Thanks to the January 2009 issue of Honda’s official Belgian magazine, we won’t have to wait until the opening of the Detroit show this weekend to learn about the new Insight Hybrid’s technical specifications. Even though the magazine is in French, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make ends-meet. First of all, as anticipated, the Insight will use the same hybrid drivetrain as the Civic IMA Hybrid combining a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 88HP (IMA: 95 PS) at 5.800 rpm and 123Nm (90 lb.ft) of torque at 4.600 with an electric motor producing 13.6 HP and 103Nm (76 lb.ft) of torque.
The hybrid drivetrain is matted to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). As with the IMA, the Insight utilizes a set of batteries to store the energy that would otherwise be lost during braking. The energy is then used to power the electric motor. Honda claims that the Insight achieves a combined fuel consumption in the European test cycle of 4.4 liters per 100 km (53.5mpg US) with CO2 emissions of only 101 g/km.
Comparatively, the Civic Hybrid consumes on average 4.6 liters per 100 km (51.3mpg US) while the soon-to-be-replaced Prius III, 4.3 liters per 100km (54.7mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 104 g/km.
The spec sheet reveals that the Insight is slightly more compact than the current Toyota Prius measuring in at 4,395 mm in length, 1,695 mm in width and 1,425 mm in height (Prius: 4,450 mm x 1,725 mm x 1,490 mm).
The Belgian Insight and, most likely, all European market models, will be available in two trims, Comfort and Elegance. From what we were able to translate from the magazine, the base model’s standard equipment will include ABS, VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist), airbags, 15-inch wheels, automatic climate control and a radio-CD. Enhancing to the Elegance will add Bluetooth, a parking assist system, cruise control, fog lights, heated front seats and rain sensors.
For details of the North American market Insight, we’ll have to wait until January 11 when the Detroit Show opens its doors to the members of the press. Until then, enjoy the full image gallery of the Insight that has been updated with new photos.