Honda's Hybrid Gives Insight Into the Future
9/15/2000 7:31:08 PM
As the first gasoline-electric hybrid to be sold in the U.S., Honda's Insight created a great deal of excitement when it arrived in showrooms in December 1999. The Insight has developed a wide and diverse following while taking automotive efficiency to a new level.
Since its launch, the 2000 Honda Insight has accumulated numerous accolades including:
- Popular Mechanics "Design & Engineering" Award
- Automobile Magazine "2000 Technology of the Year"
- Popular Science "Best of What's New" Award
- American Woman Motorscene "Most Likely to Change the World"
- Clean Car Coalition "Clean Car Salute"
- Edmunds.com "Most Significant New Vehicle"
- Sierra Club "Environmental Engineering" Award
Using Honda's exclusive Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, the Insight merges the world's lightest 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline automobile engine with an ultra-thin electric motor for improved efficiency and added power when needed. Currently offered with a 5-speed manual transmission, the 2001 model lineup will include a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) available in spring 2001.
The Insight was designed from the ground up to achieve world-class fuel economy and ultra low emissions. This was accomplished by using a combination of forward-thinking technologies, including the hybrid powertrain, sophisticated aerodynamic design and lightweight aluminum body. Through this innovative technology, the Insight has earned the best EPA mileage ratings in history and a 2001 EPA mileage rate of 61 mpg city/68 mpg highway. Driving range is 600 to 700 miles on a single tank of fuel.
Under the hood, the gasoline engine is smaller and more fuel-efficient due to the electric motor providing low-end torque and power assist when necessary. Since the electric motor is not the only propulsion resource, the motor and battery pack can be smaller and lighter than in a pure electric vehicle. The motor acts as a generator during deceleration and braking to recharge the IMA batteries. The Insight's battery pack never needs to be recharged by an external power source and, in fact, does not need to be "plugged in."
The Insight offers an extensive assortment of standard features, including anti-lock brakes, electric power steering, dual air bags, AM/FM stereo cassette, power windows and mirrors, power door locks with keyless entry, anti-theft Immobilizer system and available automatic air conditioning.
The Insight is an ideal two-seater, sporty personal commuter vehicle and has been ordered up by several state motor pools across the country.
An electronic display delivers information on fuel economy performance, IMA system operation and gasoline engine status. Drivers are able to observe immediate fuel economy, trip fuel economy, segment fuel economy and lifetime fuel economy.