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Honda Insight Prototype Previews Sleek New Hybrid Sedan

Sleek sedan is set to cross swords with the Toyota Prius.

After being discontinued in 2014, Honda is bringing back the Insight nameplate. But while the original was a hybrid hatchback that was overshadowed by the more popular Toyota Prius, the all-new model will be a sleek sedan. Set to be revealed at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show next week, the Honda Insight Prototype previews the final production model due to launch later this year. Its styling seems to be heavily inspired by the Civic sedan, but the Insight will be positioned in a more premium segment above its passenger car sibling.

Essentially, then, this is Honda’s new Toyota Prius rival picking up from where the discontinued Civic hybrid left off. Honda says the Insight’s sleek design, premium features, refined driving performance, and high fuel efficiency will set it apart from other compact hybrid rivals. "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," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of American Honda Motor Company.

"The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume." The Honda Insight Prototype looks handsome thanks to its coupe-style sweeping roofline, low and wide stance, and by Honda's signature "flying wing" grille and bold fascia. It also sports low-profile LED headlights and taillights. According to Honda, the 2019 Insight will offer class-leading passenger space thanks to its long wheelbase platform, as well as an array of premium features including leather seats, an eight-inch touchscreen, and a seven-inch digital LCD driver’s meter.

It will also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates. Honda also promises that the new Insight will deliver “class-leading power” while still receiving an estimated EPA fuel economy combined rating of over 50 mpg, giving it an advantage over some of its compact hybrid rivals. Powering the 2019 Insight will be a version Honda's third-generation two-motor hybrid system, featuring an efficient 1.5-liter gasoline engine, a powerful electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack located under the rear seats so you still get a full-size trunk, 60/40 split and folding rear seats.

In terms of safety tech, EX models and above will get Honda LaneWatch, while all other models will feature the automaker’s Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assists as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and new Traffic Sign Recognition. The new Honda Insight will arrive in showrooms later this year, and will be built at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant, alongside the Civic and CR-V.

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