Looking like a cross between the FCX Clarity fuel cell car and the Toyota Prius, Honda's upcoming dedicated hybrid model should come in at a cost a bit lower than current hybrid models. Part of that lower price is due to the fact that Honda has literally cut the cost of its Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology in half when compared to the system currently being used in the Civic Hybrid. Apparently, Honda's engineers have managed to simplify the IMA's complicated mechanicals, making it smaller and easier to package in the process.
All of these detail changes add up to a new hybrid contender with an expected base price of just $18,580. Honda so far has had notably less success with its hybrids than rival Toyota, but much of that can be attributed to the fact that the original Insight could seat only two people and the Civic and Accord hybrid models differed too little from their non-hybrid siblings. All of these issues are being resolved with its newest hybrid, which has us awfully excited about the as-yet unnamed (we vote for Insight) Prius-fighter.
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