It seems everyone has been forced to play off the Prius' cues, such as when Fukui says that, "Until now, it has been an image-based competition, not a business-based competition." Which explains the Civic Hybrid being a misstep, because according to CNW research, 50-percent of folks who buy hybrids need the world to know it's a hybrid because they don't want people to think they are burning the remains of giant lizards.
How does Honda plan to get the consumer's attention a year from now? Primarily, sticker shock -- but the good kind. Fukui said he wants the car to come in below the price of the current Civic Hybrid, which is $23,235. The current Prius starts at $20,950, so Honda needs to count a fair number of beans if they want price alone to be the allure. Fukui did say, nevertheless, that he expected the car to have a lighter hybrid engine, which would give better gas mileage. But will either the Prius or new Honda hybrid get better mileage than the MINI Cooper D?
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]