Honda's Prius-killing hybrid gets a date: April 2009

Click above for high-res gallery of Honda Hybrid spy shots

Hybrids are hot and Honda is anxious to get in on the action that Toyota's been unable to fully quench with its Prius hybrid sedan. We expect to see the production version of Honda's new hybrid, which will apparently not be called the Insight, to debut in October at the Paris Motor Show. Fortunately, Honda won't make us wait too long to buy its new hybrid, as the five-door hatchback is rumored to show up in dealer lots by April of 2009. Toyota also plans on showing off its new third-gen Prius at the Detroit Auto Show in January, so it will be very interesting to watch these to tangle in the marketplace. Honda plans to undercut its rival in the pricing wars with its hybrid coming in at a base price of less than $19,000, a few thousand less than the larger Prius. Both models will use nickel metal hydride batteries (for now) as opposed to the latest lithium ion units in an effort to keep their costs down. Both should also score fuel mileage numbers somewhere in the 50-60 mpg range. For its part, Honda is planning to build 200,000 units of its new hybrid annually, with 100,000 earmarked for the U.S. Let the (fuel-saving) games begin!

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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