The Insight's sparse plastic interior is where TLC was most needed, and the loving comes via nicer seat fabric, "wood look paneling," and stitching that breaks up the synthetic expanses. There is also more room inside, and less noise.
Under the hood is the familiar 1.3-liter i-VTEC mated to an electric motor, but tweaks mean that it gets better gas mileage and now puts out just 96 grams of CO2 per kilometer when fitted with 15-inch wheels. You can find out all about the better, frugal-er Insight in the materials after the jump and the gallery of high-res photos.
The refreshed Honda Insight is launched at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor show. The Insight is now even more environmentally friendly producing just 96 g/km* of CO2. The Insight also receives a new exterior design including a new front grille. The features within the interior have been improved for a superior perceived quality with two new interior colours to choose from. Rear visibility has been improved and rear passenger headroom has been adjusted. Revisions have been made to the engine and suspension for an overall improvement to ride comfort and stability. Two new exterior colours are available.
96 g/km* CO2 and improved Fuel Economy
The 2012 Insight will be available with either 15" or 16" wheels. In both cases the improvement on CO2 emissions is 5 g/km – which means that models with 15" wheels now boast CO2 emissions of only 96 g/km* and models with 16" wheels 100 g/km.
Fuel economy has been improved by means of improved aerodynamics and power train efficiency. Reduced engine friction and CVT efficiency together with improved air-conditioning benefiting from a new cold storage all contribute to a lower fuel consumption.
The exterior design receives updates that help to emphasise the Insight's smart image with efficient and aerodynamic styling. The new model year includes a refreshed grille and bumper design and also modifications to the headlights.
The rear has had a similar design treatment applied with a new tail spoiler which helps to improve rear visibility. Details of the license plate garnish have been changed as well as the tail lights, where the indicator surround is blue to highlight its hybrid identity.
New interior features confirm the improved quality and comfort of the 2012 Insight. These include a new seat fabric and black wood look panelling. The rear space has been redesigned to allow for improved head clearance of 10mm. This has been achieved by adjusting the angle of the rear seat and re-shaping the headlining so that it is curved at the edges.
Driver and passenger comfort has been increased by means of reducing the intrusion of engine and road noise from the suspension and tyres into the cabin. The front lower suspension arms are now made from aluminium, rather than steel and also a new tyre development has reduced the noise within the cabin.
Refinements to the rear design of the car which include a new slimmed tail spoiler allows for a wider rear glass area, an improved tail gate garnish and the wiper motor unit has been reduced in size meaning overall increased visibility at the rear.
Bespoke Hybrid Model
The Insight utilises the efficient, compact and proven 1.3 litre i-VTEC engine, combined with an electric motor. This engine and motor combination is shared with the new Jazz Hybrid and both models benefit from the ability to run on electric power alone under certain conditions.
The combination of an ultra-aerodynamic body and a parallel hybrid powertrain gives the Insight impressive environmental performance with low overall exhaust emissions, not just CO2 emissions of 96 g/km*. The Insight has been developed to offer excellent fuel economy and emissions all of the time, not just in official tests. The Eco Assist encourages and assists drivers in achieving good fuel economy every day with the coaching function and ECON button.
Recycling of Battery Packs
Importantly the Insight is manufactured in a plant where zero production waste ends up in landfill and a suite of energy saving techniques are used to reduce overall impact. At the end of the vehicle's life the Insight is designed to be highly recyclable and recoverable and the batteries can be easily recycled through any Honda dealer.
*Honda internal data