Despite the popular belief that the Toyota Prius was the first hybrid vehicle sold in the Unites States, the Honda Insight actually holds that title. The Insight was never a sales success, and was eventually discontinued. This time around, Honda is convinced it will have a winner on its hands. Our spies today captured the first ever images of the 2010 Insight, which promises to rival the Prius in fuel economy and price point.
Priced below the Honda Civic, this Japanese-built hybrid will carry over much of the hatchback styling from the FCX.
In addition to recycling the Insight name, Honda is also expected to equip the new hybrid with the same 1.3L Integrated Motor Assist system found in the current-generation Honda Civic Hybrid. Although the new Insight will be loosely based on the Fit, it will measure in at 3 inches longer and 1 inch wider than the Fit.
One Honda insider told Edmunds the Insight’s fuel economy would be “insane”, with some Japanese sources predicting mileage as high as 71 mpg. Actual mileage will likely lower when it hits our shores, but should still be impressive.
And if those lofty fuel-economy numbers weren’t enough to cause an instant waiting list for the new hybrid, the next-generation Insight could list from as little as $19,000 – undercutting the Toyota Prius by thousands of dollars.
The new Insight is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show, but Honda could also wait until November’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Whatever the case, the new five-door hybrid should hit U.S. Honda dealers early next year.