Honda at the Geneva Motor Show

ASIMO, Honda’s advanced humanoid robot, will help launch the all new Insight Hybrid at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

The new Insight, which will makes its European debut at the Show, has been designed to offer a practical five-seat family car at an affordable price with excellent fuel economy and low CO2 and other emissions.

Honda’s latest hybrid vehicle revives the Insight nameplate which was first used in 1999. It also marks a return for Honda to producing hybrids in a dedicated aerodynamic body, designed to optimize the performance of the efficient petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain. The Insight combines an optimized 1.3 liter i-VTEC engine with a compact thin electric motor. The electric motor acts as a generator during deceleration, recovering energy that is otherwise lost as heat from the brakes. This energy is stored in the batteries and then used to support the combustion engine during acceleration to save fuel and increase efficiency.

The Insight has been designed to give good real world emission and fuel economy figures. Its key element is the Eco Assist system that is fitted as standard. The upper instrument cluster where the speedometer is sited, features a color changing ambient light that illuminates green when driving ecologically, blue/green when the car is being driven acceptably and blue when driving with less regard for economy.

The ambient lighting of the speedometer combines with a bar diagram which is more than a simple instantaneous economy meter. The display in the center of the rev counter shows how aggressively the driver is accelerating or braking and encourages the driver to stay towards the middle with lighter more progressive use of the brake and accelerator pedals. To chart progress, during each journey leaves will appear on the bare stems of the plant icons on the center meter if the driver is matching the ecological driving conditions ideal. The display also keeps the driver informed of their progress through the stages of ecological driving over the lifetime of the car.

At the end of each journey the driver is given a score which they can build up over time to chart progress. Over time the driver will be presented with trophy symbols for continued economical driving, or a wilting plant symbol if they regress into less efficient driving. The Insight has been designed to offer a practical family car at an affordable price with excellent fuel economy and low CO2 and other emissions.

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