The latest Honda Insight iteration will hit the road in 2019 but a fresh prototype is primed for preview at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January.
The resurrected hybrid sedan will be officially revealed as the 2019 Honda Insight, and according to American Honda Co., Inc., Honda dealerships in the United States will start rolling out the electrified vehicle around summertime of 2019. The upcoming Insight version is part of the company's ongoing initiatives to move "electrified vehicles even more into the mainstream."
"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," Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president for American Honda, said in a press statement.
Arcangeli added the 2019 Insight is distinct from the first two batches of productions that were seen between 1999 and 2014.
"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," the company executive declared.
Honda Insight Re-invented
Honda said the new Insight is a package that will boast of "premium style and high fuel efficiency." Engineers saw it prudent to ditch the old design of an egg-shaped hatch and opted for "a sophisticated and spacious five-passenger sedan." The switch could prove strategic for the Japanese carmaker as the latest offering would more likely appeal to American consumers.
In addition, the re-engineered Insight has a better chance of competing in equal terms with the Toyota Prius, which is regarded as the more popular hybrid vehicle in the U.S. market.
Firing up the 2019 Insight is a two-motor hybrid setup that is paired with a 2.0-liter DOHC Atkinson cycle engine, a powerhouse system touted by Honda as "innovative and highly efficient."
The visual alterations implemented on the upcoming car have been described as aesthetically clean. Admirers at the Detroit Auto Show will most likely be reminded of the Honda Clarity but without the conflicting lines. It is expected that the Insight prototype that will be unveiled on Jan. 15, 2018 will look and function as the production version.
Likewise, Honda has indicated that the 2019 Insight will represent the sweet spot between the brand's well-known sedan lineup — the flagship Accord and the mid-range Civic.
While the Insight market re-entry is welcome, given the impressive specs, features and design bumps, it was suggested that Honda using the hybrid brand anew could potentially backfire. The wiser move is to call the 2019 hybrid model a different name.
Any other nameplate will likely become acceptable but not Insight, which immediately reminds of Honda's frustrating attempt, so far, to outrace the Toyota Prius in the hybrid car market.