Honda Insight hybrid now available for NZ market

Honda Insight hybrid now available for NZ market

The introduction of the 2011 Honda Insight to New Zealand is offering kiwis an alternative hybrid vehicle to the Prius and offers Honda badge fans a hatch with some advanced features.

The Insight is powered by a dual power plant unit that features some of Honda’a most advanced environmental technology.  Its engine features not only a 2-stage i-VTEC system that gives Variable Cylinder Management, but also a dual spark ignition system. This, is mated to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) to provide a total output of 72Kw and 167Nm of torque.

This should make for capable performance and strong fuel economy.  The IMA system includes Auto-Stop and regeneration charging of the electric storage battery. Regeneration recaptures energy that would otherwise be lost in braking or deceleration and returns power back to the car.

This IMA technology means that the Insight costs 40% less to run than the average equivalent sized hatchback based on official figures.  To prove it’s ability the Insight was entered into the 2010 AA Energy Wise Rally and won the Supreme Award as New Zealand’s most cost efficient car to run. The winning drivers achieved 4.6l/100kms over 1763kms (NZ$147.83) which matches its catalogued ADR fuel economy figure.

For those more interested in features the Insight comes with CD integrated audio, a USB connection allowing memory stick, MP3 or iPod control through the audio system, and an AUX input.  Steering-wheel mounted paddle-sportshifters are standard, converting the CVT Auto into a 7-speed manual and there’s cruise control.  There’s also a computer that provides a variety of options and info on how the IMA system is integrating the petrol and electric motors.

And owners can take their own toys with them in the 400 litres of boot space when the seats are up (expanding to 584 litres floor to window line when the seats are down). Awarded a 5 Star EuroNCAP safety rating during testing in its international launch year in late 2009.

The Insight includes Honda’s unique Advanced Compatibility Engineering body passenger protection cell structure for G-Force control in a collision situation to protect passengers in real world situations.  Also standard on the Insight range is front, side and curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Control (Honda’s VSA), Emergency Brake Assist, ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution.

“The Insight proves people can have a stylish and everyday easy-to-use hatch that delivers exceptional value and efficiency to owners without a high price premium. The Insight is the first affordable hybrid available that gives back to its owners without requiring a large change in its owners’ lives” said Graeme Seymour, Honda’s Managing Director.  “This Insight is truly a hatchback with benefits.”

Insight is on sale now from $35,600 and includes sport and leather model options.

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