The Indian government’s push for hybrid and electric vehicles is slowly starting to bear fruit as car makers are preparing for greener future. The FAME-II subsidy under the NEMMP 2020 (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan) attempts to make manufacturing and selling hybrid and electric vehicles viable for both companies and customers.
The third generation Honda Insight hybrid sedan has been spotted testing in India for the first time by automotive enthusiast Rickey Dalbehera. Surprisingly, the test mule is not wearing any camouflage, but has mounted the on-road emission testing rig that is jutting out of the boot.
The latest iteration of Honda Insight’s hybrid powertrain comprises 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle petrol engine and an electric motor (AC PMSM), both supported by an e-CVT. The combined power output of 151 hp sounds modest on paper but the sedan can accelerate from rest to ton in about 7.7 seconds, thanks to the instant torque from the electric motor. Electricity comes from a lithium-ion battery pack.
The hybrid sedan comes packed with several modern features including driver assistance systems such as Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition System, Auto Highbeam headlights, VSA, TC, ABS with EBD, TPMS and so on.
Exterior styling conforms to Honda’s latest design language with a low-slung front fascia characterized by bold chrome grille element and LED headlamps. The profile is sleek and the rear fascia adopts fastback style. Inside, the Honda Insight hybrid borrows several components from the Civic including the fully digital instrument console, switch gears, steering wheel, etc.
Not surprisingly, the Insight packs in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apply CarPlay, dual-zone automatic climate control system, LED ambient lighting, push button start, electric adjustment for driver seat, heated front seats and many more.
If launched, the Honda Insight hybrid will be positioned above the Civic to take on the likes of Toyota Camry and Skoda Superb. This segment has been diminishing rapidly in India in the recent times due to the rise of popularity of SUVs. Honda should keep the pricing at a very competitive level to gain some traction.
We asked Honda Cars India if they have plans to launch the Insight Hybrid, or the Jazz electric (which was spied some time back) in India. Here is their response, “There are no plans to launch the Honda Insight in India. We keep testing various models of different powertrains to collect data in different conditions with respect to traffic, weather, road infrastructure etc. We are committed to follow government’s direction to realize a future of low – carbon mobility that will reduce green house gas emissions and these studies are towards that endeavor.”