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ASIMO Introduces the New Honda Insight Hybrid to Europe at the Geneva Motor Show
February 5, 2009 - ASIMO, Honda's advanced humanoid robot, will help launch the all new Insight Hybrid at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
The new Insight, which will makes its European debut at the Show, has been designed to offer a practical five-seat family car at an affordable price with excellent fuel economy and low CO2 and other emissions.
Honda's latest hybrid vehicle revives the Insight nameplate which was first used in 1999. It also marks a return for Honda to producing hybrids in a dedicated aerodynamic body, designed to optimize the performance of the efficient petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain.
The Insight combines an optimised 1.3 liter i-VTEC engine with a compact thin electric motor. This electric motor gives the engine assistance when increased performance is required and acts as a generator during deceleration and braking. It also allows electric only operation in some slow and medium speed conditions.
The Insight has been designed to give good real world emission and fuel economy figures. Its key element is the Eco Assist system that is fitted as standard. The upper instrument cluster where the speedometer is sited, features a color changing ambient light that illuminates green when driving ecologically, blue/green when the car is being driven acceptably and blue when driving with less regard for economy.
The ambient lighting of the speedometer combines with a bar diagram which is more than a simple instantaneous economy meter. The display in the center of the rev counter shows how aggressively the driver is accelerating or braking and encourages the driver to stay towards the middle with lighter more progressive use of the brake and accelerator pedals.
To chart progress, during each journey leaves will appear on the bare stems of the plant icons on the center meter if the driver is matching the ecological driving conditions ideal. Should their driving go outside of these parameters for a length of time then the plants will wilt. At the end of each journey the driver is given a score which they can build up over time and gradually they will be rewarded with trophy symbols for continued good driving.
The Insight has been designed to offer a practical family car at an affordable price with excellent fuel economy and low CO2 and other emissions. The Insight gives seating for five and a boot capacity of 408 liters with the seats up. The repackaging of the IPU and batteries means the Insight has seats which fold almost flat, increasing the boot capacity to 1017 liters*.
The practical interior is complimented by an attractively styled and aerodynamically profiled body, which helps the Insight to achieve 101 g/km CO2 emissions and 4.4l/100km fuel consumption under the EU combined test procedures.
The Insight will go on sale in Europe from the end of March 2009 and pricing information will be announced at the time of the Geneva Motor Show.
The new ASIMO
The host of the Honda stand will be the world's most advanced humanoid robot, the new ASIMO. This ASIMO robot is the latest in a long line of robots from Honda which began with the E0 robot in 1986. It will be helping to demonstrate the Insight's abilities. ASIMO has evolved over the years to enable it to run, recognize people and objects, climb stairs and even carry and deliver drinks.
ASIMO has become a symbol for Honda's advanced non-automotive research and is the culmination of more than 20-years of continuous development. Honda's dream is that one day ASIMO will become so advanced that it can truly help people.
At Geneva ASIMO will interact with a human host showing the versatility of the new Insight. ASIMO has proved to be hugely popular with crowds across the globe and has appeared at motor shows, science exhibitions and even at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
180 PS i-DTEC Engine for Accord Sedan and Tourer
Alongside the Insight and ASIMO will be the introduction of the new 180PS derivative of the acclaimed Honda i-DTEC diesel engine. This new higher-power variant produces 180 PS at 4000 rpm, a 30 PS increase over the standard i-DTEC engine with the peak power coming at the same rpm. Torque has also increased 30 Nm to 380 Nm at 2000 rpm.
The enhanced engine will be fitted to the Accord in a new Type-S variant. As well as the significant increase in power this new model will gain new lower bumper sections, front chin spoiler, sill extensions, smoke chrome finished grille. Complimenting this suite of cosmetic changes will be clear indicator covers to further distinguish the new Type-S model. In addition, this model will be equipped with a new design of 18" alloy wheels, giving the Type-S a more sporting stance.
The new engine retains its 2.2 liter capacity and gains its additional power with a revised turbo-charger, cylinder head and larger intercooler. Performance, fuel economy and emissions data will be available once homologation is completed.
S2000 Ultimate Edition
The final model of the Honda S2000 range; the Ultimate Edition will go on sale from March 2009 in Europe. This limited edition has been produced to mark the end of production for the award winning sports car.
The Ultimate Edition retains its highly acclaimed 2.0 liter 9000 rpm VTEC engine and combines it with a Grand Prix White body and graphite colored alloy wheels. The shade of the paint evokes the colour first used on Honda's 1964 F1 car and many sporting models since. The exterior colour combination with the dark metal alloy wheels and unique black S2000 badging gives a fresh look to the timeless shape of the roadster body.
The white exterior will be matched with a red leather interior and complimented by unique red coloring for stitching on the gear lever gaiter. Ultimate Editions will be marked out by their unique numbered plaques on the kickplates, denoting their position in the series.
As the name suggests, the Honda S2000 Ultimate Edition will be the last version before global production of the model ceases altogether at the end of June 2009.
FCX Clarity and CR-Z Concept
Joining the new models at Geneva will be the CR-Z Hybrids Sports Concept that gives an impression of the model that will join the Insight and Civic in the Honda line-up of compact hybrids. The production model, which will be based on this sporty 2+2, will offer something completely new to the hybrid market when it goes on sale in the future.
Alongside the CR-Z, will be Honda's production fuel cell car the FCX Clarity, now in the hands of customers in the US, including Hollywood Film Producer Ron Yerxa and actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
Honda will not be holding a press conference on the press day of the show, instead the new ASIMO will introduce the new Insight to the public and media during the duration of the Swiss show.
*To the roof and without temporary tyre.