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New Honda Insight hybrid

This is the first image of the actual production version of the new Honda Insight hybrid. As is always the case, it doesn’t look quite as sexy as the concept version (see below), however this is the US version, so let’s hope the model set for the UK has better styling details.

With design cues from the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car, Honda calls this the ‘affordable family hybrid’, as it will be priced lower than other petrol-electric hybrid competitors. It will make its world debut in January 2009, at the Detroit Motor Show. The five seat, five door Insight will go on sale in the UK in spring 2009.

Honda aims to sell 200,000 Insights globally, per year. The hatchback will be the first of a new family of Honda hybrids, followed by a production version of the CR-Z concept sportscar, and a Jazz hybrid.

The name Insight revives the name of the 1999 hybrid coupe – the first production hybrid car to be sold in Europe. The new Insight will be based on a completely new platform and will be smaller than the Honda Civic Hybrid.

The control unit and battery for the IMA system are mounted beneath the boot space to give the Insight both a low centre of gravity and the practicality of a conventionally-powered hatchback.

The concept, with its big shiny wheels, is shown below.