Insightful? Honda Insight Concept @ 2008 Paris Motor Show

CHECK OUT FULL PARIS MOTOR SHOW COVERAGE AT: TORRANCE, California — Honda on Thursday lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding its new Prius fighter, saying the compact five-door hatchback — christened the Insight — will make its debut on October 2 at the 2008 Paris Auto Show. Honda said the Insight, which will undercut the price of the Toyota Prius, will go on sale in the US next spring. The new Honda Insight is expected to be priced from under $20000 and is the first vehicle in Honda’s ambitious hybrid strategy. In comparison, the 2009 Toyota Prius starts at $22660, including a $660 destination charge. Honda plans to roll out four new gas-electric models over the next four years as part of a broad global strategy to boost hybrid sales to 500000 units by 2012 — which would represent more than 10 percent of its total worldwide annual automobile sales. “Following the launch of the new Insight, Honda also plans to introduce another unique sporty hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z, first shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show,” the automaker said in a statement. Also in the pipeline is a replacement for the current Civic Hybrid, which is due out in late 2010, and a new hybrid edition of the Honda Fit in 2012. The new Insight is a major leap from the original Insight, a cramped 70-mpg two-seater subcompact that was introduced in December 1999 as America’s first gas-electric hybrid car. Honda took pains in its Thursday announcement to describe the new Insight as

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