Honda engineers have pulled out all the stops to make the two-seat Insight the mass-production car with the world's best fuel economy.
Equipped with a manual transmission, the Insight can get 82 mpg in Japan's '10-15' test of mostly city plus some highway driving. The figures are not directly comparable to U.S. or European mileage standards. However, Honda said the Insight gets 113 mpg when cruising at a steady 37 mph.
Sales will start late this year in the United States, Europe and Asia. Honda expects to sell 4,000 to 5,000 Insights a year in the United States. The U.S. market will receive only the manual transmission model for the first two years.
With its ultra-light aluminum body and plastic body panels, the Insight weighs just 1,804 pounds. It has what Honda calls a world-leading drag coefficient of 0.25.
The compact 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine produces 70 hp at 5,700 rpm. The Insight draws on its 44-pound nickel-metal hydride battery pack only when extra power is needed for acceleration.
The car is 155.1 inches long, 66.7 inches wide and 53.3 inches tall. It rides on a 94.5-inch wheelbase.
Options include a $2,000 navigation system with four speakers, and a $136 rear wiper. Accessories such as a car cover, seat covers, and a luggage cover are made from recycled plastic bottles.