Why don't companies try to make cool hybrids?
This year at the Detroit Auto Show, Honda brought a prototype version of the new Insight. This new car is totally different from the last Insight, which was discontinued after 2014. We love that Honda tried to make the new Insight look like a more traditional sedan, which should help it sell to people who want a hybrid that doesn't look like yet another Toyota Prius clone. This is one of the many reasons why we prefer the Kia Niro over the Prius. The only thing that could make the new Insight even better looking is a Type R version.
Unfortunately, we'd say that there is about a 0% chance that Honda would actually build an Insight Type R. Luckily, we don't have to sit and imagine what such a thing would look because X-Tomi Design has rendered what we think is one of the coolest affordable hybrid cars of all time. The Insight Type R features all of the performance goodies including a big rear wing, bigger brakes and the appropriate red trim. Even though Honda will never build something like this, this rendering did bring up an important question in our office. Why don't automakers build sporty versions of hybrid models? We saw it done with the Lexus CT F-Sport, but that car only received suspension upgrades with no bump in power.
Automakers have been doing all sorts of silly things lately. If a crossover can have paddle shifters and an AMG version, why can't the Insight get a Type R version? We like to believe that not all hybrid drivers are boring and some might want a sporty Insight with some Type R tuning. This car wouldn't have to be able to keep with normal performance cars, but it would be cool if some automaker offered a sporty hybrid that doesn't suck the driver's soul away.