The Honda Insight is being used as a test-bed to test the brand’s hybrid technology which be featured in the next-gen City and eventually more Honda cars.
The Honda Insight is a hybrid sedan – essentially a rival to the Toyota Prius – that Honda reintroduced in the international markets after a gap of four years. Now, a test mule of the same has been spotted testing in India. While the car was seen wearing no camouflage, it was wearing some emissions testing equipment.
Although Honda has no plans of launching this car in India, they could be using this car as a test bed for their hybrid technology. Honda is expected to introduce their hybrid technology in more cars including the next-gen City than just the Accord its currently available in.
Honda global CEO Takahiro Hachigo has stated that hybrid technology was the most viable way forward to meet the upcoming CAFE norms. When Honda launched the CR-V back in 2018, Gaku Nakanishi, President and CEO, Honda Cars India Ltd, had said that the company is looking to launch a more affordable and volume driven hybrid in the next three years, thus ruling out the possibility of a CR-V hybrid or an Accord hybrid.
As for the insight, it uses a 1.5-liter petrol engine featuring an Atkinson cycle combustion cycle. The engine is mated to an electric motor which in turn drives the wheels. Even the next-gen Jazz that was showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show featured some electrification. Honda however hasn’t revealed any details of the hybrid technology other than the fact that it uses a dual-motor setup.
We are guessing that the Insight is being used to test the hybird technology that would be featured in the next-gen City. The next-gen City is expected to arrive sometime next year and it will be more premium and up-market than the current model. It will borrow styling cues from newer Honda’s such as the Accord facelift on sale in international markets or the second-gen Amaze. Aside from a hybrid iteration, the next-gen City is also expected to come with a standard petrol and diesel engine, with both expected to get automatic gearbox options.