Production model to arrive in 2018

Discontinued in 2014, the Honda Insight is about to make a comeback for the 2019 model year. The big news comes from the Japanese automakers, which just announced that a prototype model will be shown at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January. Described as a precursor to the all-new model, which will go on sale next year, the prototype is will preview a vehicle described as an "upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in the lineup."

Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut Exterior
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The new Insight will feature the company's latest-generation, "innovative two-motor hybrid system."

Honda didn’t release too many details, but it did mention that the new Insight will feature the company’s latest-generation, "innovative two-motor hybrid system." Honda also promises "fuel economy that is competitive with other compact hybrid models." The third-gen hybrid should also include "premium features and performance desired by mainstream car buyers" and present an entirely new approach in terms of styling and packaging. Well, this is definitely good news, as the previous Insight lacked some of the modern features available in vehicles from rival brands.

Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut Interior
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While precise data isn't yet available, Honda is making a third attempt at competing against the popular Toyota Prius

While precise data isn’t yet available, Honda is making a third attempt at competing against the popular Toyota Prius. Introduced in 1999, the first-gen Insight was the first hybrid vehicle sold in the United States and had relative success on the market until 2006. Redesigned from the ground up, the second-generation model, launched in 2009, posted far better sales in both the U.S. and Europe, but that didn’t last long. After selling more than 20,000 units per year in 2009 and 2010, and over 15,000 in 2011, North American sales dropped to less than 6,000 in 2012 and less than 5,000 in 2013. As a result, the Insight was discontinued in 2014.

Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut Exterior
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Honda is reviving the nameplate for the third time, and this is good news for the market, but will the new Insight have what it takes to steal customers from the Toyota? We will probably find out more about that in January, so make sure you stick around for updates from the Detroit Auto Show.

References

Honda Insight

2014 Honda Insight High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2014 Honda Insight.

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Press release

The Honda Insight Prototype will make its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 15, 2018 as the precursor to the all-new 2019 Honda Insight – an upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in Honda’s passenger car lineup. The all-new Insight utilizes the latest generation of Honda’s innovative two-motor hybrid system and will launch next summer as the newest electrified vehicle in the Honda lineup.

"With its sophisticated styling, dynamic stance, ample interior space and best-in-class performance, the all-new Insight embodies Honda’s approach to creating electrified vehicles without the typical tradeoffs," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "You won’t have to be an electrification advocate to appreciate the new Insight – it’s a great car in its own right, independent of what’s happening under the hood."

Introduced in 1999, the first-generation Insight was America’s first hybrid vehicle and a technological tour de force with optimized aerodynamics and a lightweight aluminum structure. As a result, the 2-door Insight launched as the most fuel-efficient EPA certified gasoline-fueled vehicle with a highway rating of 70 miles per gallon. It was the first Honda vehicle to utilize Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system.

The second-generation Insight made its debut in 2009 as the most affordable hybrid on the market. With its 5-door, 5-passenger design, the second-gen Insight offered increased space and utility while continuing to employ the IMA hybrid system.

The all-new 2019 Insight takes an entirely new approach with the styling, packaging, premium features and performance desired by mainstream car buyers – a hybrid vehicle without any inherent compromise. Unlike the first two generations of Insight, the all-new model will be powered by Honda’s two-motor hybrid system offering fuel economy that is competitive with other compact hybrid models.

"At the 2017 North American International Auto Show we announced our Honda Electrification Initiative with the intention to make two-thirds of Honda’s global vehicle sales electrified vehicles by 2030," said Arcangeli, "With the Insight launching later in 2018 as the fifth electrified vehicle brought to market over the past year, we’re demonstrating our commitment to that goal."

The Insight – to be manufactured at Honda’s Greensburg, Indiana plant, alongside Civic and CR-V using domestic and globally sourced parts – will join the Clarity series (Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid) and the all-new 2018 Accord Hybrid, arriving at dealerships nationwide early next year.

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