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Honda Confirms Prius Fighter, Two-Door Hybrid and Fit Hybrid

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2007 Honda CR-Z Concept

2007 Honda CR-Z Concept

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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."
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Comments (4)
  1. I drove a 2000 Insight hybrid for 5 years and averaged 56 mpg - very much appreciate the excellent technology. Go Honda! - Eric Metzler in Enfield, Maine
     
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  2. Hi,
    Just curious if some expert could explain the theoratical difference of the Volt approach vs. the Prius approach in terms of overall efficiency (how much of the energy stored in the fuel is actually used?)
    I.e. if I run a Volt for more than the plug in range milage, and the combustion engine starts to load the batteries, what kind of milage can I expect, compared to a prius.
    I understood that if you run a engine just as a power generator for electricity you can tune it to run at maximum efficiency at that rpm etc. Also how much energy is recovered from braking, and how much more room is there in that area?
    Would make an interesting technical article I gues..
     
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  3. "Just curious if some expert could explain the theoratical difference of the Volt approach vs. the Prius approach in terms of overall efficiency (how much of the energy stored in the fuel is actually used?)"
    They are quite different. The prius has NO plug-in version you can buy, and if you convert it to plug-in, it will void your warranty. The prius is just a regular hybrid-electric that runs on GAS only. The battery is recharged by the ENGINE which runs on gas.
    The VOlt is not on sale now, and will not be cheap when it goes on sale (GM estimates $40k and asks the taxpayers to give it a $7k credit per unit!) but it is supposed to be a PLUG IN Hybrid that can run on Electricity and has a range of 40 miles or so under electricity alone, before it runs out of juice and the engine (which obviously runs on gas) kicks in.
     
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  4. "I drove a 2000 Insight hybrid for 5 years and averaged 56 mpg - very much appreciate the excellent technology. Go Honda! "
    And if it was a manual, and you drove it in a warmer state like FL, you'd get close to the advertised 61 city, 70 highway.
    I knew John Johnson, a Honda and Hybrid Fan who bought the first (manual) Insight in MI, he kept a blog and had a webpage "Insightman.com". I drove the car myself when he dropped by my office one day and gave me the keys. I drove it slowly but could not get it to go above 66 MPG.
    The Insight is still a great commuter car, buf few of them were made and sold in the US, so you will only find a handful on sale at cars'com nation-wide.
    It looked different than any other Honda, an important necessary condition for a successful hybrid, like the Prius.
    But its drawback was not only that it was a strict two seater, but also that it had a very low weight limit of 365 lbs or so, which made it prohibitive for a typical male-female couple to travel with their stuff in the ample (volume-wise) back of the insight.
    Honda will correct the above with a fuel-efficient Fit-sized 4 or 5 seater Hybrid in the near future.
     
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