Officially Official: As the Malaysian government extended tax exemption for hybrid vehicles in its Budget 2011 announcement to December 2011, the news has since kept the market anticipating. Honda Malaysia timely announced that the Company would bring in the second generation of the Honda Insight onto Malaysian shores next month.
Introduced in 1999 as America’s first mass-produced Hybrid vehicle Honda Insight is designed to provide hybrid customers with a new level of affordability, fun-to-drive performance and day-to-day practicality that is stylishly appealing.
As the pioneer in introducing hybrid technology in Malaysia, Honda Malaysia is indeed excited to be able to introduce Insight to the local market in such a timely manner. With both import and excise duty fully slashed until next year-end, this affordable yet stylish hybrid will surely have a positive impact on the Malaysian society and its environment, said En. Rohime Shafie, President and Chief Operating Officer of Honda Malaysia.
He added that, The introduction of Insight, we foresee, will make an attractive package to environmentally conscious customers, whose intention was dented by the premium hybrid cost. With the introduction of Insight, an advanced yet affordable green technology, one could adopt a more eco friendly lifestyle effortlessly.
Under the hood, Insight is powered by an improved 1.3-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine that improves combustion and fuel efficiency with high torque. Along with a new generation of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, the overall engine performance caters for exceptional fuel economy and fun-to-drive performance.
Offering low-emission and superb fuel efficiency with Honda’s IMA system, Insight aptly appeals to a whole new target market who had not considered hybrid vehicles before, due to cost. The Insight’s IMA system incorporates a 10-kilowatt (13 hp) electric motor and a compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) that recaptures and stores kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration, and supplies additional power for acceleration when needed.
The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) has been further enhanced to provide a smoother drive with high torque for rapid performance, a fluid uphill drive, better engine braking and quieter ride.
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To further guide owners to realize the full benefits of Insight, it features a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy assist technology called the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist).
Eco Assist combines multiple functions:
– a driver-activated ECON mode (stands for Effective Control) that optimizes control of the CVT, engine and related powertrain components to further improve vehicle fuel efficiency;
– a driver feedback function that uses an innovative speedometer display with changing background colors to provide real-time guidance to the driver on achieving higher fuel efficiency; and
– a unique fuel-economy scoring function using a plant-leaf graphic to provide feedback to the driver on current-trip driving efficiency and lifetime fuel-efficient driving performance.
Together with the ECON switch, drivers can now be more informed of their driving behaviour, which would in turn help achieve better fuel economy while minimise harmful exhaust emission.
The chiselled aerodynamic shape of the Insight exudes a sense of athletic performance that was inspired by a design concept called Aero Athlete. The sharp wedge shaped body that ends with an aero tail sparks off an athletic motion that is both exciting and functional. The overall athletic feel is further enhanced by muscular yet elegant bodylines that flex a well-defined dynamic tension.
The Insight designer is fully aware of the practicality that is expected of Honda. Within the interior, Insight reflects a union of fun and functional emotion with features that are made for everyday convenience. The cockpit view dashboard is designed for an advanced and futuristic appearance.
For maximum cargo space, the IPU has been made 19% more compact with 28% lighter in size. And by relocating the smaller, more compact IPU under the floor of the cargo area means that there is 400-litre of trunk space that could accommodate up to 3 golf bags. The 60:40 split backseat can be folded down flat and give a 584-liter flat cargo load area.
The All-New Insight has obtained a 6-star JNCAP safety rating for driver and 5-star JNCAP safety rating for passengers. . It is embedded with dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD); driver and front-passenger active head restraints and a front body designed to mitigate pedestrian injuries. The Insight also features Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which provides improved crash compatibility between vehicles of different size and ride height, enhancing protection for Insight occupants while reducing the potential for injury to occupants of the opposing vehicle in a frontal collision.
Due to meet the market in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show on December 2, Insight would surely make an impression as an eco friendly vehicle that is affordable, stylish and fun to drive. This entry-level hybrid ride is set to open up the hybrid market to a new set of customers.
Photo Gallery: 2010 Honda Insight UK[nggallery id=181]