New Honda Insight Model Earns 57 MPG EPA City Rating With Advanced CVT Automatic Transmission

5/10/2001 4:33:00 PM

Just in time to help consumers fight back against rising gas prices, a new version of Honda's fuel efficient Insight gasoline-electric hybrid car is now arriving at dealerships nationwide equipped with an advanced continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.

With EPA fuel economy ratings of 57 mpg in the city, 56 mpg highway and a driving range of more than 500 miles, the Insight CVT is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in America with an automatic transmission. It is also the second most fuel-efficient vehicle overall - behind only the Insight equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission with EPA ratings of 61 mpg city and 68 mpg highway. The Insight CVT carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $21,180.

The Insight CVT also meets California's Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standard, the most stringent exhaust emissions standard in the world.

The CVT is completely automatic and provides virtually an infinite range of gear ratios for smooth and stepless shifting, combined with maximum efficiency and performance. These advantages make the CVT an ideal transmission for the high-mileage Insight hybrid.

The Insight CVT also has a unique "idle stop" feature, allowing consumers to avoid wasting gas while waiting at red lights or idling in traffic. The engine automatically re-starts when the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal.

The Insight features Honda's exclusive Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system that merges the world's lightest 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder gasoline automobile engine with a thin and lightweight electric motor for improved efficiency and added power when needed.

The electric motor also acts as a generator during deceleration and braking to recharge the IMA batteries. The Insight's battery pack never needs to be recharged by an external power source and, in fact, cannot be "plugged in."

The Insight has earned Four Star ratings in both frontal and side impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The two-seat Insight features a lightweight, rigid and aerodynamic body design. It is made primarily of aluminum and its 0.25 coefficient of drag is one of the lowest of any mass-produced automobiles in the world.

There is an extensive list of standard equipment on the Insight CVT, including anti-lock brakes, automatic air conditioning, electric power steering, dual air bags, AM/FM stereo cassette, power windows and mirrors, power door locks with keyless entry and an anti-theft immobilizer system.

The Insight has earned numerous awards since it was introduced in late 1999 as the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle sold in the U.S. The Sierra Club presented its first ever "Environmental Engineering Award" to the Insight and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recognized the Insight with its top rating for 2001.

Honda's CVT design was first introduced on the 1996 Civic HX and received significant improvements for the introduction of the all-new 2001 Civic HX and Civic GX natural gas vehicle, and the Insight CVT model.

Honda has also announced plans to introduce the IMA hybrid technology to a model in the Civic lineup beginning in spring 2002.