Honda is set to revive the Insight badge for a third time, with the hybrid model morphing into a large sedan, leaving its compact past behind.
The original Insight was Australia's first petrol-electric hybrid when it went on sale in 2001, though the efficiency-optimised three-door model failed to match the success of Toyota's first Prius. A second generation Insight launched in 2010 attempted to remedy that with a more conventional five-door form and more affordable pricing.
For its third attempt Honda will apply the Insight badge to a larger and even more conventional looking four-door sedan to be positioned above the current Civic range.
Suggesting the previous models failed to find buyers due to the compromises of a small hybrid, Honda says in its press release that the new Insight “takes an entirely new approach with the styling, packaging, premium features and performance desired by mainstream car buyers - a hybrid vehicle without any inherent compromise.”
Under the bonnet is the latest generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system but the company hasn’t revealed any performance or economy claims for the new Insight.
The new Insight will make its public debut at the 2018 Detroit motor show in January before entering production the US later this year and going on sale in early 2019.
However, it won't make Australian showrooms as it is unlikely to be built in right-hand drive.
Honda globally has committed to offering two-thirds of its fleet electrified by 2030. However, the impact on Honda Australia's lineup remains unclear. Not only did the previous Insight models fail to attract enough buyers plans to launch a new range of hybrids beginning with the 2015 Accord Sport Hybrid were quietly shelved.
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