Honda Insight Prototype is ready for its Detroit debut


This time, the 2019 model isn't a splendid eco-misanthrope like the first Insight, or a "Greener than Thou", like Toyota's Prius.

It will debut on January 15th at the event in North America. Launching in the USA later this year, the Insight has morphed from the previous five-door, Prius-shaped auto to a sleek "premium compact" sedan positioned above the Civic in Honda's line-up. It's certainly a lot more conventional in appearance than its two predecessors of the same name, so Honda presumably hopes it will be third time lucky for the nameplate this time. Which means it should share its 2700-millimetre wheelbase. Set for production as a 2019 production model, the prototype, which Honda describes as an "upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in Honda's passenger vehicle lineup", will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week. Honda has not yet announced how fuel-efficient the next Insight will be, but Arcangeli described the vehicle as having "best-in-class performance" in this regard. More intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality including customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates, further enhance Insight over its compact hybrid competitors. In most conditions, Insight operates on electric power only, drawing energy from the engine (operating as a generator) or battery pack. A 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine is paired with a "powerful electric propulsion motor".

The on-form automaker says that the Insight will deliver class-leading power while still receiving an anticipated US EPA fuel economy combined rating in excess of 50 mpg (21.3 km/l), which is competitive with other compact hybrid offerings. We're thinking about 150 to 160 hp, which would be higher than its rivals. Honda is wagering that an ordinary auto with 5 seats is the thing that the market needs.

The new Insight will be built in Greensburg, Indiana, and will be on sale later in 2018.

The 2019 Honda Insight will also feature the brand's latest advanced driving aids, such as Honda LaneWatch passenger-side blind spot monitoring, and the Honda Sensing suite that rounds up adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and traffic sign recognition, a collision mitigation system, lane departure warning and road departure mitigation. No pricing has been announced yet, but we're expecting a base MSRP of about $26,000, right between the Ioniq and the Prius.