Honda's taking aim on the Toyota Prius, as it confirms plans for not just a single new hybrid model--but three new hybrids for the coming model years.
Last year at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda revealed that it would offer a new hybrid vehicle for production in early 2009. Today, Honda confirms that the new vehicle will be a five-door, five-passenger hybrid vehicle with a shape along the lines of the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle. A name for the new vehicle and production details aren't available yet from Honda, which promises more on that car later this year. Honda expects to sell 200,000 copies of the new vehicle worldwide each year--with 100,000 of them headed to the U.S., where Toyota's Prius is selling nearly 150,000 units a year.
As for the other hybrids, Honda confirms that a new sporty car based on the CR-Z concept (shown here) is also headed for production. Honda also says it's set to produce a Fit Hybrid. Combined, including the Honda Civic Hybrid, the company will build four hybrids with a total volume worldwide of 500,000 units.
Honda also says that a new version of its IMA hybrid system will make its vehicles more efficient and inexpensive to produce.
"Honda has been at the forefront of hybrid development since it first introduced the American public to hybrid technology with the Insight in 1999," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "These new advancements in Honda's technology and production systems will result in cost reductions that will allow us to make hybrid technology available to a whole new generation of buyers."