The Ford and Toyota hybrid systems were developed at the same time and independently. Toyota did get their system to production first. However, each company had separate patents on some of the technology. Each company cross-licensed their patents to each other in their settlement and no licensing money ever changed hands over hybrid patents. Ford's hybrid system is not Toyota's and vice versa.

        Again you are in accurate on the GM Two mode system. Yes it uses planetary gears just like the Toyota, Ford and Honda systems. The fixed gear ratios are achieved by using clutches to lock some elements of the planetary gear set just the same way a conventional automatic transmission does. Precisely the same thing could be achieved with the other systems if clutches were added.

        A planetary gear set can achieve fixed ratios by locking either the ring gear, the planet gear carrier of the sun gear. This is exactly what happens in every traditional automatic transmission on the road.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        "But if you are doing automatics, the Prius is much better. It gets rid of the complexity of a transmission and replaces it with simple orbital gears. Much more reliable and it allows you to run in electric only mode without rotating the engine."

        @PeterG,

        You're talking about a CVT. Which the Insight has and has had before. And the Prius having a "better" hybrid system is only an opinion shared by eco-snobs. They're two completely different systems, but neither is "better" than the other because they both rely on gasoline internal combustion engines; the IMA is a simpler, cost effective system for Honda to produce. The trade-off for purchasing a mild system over a full system is the lower price, which, quite frankly is attractive enough for many people to consider should they actually want a hybrid. But make no mistake; if Honda is building as many hybrids as it claims it's building, it will challenge the Prius for efficiency, which means much of nothing if neither company comes close to 70mpg or better. If I'm not mistaken, the highest EPA rated non-hybrid four passenger car in America is currently rated at 68mpg cty/70mpg hwy. A gent from Edmunds recently tested it and recorded a 72mpg average in predominantly highway driving from Los Angeles to Colorado. Said car is to start at about $16,000, cheaper than the Insight and cheaper than the Prius by a fairly wide margin. The trade-off is slighly higher emissions (110g/km vs. 101g/km for Insight and a rumored >100g/km for Prius) and current limited production ability, making them difficult to find. But it does make hybrids seem exactly like what they are...overhyped.

        So your point is completely moot.
      • 4 Months Ago
      What am I missing here on this mileage bragging? My Chevy Sprint got 56mpg almost 20 years ago. It wasn't the greatest car I ever owned, but it beat whatever people keep getting excited about now.
      • 4 Months Ago
      53mpg on the NEDC is like ~46mpg on the EPA test cycle. Not nearly as bad as the Japanese numbers indicated. I'll be interested in seeing what the US numbers end up looking like.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm confused. Isn't the HCH rated 61mpg on the EU test cycle? If the Insight uses a similar powertrain, but presumably slightly less weight (since it's slightly smaller than the HCH), how did that rating change so significantly? A change in testing methods? And yes, I know Honda's goal was not to eke out ridiculously high numbers, but rather focus on value and emissions.
        • 4 Months Ago
        The 61 mpg figure is in imperial gallons converted from 4.6L/100km. In US gallons that converts to 51 mpg.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Those are really great numbers, but will it be good enough to take some of the attention away from the Prius. If the new generation Prius beats the Insight numbers, what's going to convince people to buy the Insight?

      The cost may do it, but given how little difference there is in the looks, that may be the only reason.

      It's good to see some competition for Toyota.

      As someone already mentioned, the pdf file you linked to doesn't seem to be there anymore?
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'd be buying (signing up for) one of these if I wasn't fearing I will lose the very job that I want to commute to in this car.

      I am thoroughly impressed with Honda's choices here. The only bad/terrible thing is that they are not offering a manual transmission.

      dear Honda, Hire me! and I'll buy this car.
      • 4 Months Ago
      This compares well with the Prius, which is rated at 54.7 mpg, 104 g/km CO2 on the EU4 standard. Let's hope they use the same engine in the USA.

      BTW, the brochure seems to have been removed from the Honda Belgium site.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Although successful this will be, I dont see this dominating. The car size class is still considered too small and expensive for most americans. If they can provide 50+mpg with this in the US spec then fine. If the insight hits the 40's, then there's just more value in getting a fusion. At least there's extra tech/safety/capacity included.
        • 4 Months Ago
        (If the insight hits the 40's, then there's just more value in getting a fusion. At least there's extra tech/safety/capacity included.)

        There's a couple of important issues with this angle of thinking. The Insight will start at $18~$19k and the Ford starts at ~$28k. You gt more with the Ford but you also pay $10k more. Also Honda planned on making 200,000 Insights first year, Ford will make 25,000 Fusion Hybrids. Even if you want a Fusion Hybrid, you'll be competing for one...probably not so with the Insight. Just MHO...
      • 4 Months Ago
      The US model will probably use a 1.6L engine and will only get 43mpg.

      They should put flat hubcaps on it.
        • 4 Months Ago
        The Civic Hybrid has the 1.3 liter engine so we may also get the 1.3 liter engine for the Insight II. I think Honda's plan is to keep things cheap so it would only make sense that the engine is the same or similar to the Civic Hybrid. From this perspective, I think we should expect EPA ratings similar if not better than the Civic Hybrid.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Thank you very much for explaining. You know, somehow I missed the rated 53mpg (US). But I'm curious, why it went down slightly, if the Insight is supposedly slightly lighterweight than the HCH.
        • 4 Months Ago
        It didn't go down. The Euro Insight is rated at 53 mpg (US) the Civic at 51 mpg (US)
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