Honda Insight Hybrid – Insight Passenger Vehicles
In 1999, the 2000 Honda Insight became the first hybrid car available in the U.S. Prior to its release, attempts at mass-producing environmentally friendly cars had productinsights.com focused on creating electric cars, as the hybrid technology of dual power systems was thought to be impractical. However, electric cars failed to meet the high expectations of consumers and so never made a break into the market.
Considered the most fuel efficient vehicle ever sold in America, this little two-seater gets nearly 70 miles per gallon.
Interest in the Insight was high in the first few years. As Honda and other manufacturers began to produce hybrid vehicles that looked more like standard vehicles (the Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Prius), the popularity of the Insight fell and in 2006, production was stopped completely.
What made the Insight different?
Being the first hybrid car on the American market made the Insight a novel product. It won many awards, ranging from the Sierra Club’s Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award to International Engine of the Year. The Insight combined hybrid technology with a design that was based on being as fuel efficient as possible.
The breakthrough teardrop design of the Insight’s body kept wind resistance to a minimum and the undercarriage was laid out in a way to keep the area as smooth as possible, further increasing the car’s aerodynamic properties.
The body was made of aluminum alloy, making it much 47% lighter than a standard vehicle. Despite aluminum’s light weight, this car was still extremely safe. In a crash, the front and back ends of the car were designed to absorb the impact and crumple, while the passenger area stayed rigid. The 2006 Insight received a four-star safety rating in front, side and roll-over crashes.
Unique tires were also created for the Insight to keep resistance to a minimum. However, since the car is no longer in production, some Insight owners are finding these tires and other replacement parts more difficult to come by.