The blogosphere (www.GoodGreenCars.com included) has been abuzz this fall about two new hybrids: the third generation of the crazy popular Toyota Prius, and the resurrection of the pioneer Honda Insight. We’ve already talked about the “most important reveal,” according to humble Toyota execs, of the 2009 Detroit auto show, so now let’s turn to the potential giant-killer Insight.
First of all, if you take a look at the pictures of the new Honda Insight on the stand in Detroit, one thing stands out: it looks just like a Prius. Same short, sloped nose, same little wheels, same chunky back. Part of that is due to the aerodynamics necessary to get high fuel economy in a hybrid, but part of it is probably a little Prius piggy-backing, as well. In order to sell a lot of Insights, you have to aim for the familiar.
Honda hasn’t announced an official price for its hybrid, but it keeps saying it will be cheaper than the Prius. The new Prius doesn’t have an MSRP yet, either, but we can expect both of the cars to be somewhere slightly north of $20,000.
Interestingly, while Toyota couldn’t have tooted its own horn louder if it had brought a drum and bugle corps to Detroit, Honda didn’t schedule a press conference for its Insight. It left the car on the dais for the curious to find, with a cutaway car showcasing the Insight’s technology nearby. Humility won’t get anyone anywhere in the new automotive landscape, so if Honda wants to take on the mighty Prius, it had better step up is marketing game.