Honda previews Insight prototype

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"The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging", stated Honda exec, Henio Arcangeli Jr.

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As expected from a new Honda, the 2019 Insight will come with a host of technology features. 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. Honda says the Insight will feature a long wheelbase to offer class-leading passenger space, so there should be plenty of room to bring friends and family along for the ride. New on the 2019 Insight will be Traffic Sign Recognition. The hybrid batteries located under the rear seats provides for a full-size trunk with the flexibility of available 60/40 split and folding rear seats.

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Honda hasn't released any specifications for the new Insight, but after personally scrutinizing a prototype on static display I can state that it is clearly Honda Civic-sized. 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. The EX trim and above will include Honda LaneWatch to help drivers keep tabs on their blind spot. It does not work for the left side of the vehicle. In most conditions, Insight operates on electric power only, drawing energy from the engine (operating as a generator) or battery pack. Therefore, if Honda fully implements this drivetrain in the new Civic-based Insight, which is likely 700-800 lbs. lighter, performance should be robust. That uses Honda's latest two-motor hybrid system, which pairs a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine with an electric propulsion motor and a lithium-ion battery tucked under the rear seats. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version. Honda has previously teased the auto, but is now revealing more details ahead of its official introduction at NAIAS. 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.

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Honda has revealed the replacement to the Civic Hybrid, with the 2019 Honda Insight breaking cover ahead of the Detroit auto show next week.

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