As with every other design element of the new Insight, we sought to create an interior that conveys advanced, futuristic hybrid technology and fun driving. In keeping with the Insight’s exceptional environmental performance, we chose to avoid extravagance in the interior’s appearance, instead devoting development resources to enhancing the driver’s experience. Avoiding extra cost while creating a light and extremely pleasant interior, we were able to hold down vehicle cost and put the Insight in reach of more customers.
From the beginning of development, therefore, our interior design process was driver-oriented. For example, instead of creating an instrument panel that draws the attention of passengers, we concentrated the controls directly around the driver. Elsewhere, the interior conveys fun and simplicity.
We gave the grille of the all-new Insight two colors for an extra dash of style. Also, the seat covers include two different materials for an additional sense of texture.
Since one key message with the Insight is “Hybrid for Everyone,” we strove to make it affordable but highly visually appealing at the same time, and color was an important tool for us in achieving this goal. Throughout the development process, we were reminded of the importance of color.
At first we thought that the grille would not need any color beyond the color of the material itself, but someone pointed out that this gave the Insight the appearance of a plain vehicle suitable for business use. We then tried making the entire grille a gun metal color, but when we took a prototype to the United States, we realized that the grille could appear much too bright depending on the angle from which it was viewed.
We further experimented with clay models, trying varying brightness levels. The resulting two-tone grille adds to the Insight’s advanced look without adding significantly to its cost.
An affordable, environmentally responsible hybrid vehicle needn’t look low-cost. In designing the Insight, however, attaining the right balance between cost-effective and attractive at times presented a challenge. Lighting was one area in which we cost-effectively enhanced the appearance of the all-new Insight.
The design of both the front and the rear of an automobile are especially important, since they are the most recognizable parts and instantly communicate the value of the vehicle. We selected slim-profile headlights and LED brake lights with their distinctive glow to enhance the Insight’s advanced styling and further emphasize swift, forward motion.
We worked hard with our electrical parts team to come up with headlights and brake lights that would put the right accent on the Insight’s design and performance, and we feel our efforts paid off in the form of exciting and original design details.