Click above to enlarge the new Honda Insight
The big news coming from Honda for the Paris Motor Show is the introduction of the Insight hybrid concept. We are glad that previous reports that the name would be changed were incorrect. For the rest of their booth, Honda has other things to show off as well, and we've pasted the official press release after the break. The next big debut is the Euro-market Honda Jazz, which is known in most of the rest of the world as the Fit. We tested the U.S. Sport version and you can read all about that here. Although everybody knows what the Jazz looks like, Honda will be trotting out the entire line, which includes 1.2, 1.4 and 1.4 i-SHIFT Automated Manual Transmission models.
Along with the Insight and Jazz, Honda will show off its newly-updated Civic hybrid for the first time. Drivers who want an automatic with their 2.2-liter diesel engine will get that option for the first time ever. Lastly, Honda will bring along its latest FCX Clarity and the CR-Z concept that we've all seen a million times already. Anything we left out? No? All righty then, there you have it.
Three World Debuts for Honda at the Paris Motor Show
Honda's Paris motor show stand is packed with models that show the brand's current and future commitments to reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles. Paris sees a production and concept world debut and both demonstrate Honda's long-standing passion for and commitment to the Environment.
The two major debuts will be for the long awaited Insight Concept, which shows the direction of Honda's latest addition to its petrol electric hybrid line-up. Making its debut alongside the Insight Concept, will be the eagerly anticipated all-new Jazz, which brings even greater fuel economy and lower emissions than ever before to the astonishingly flexible B-segment hatch.
Insight Hybrid Concept
Pride of place on the Honda stand will go to the Insight Concept car, which heralds the return of a dedicated hybrid to the Honda model line-up. The Insight Concept is the start of a new phase of Honda's hybrid strategy, with it showing a glimpse of the first of three new hybrid models that will appear within the next four years. The Insight Concept shows a car which offers a practical and flexible family car that has ample space for both passenger and luggage as well as low emissions and excellent fuel economy.
A key part of the Insight Concept is to bring hybrid vehicles into a price bracket where a broader range of people can afford them. This strategy is driven by the company's desire to see the wide spread adoption of lower CO2 in order to bring about a meaningful reduction in overall CO2 output. The Insight Concept is the culmination of over 20 years of hybrid development and more than 35 years of lower impact petrol engine development, which started with the CVCC engine in 1972.
All-new Honda Jazz
Visitors to Paris will also be able to see the full range of the Honda Jazz for the first time. Customers who visit the Honda stand will be able to see the 1.2, 1.4 and 1.4 i-SHIFT Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) models. Those who venture into the new generation of Honda's award winning 5-door hatchback will find it offers a tempting proposition for those looking to downsize to a more efficient vehicle.
The new Jazz packs an incredible amount into a small package, with class leading luggage and interior space and the newly improved one-motion operation Magic Seats giving the car practicality only usually found in the segment above. With 399 litre of boot space even before the seats are folded, the latest small Honda, can easily cope with the huge range of tasks customers will utilise it for.
The new model's practical interior is complimented by a pair of new i-VTEC engines, that give more power, better fuel economy, lower emission and improved NVH performance.
Restyled Civic Hybrid
With the influx of new hybrid models due in the Honda line-up, the award winning Civic Hybrid hasn't been pushed aside. The 4-door sedan has been given a restyle as it continues to shatter sales targets across Europe. The fuel sipping family car will benefit from cosmetic changes, including tweaked front and rear lights, a more aggressive bumper and a new design of alloy wheel.
The changes to the Civic Hybrid will also carry across to the conventionally powered 1.8 litre 4-door Civic sold in selected regions across Europe.
i-DTEC Automatic Gearbox
Paris will also see the debut of Honda's new automatic gearbox for the i-DTEC diesel engine. This new gearbox has been developed in response to European customer demands for an automatic option for the 2.2 litre diesel. The new gearbox has been developed exclusively for the i-DTEC turbodiesel, in order to compliment its flexibility and broader spread of torque. Honda's thorough approach to engineering would not allow the use of a third party gearbox, which might compromise the effectiveness of its newest engine.
CR-Z Hybrid Sports Concept Model
The Paris stand will also see the CR-Z, a small sports concept car, which shows Honda's future direction of offering small petrol-electric hybrids across a number of niches, in order to broaden their appeal. The CR-Z will form the basis of a new small coupe hybrid that will join the growing Honda hybrid line-up and further broaden the appeal of low CO2 vehicles. The sporty 2+2 uses the split level glass rear window, which has been used through three decades in the CR-X, the original Insight coupe and more recently the Civic 3 and 5 door.
FCX Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
The French show will also play host to Honda's production fuel cell car, the FCX Clarity, which was delivered to the first customers in the US at the beginning of August. Early adopters who have seen the potential of a car that emits only water from its tailpipe include Actress and Environmental Campaigner Jamie Lee Curtis and Film Produicer Ron Yerxa. The FCX Clarity began production in Japan in July and the first lease customers in Honda's home country will receive their cars towards the end of this year.
The presence of the Civic, Insight Concept and CR-Z petrol electric hybrids alongside the FCX Clarity, gives an indication of Honda's vision of the future. The Japanese manufacturer sees the Hydrogen fuel cell as the zero-tailpipe emission solution for automobiles while the hybrid powertrain provides an excellent lower CO2 solution in the medium term, until the FCX Clarity becomes a mass produced vehicle.