Honda Insight hybrid: more details

* 87bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine * Averages 64.2mpg and emits 101g/km of CO2 * On sale April, from around 15,000...

Honda Insight hybrid: more details

More details of the new Honda Insight hybrid have emerged ahead of its official launch at the Detroit motor show next week.

The information had been leaked by an official Honda magazine based in Belgium.

The publication revealed that the European-spec car will use the same hybrid powertrain as the Honda Civic IMA: a 87bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine, with an electric motor that generates 13bhp. The powertrain is then mated to a continuously variable transmission.

The Insight will also have a set of batteries to store energy that is generated under braking, which subsequently provides power for the electric motor.

Average fuel consumption is 64.2mpg, while carbon dioxide emissions are 101g/km.

These figures compare favourably with the Civic IMA's 61.41mpg and the rival Toyota Prius hybrid's 65.69mpg. However, a new rival Toyota Prius is also set to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show.

The Insight is also slightly shorter, narrower and lower than the current model.

Two trim levels
The Honda magazine also revealed that two trim levels (Comfort and Elegance) will be available in Belgium, although this has yet to be confirmed for the UK.

Standard equipment will include vehicle stability assist, 15-inch wheels, climate control and a radio CD player.

Elegance will add Bluetooth, a parking assist system, cruise control, foglights, heated front seats and rain sensors.

The Honda Insight hybrid will go on sale here in April, when it is expected to significantly undercut the rival Toyota Prius, with prices starting at around 15,000.

The Honda Insight is one of the contenders for the What Car? Most Exciting Car of 2009 award. To register your vote, click:
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