Honda Insight prototype previews 50 mpg 2019 Insight hybrid sedan

2019 Honda Insight Prototype Interior Dashboard

A prototype version will debut at this year's Detroit Auto Show, but when Honda calls their show cars "prototypes", it usually means they're a few details shy of a production model. In fact, it looks much better than the Honda Civic with which it shares many of its underpinnings.

"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. As Honda Division General Manager Henio Arcangeli puts it, "Honda wants the new Insight to be a great vehicle that also happens to be electrified". In the 2019 Insight, it uses a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine for its internal combustion component.

That also means Honda can presumably price it higher, though it's unclear what the sticker on the new 2019 Insight will be at this stage.

Low and wide and with the brand's "flying wing" grille as seen now on the Accord and Civic, the Insight's got the latest coupe-like styling, yet looks as though it's roomy enough to seat five passengers. The batteries are packaged underneath the rear seat, maximizing trunk space and allowing for 60/40 folding rear seats. Besides unique front and rear fascia with standard LED headlights and taillights, the compact-sized Insight borrows the profile design and doors of the Civic sedan. The 2019 Honda Insight will be available with an 8-inch touchscreen "infotainment" system with customizable apps, alongside Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.

Over on the safety tech and driver-assistance side, there'll be Honda LaneWatch on EX and above trims, along with the Honda Sensing safety suite. It does not work for the left side of the auto.

The real star of the show, however, is the car's 2-motor hybrid system. It appears that in addition to the luxurious looks and high-end interior, the 2018 Honda Insight will ship with some pretty impressive driver utilities that make staying safe on the road an easy and convenient task.

In the larger and heavier Clarity Plug-In Hybrid mid-size sedan, the drive motor is rated at 135 kilowatts (181 horsepower) and 232 pound-feet of torque. Total system power in the 4,100-lb. midsize Clarity is 212 hp.

It will be a slightly smaller hybrid four-door sedan than the Accord Hybrid, new for 2018, for which fuel-economy ratings haven't yet been released.

The company said it expects the 2018 Honda Insight to receive an EPA combined fuel-efficiency rating of 50 mpg or better. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version.

The 2018 Insight will also be built in the USA, unlike the two previous generations, which were imported from Japan.

The 2019 Insight is expected to arrive at Honda dealers sometime during the second half of this year, and it will be the company's first dedicated hybrid to be built in the U.S.

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