JIMS 2011: HONDA INSIGHT

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Affordable hybrid a SA first

The Honda Insight is one of three hybrid cars sold by Honda in South Africa. The five-door family hatchback is powered by Honda’s innovative IMA drivetrain – an efficient hybrid powertrain that combines a frugal, efficient petrol engine with a compact, lightweight electric assistance motor.

The combination allows good all-round performance while delivering excellent fuel economy and low CO2 exhaust emissions. At the same time, the Insight’s sleek, aerodynamic hatchback offers spacious, versatile and practical accommodation, with flexible seating and an exceptional luggage compartment with 400 litres of cargo space.

While the Insight was conceived to make the benefits of hybrid technology more accessible, with affordability and practicality as key attributes, it is comprehensively equipped, with a long list of standard comfort, convenience and safety features.

High-tech hybrid drivetrain

The Insight is being offered in a single, high-specification derivative, powered by Honda’s established 1,3-litre i-VTEC engine with IMA (Integrated Motor Assist). The 1 339 cc four-cylinder unit has a power output of 65 kW at 5 800 r/min, with a torque peak of 121 Nm at 4 500 r/min.

The IMA electric motor is a slim and compact unit that is mounted between the engine and the Insight’s Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox. It has a maximum output of 10,3 kW at 1 500 r/min, together with 78,4 Nm  of torque at
1 000 r/min.

Combined, the petrol engine and electric motor deliver 73 kW at 5 800 r/min and
167 Nm between 1 000 and 1 500 r/min – figures that are comparable with a larger petrol engine, while achieving exceptional efficiency, with very low fuel consumption and emissions.

As a result, the Insight accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 12,5 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 182 km/h. Fuel consumption is just 4,6 litres/100 km in the combined cycle, and – astonishingly – needs only 4,7 l/100 km in urban driving environments. Equally impressive is the CO2 emissions rating of only 108 g/km.