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Clean & Green

Combining environmental performance and utility at the highest level

In designing the all-new Insight, we faced a challenge. Going beyond the pure aerodynamic and environmental performance of the original Insight, we needed to create a high-utility interior that makes hybrid technology accessible for enjoyable, everyday driving. To achieve this goal, we spent many hours discussing with the interior and packaging designers how to apply Honda technologies to achieve their full potential.

A low-air resistance design contributes to fuel economy and significantly impacts exterior styling. Aiming for just the right balance of elements, we took inspiration from several Honda vehicles of the past and present: the classic CR-X models of the 1980s; the current FCX Clarity, our environmental flagship; and the original Insight with its distinctive triangular taillights.

A new environmentally responsible vehicle for a new era

Based on the “aero athlete” exterior design concept we’d established, we aimed for a forceful, chiseled and aerodynamic look communicating both exceptional environmental performance and a fun driving experience.

The body style we created suggests a single motion from front to back. Although the dimensions of the Insight were to a great extent determined by the necessities of the subcompact segment, we didn’t want the body to appear too narrow, so we aimed for a broader, more muscular look.

Our challenge was to go beyond a design suggestive solely of environmental performance and equally convey the fun driving and other added value that the Insight has to offer.

One example of a detail we worked hard to achieve is the clean shoulder line running the length of the vehicle from the A pillar to rear door opening. Establishing the manufacturing process for this line was quite involved, and we were very gratified when a test molding at last was successful. We felt we’d achieved a truly new type of automobile design and were extremely excited by the results.

Designing packaging for aerodynamic performance

We designed the packaging of the new Insight to contribute to aerodynamic performance and fuel economy. Working with low vehicle and seat height as necessary design parameters, we established ample room for adults to sit comfortably in the front and rear seats, as well as generous cargo space.

In designing the packaging, we literally built from the ground up, first establishing the lowermost portion of the body. To attain the necessary low vehicle height while ensuring that the rear seats remained thick and comfortable, we designed an extremely slender fuel tank that lay beneath the rear seats. Then, after achieving our goal for ample headroom, we worked on the aerodynamic elements of the design. Polishing every detail for perfection, we fulfilled all of our technical goals while attaining the sporty styling that says “Honda.”

Colors that convey advanced environmental and driving performance

The word “hybrid” denotes the coming together of two unique elements to create added value. We saw an opportunity for the color design and materials of the all-new Insight to communicate this meaning as well.

First, avoiding the standard earth tones altogether, we created an exterior color lineup that conveys both the advanced environmental performance people expect of a hybrid and the fun, responsive driving that the Insight has to offer.

Then, exclusively for the Insight, we developed a slightly blue-toned white with iridescent pearl added for delicate, golden highlights. This clean, modern color helps convey not only the Insight’s exceptional fuel economy but also the full range of qualities that make it the new standard for the hybrid era.

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