Honda fans know the automaker's so-called prototypes are little more than thinly veiled production cars — like this one for the Civic hatchback or this one from its Acura division for the TLX. So it goes with the Insight, a hybrid hatchback set for resurrection after it graced U.S. showrooms for two intermittent generations (1999-2006 and 2010-2014). Today, Honda promised a third generation for 2019, set to debut in the coming weeks at Detroit's 2018 North American International Auto Show.
Related: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: Quick Drive
Honda posted a profile teaser and two interior images this morning, describing the Insight as a "five-passenger sedan." It appears to borrow much of its profile from the Civic, with similar fender-hugging cut lines and a short trunk lid that blends into the C-pillar. Apparent images of the interior showed a layered dashboard and hovering touchscreen with Accord-like physical controls, plus the push-button shifter we're not wild about.
But those images disappeared from the automaker's media site this morning. A Honda spokesperson confirmed the automaker pulled the interior images because they were "not supposed to be there," so you'll have to await the Detroit show — or later — to see them.
The Insight carries the latest version of Honda's two-motor hybrid system, but the automaker claims "best-in-class performance" — something the last Insight fell decidedly short of. Indeed, Honda now promises the Insight's appeal will extend beyond green-car advocates. It joins a lineup of hybrids and plug-in cars that include the Clarity and forthcoming Accord Hybrid, but Honda calls its latest fuel sipper an "upscale" sedan that will slot above the Civic when it hits dealers in summer 2018.
Stay tuned for our up-close impressions on the Insight as we report straight from the floor of the Detroit auto show starting Jan. 15.
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