The end-of-year holiday season is just really starting, but information on Detroit auto show debuts next month is coming in.
A new hybrid car from one of the pioneers of hybrid-electric vehicles is notable, and that’s what Honda has delivered.
The company said Tuesday morning that it will show a prototype of what will be the 2019 Honda Insight hybrid sedan in Detroit four weeks from now.
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Honda released eight photos showing what’s called the “Insight Prototype,” though it looks about as close to a finished production car as any concept we’ve seen.
Interestingly, the third-generation Insight appears to be a hybrid version of the latest Civic, launched for the 2016 model year.
The Honda Civic Hybrid is dead! Long live the 2019 Honda Insight!
Honda said the new Insight will sit above the Civic in its lineup of passenger cars, offering “premium style and high fuel efficiency in a sophisticated and spacious five-passenger sedan.”
Crucially, the 2019 Insight will use Honda’s two-motor full hybrid system, pioneered on the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid sedan and now in its third generation in the 2018 version of that model.
That system is also used in the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and is expected to appear in a future Honda CR-V Hybrid, a version of which has already been introduced in China.
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The two-motor system allows sustained electric running for 1 mile or more, unlike the small mild-hybrid system used in the first- and second-generation Insights, which couldn’t move the car on electric power alone.
Those cars were, respectively, a tiny two-seat hatchback (2000-2006) and a subcompact five-door hatchback (2010-2014).
The 2019 Insight, however, is a compact-to-mid-size four-door sedan—a far more popular segment for U.S. car buyers.
Honda said the latest 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 compr