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Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG)
#60 of 257 Honda Insight
Oct 23, 1999 (6:28 pm)
Should reach dealership by December. It will cost under $20K (and is supposedly loaded with "performance" gear). It is also the most aerodynamic car in production today (Cd is only 0.25). Only 5000 to be produced per year (not sure if that is just of US/N.A. market), if so, they will go just as quickly as they come. a reason, it is rebirth of Honda CRX, a lightweight, small engine two seater, with good handling (Honda seems to have focused on handling aspects of this car, aiming at younger buyers, than buyers who think Lexus like car is fun). The car is nice looking (just like the concept), and weighs 1887 lb. According to Honda, the 1.0 liter VTEC delivers about the same power as 1.5 liter engine, so even if the car delivers about 90-95 hp, it will be reasonably fast.
At low rpm, electricity generated and stored onboard takes on (electric motors have low end torque characteristic, with near flat high torque curve in under 2000 rpm). Once past the flat output of electric motor, the VTEC takes the task of acceleration. Overall, I think, the car will have a near flat curve from about 1500 rpm to 6500 rpm. Hopefully we will get to see a test drive soon enough.
#61 of 257 I'm VERY interested...
Oct 24, 1999 (6:31 pm)
... in the Honda Insight. I do light commuting, am single, and would be thrilled to have a fun-to-drive eco-friendly car. I don't need 250 horsepower to enjoy driving -- I'm more interested in quick response and nimble handling. From the pictures I've seen of the Insight, it has an intriguing look, and as a designer in the computer field, I'm always interested in the bleeding edge of technology. I'm probably the perfect target demographic for this car!
I hope it has a sunroof option, and that they'll move include a CD player rather than just casette.
If it's true that there will only be 5000, I hope I'm one of the first in line for a test drive.
Oct 25, 1999 (1:11 am)
I do think that Insight will be nimble, if not a very quick car, but I doubt it will have moonroof since it adds 25-30 lb to add moonroof, and Insight was made to be light car as well. However, I think the car will come with a good CD player (standard), perhaps with 6-speakers. I know for sure that it has four wheel discs with abs, power everything, and perhaps leather trimmed recaro seats.
Oct 25, 1999 (1:17 am)
5000 is a small number, but there is one possibility that will make it even more rare. Honda's fleet sale is generally limited to cars like Honda EV, Civic GX etc, and Insight looks like a good candidate to join the group. It could mean even lesser number of cars reaching dealership. Insight is nice looking car, exactly what I would imagine CRX would have grown to. Besides the hybrid motor, Honda should also consider using the CVT from Civic HX (1.6 liter SOHC VTEC-E/115 HP). This should also yield city gas mileage in excess of 45 mpg, while being LEV or even ULEV, even better, SULEV (like some California 2000 Accord EX).
#64 of 257 Robertmx, December 99 at all Honda dealerships?
Oct 25, 1999 (4:17 am)
I might postpone my next car purchase till then if it's that soon. I don't need another Lexus since my spouse has one (though I wouldn't mind a 2nd one for me). Will the insight have leather power seats available? How about a/c?
Oct 25, 1999 (9:07 pm)
from the pictures on Honda site, Insight seems to have two-tone "Recaro" seats (probably leather), and perhaps power seat as well (I'd say that the seats should be identical to those in NSX and S2000, since Insight shares the production line). Not sure about a/c.
#66 of 257 Lack of a/c ...
Oct 26, 1999 (9:24 pm)
... would potentially be a dealbreaker for me. (I know, I know, a/c is distinctly ungreen.) I live in DC, where summers are brutal. My current old bluemobile (ancient Taurus s/w, don't ask) has dead a/c and I suffered miserably this last summer.
I do wonder how power-hungry a/c would sap the performance of the car, though.
Oct 26, 1999 (9:44 pm)
I was reading the October issue of Automotive Engineering (A trade journal) and it had some interesting tidbits of info.
1- The gas engine shuts off when the car is stopped. However, when the A/C (which is standard auto ac, I believe...) is turned on, the gas engine will not automatically turn off.
2- The mag. said that it will be offered with a 5-spd and the CVT transmission (from the Civic HX)
3- Also, I gathered that the A/C would not sap alot of power away because most of the power does not come from the engine. Most all the power comes from the electric motor when going 0-30 (or full throttle) because it has tons more available torque. The gas engine is actually intended to supplement the electric motor.
4- The mag had a picture of the battery pack and it was pretty substantial looking. (Not like the Honda EV's though...) My main worry would be how much that battery pack costs to replace and how long is it good for...
#68 of 257 Any idea what the warranty info is?
Oct 27, 1999 (2:02 am)
It'll also be interesting to see how it fares in the Mojave Desert when those Berthold rays hit it.
#69 of 257 Let's get some facts straight.
Oct 28, 1999 (9:43 pm)
1. These cars were developed for the Japanese market where gas is very expensive. Currently, the Prius is only sold in japan and half of the Insights will be sold in japan.
2. Costs. (I wouldn't be surprised if those Prius cost numbers quoted previously included fixed development costs.) These cars are really experiments for the companies to build a knowledge base. They don't mind loosing money to gain experience that can be used in future models and possibly put you ahead of the competition. And don't forget the PR value of clean, efficient high-tech cars.
3. The Insight is NOT based on any exisiting honda chassis. It's constructed of Aluminum with some plastic body panels. (a big selling point to people like me in the rust belt) It's a unique chassis in the honda linueup. I doubt if it shares anything (dash, seats, suspension, etc.etc.) with the civic model.
1. As new any technology, expect changes. I don't expect 5 year production runs of the Insight or Prius without at least major design changes.
2. Looking at all Insight with it's light body, low drag, skinny tires, etc.etc. They could put a civic HF motor in it and still get 60MPG.