Randall Burkhalter is the proud owner of a Honda Insight - the first exclusive hybrid model to the United States. It is not an ordinary Insight, however. Randall has fitted it with the MIMA system - a favorite tool of the hypermiler. It basically slaps an M in front of the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) Honda hybrid system, standing for 'Manual.' This gives the driver total manual control over how much motor assist or regeneration you are using at any given time with the use of a joystick. There is a small joystick in the cupholder in the center console, some control buttons on the stick shift, an LED display in the rear viewed through the rearview mirror, and the rest is all you. The system is actually quite reasonable at about $600 and consists of a few wiring harnesses that work around the factory system, a couple custom control boards, and that's basically it. The result, with practice and a change in "driver attitude" as Randall calls it, is an average of around 95 mpg. Remember, no mechanical modifications are being made, just some electronic add-ons.
Randall commutes 80 miles round trip each day, and goes to the gas station once a month. I'll just let that sink in for a second.... So that one-time $600 investment, for you lucky Insight owners, you can make back in savings probably in about six months. If your feet tend to go towards the "hot-rod performance" (which would likely mean you don't own an Insight anyway), make sure you adjust that driver attitude first - and quit complaining about not getting those EPA estimates - take a page from the books of these hypermilers.
More videos on the way. Keep watching ABG!