Honda Insight Prototype Closely Previews New Hybrid Sedan

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The wheelbase and length of the new vehicle have grown over the previous Insight, although Honda hasn't yet specified the new car's dimensions.

The 2018 Honda Insight has been revealed in prototype form ahead of its official unveiling at the Detroit motor show. A long wheelbase ensures rear seat passengers aren't short on space, and available perforated leather seating will guarantee that the Insight does not feel like a gas miser of yesteryear.

This way, says Honda, the trunk's size isn't sacrificed while the rear seats retain the 60/40 split-folding feature. With the Insight, there is no tall tail or oven-door hatchback window as in the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq, or Honda's own Clarity.

We do learn that inside the cabin, an 8-inch infotainment system and a 7-inch digital LCD will serve the driver and the front passenger, coupled with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi-based OTA system.

A number of driver assistance and safety systems have been introduced into the new auto which include Honda LaneWatch and the Honda Sensing suite. The powertrain will be able to operate on electric power alone in most conditions as it draws energy from the engine that acts as a generator or the battery pack.

The hybrid will be powered by a third-generation two motor hybrid system which features an 1.5-litre Atkinson petrol engine, electric propulsion motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

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The system has some big advantages over earlier hybrids.

Honda will release trim levels, features and options, specifications, and pricing for the 2019 Insight closer to its on-sale date sometime between July and December this year.

The production model is expected to go on sale in the United States in the summer of 2019, but at the moment there are no plans to offer the Insight in Europe as the next hybrid Honda has planned is a CR-V Hybrid. "The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume".

The Insight will feature the Honda Sensing safety suite as standard, which includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

The new Insight continues Honda's goal of electrifying two-thirds of its global models by 2030.