Hybrid War: Honda vs Toyota

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Business Week
Given the parlous state of the auto industry, the rivalry between Honda's new Insight and Toyota's third-generation Prius is proving to be an
enjoyable diversion. Committed to increasing sales of gas-electric models, the companies are launching hybrid cars in quick succession-and neither one is skimping when it comes to generating hype...
Continued: http://tinyurl.com/HybridWar
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Hope their TOTAL Life CO2 will be less than a Jeep with the new model

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From what I've read and seen about the Insight, they seem to be going for a Prius exterior look, but it employs the same mild hybrid IMA set- up Honda used on the Civic, which left me totally unimpressed.
Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]) says...

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Actually, it is going for a HCX /Insight 1/FCX Clarity look, the Prius copied Honda, not the other way.
says...

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@hotmail.com) says...

Prius, and the Clarity concept car wasn't unveiled until long after the NHW20 Prius.
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yeah, the original insight reminds me of the pedal powered speed record competitors with its ultraaerodynamics. the new one is more of a junior civic hybrid.
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The original 2-seater Insight had that same look, and it predated the Prius.
--
It's now time for healing, and for fixing the damage the GOP did to America.

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Michelle Steiner ( snipped-for-privacy@michelle.org) says...

I guess you and I have very different ideas of what constitutes looking 'alike'. I've seen the Insight in a showroom, I've seen photos, and there's one I often see on my drive to work. It has never occurred to me that it looks anything like a Prius. Or the new Insight.
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Absolutely agreed.
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wrote:

The original Insight looked, to me, nothing like the '04 Prius or the new Insight.
Cathy

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Cathy F. wrote:

As I recall, that general aerodynamic shape is called the KAMM BACK. Audi A2, Insight (both), Prius -- all are in that family, along with many competition cars. Perhaps the horrific Pontiac Aztec, as well.
Ike
...hoping that Obama succeeds, but planning for an abysmal failure
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wrote:

The back/tail end, AFAIK, is what constitutes the Kamm back. Not the entire general shape.
Cathy

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Cathy F. wrote:

Well, no. There's a mathematical description of the shape, in which the butt truncation occurs where its cross-sectional area is equal to a specific percentage of the maximum cross section of the vehicle (about half, I think). It's the gestalt - the whole car.
Ike
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wrote:

You know what...? Whichever it is technically, I do not think the original Insight resembled the new one, nor the Prius (which the new Insight does resemble - shape-wise). And... why would Honda even *want* the new Insight to resemble the old one, considering how that one fared? They need a fresh new start with this version, which I think they're getting.
Cathy

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Right.
Their goal is to create a less expensive alternative. They're balancing a good purchase cost with good, but not phenomenal, fuel economy.
Oh--and they're catering to the trendy who have to show off with a hybrid-exclusive body style.
Prius is $3K more expensive, and for that you get better fuel economy and more available options.
I think Toyota is going to come in with a Yaris that's smaller and cheaper than the Honda, which means they'll bracket the Honda when all is said and done.
Competition is great.
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Does anyone who does not have a private jet at their beck and call actually drive these the most ungreen of green cars?
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I've just driven the new Insight. As an owner of the current-edition Prius since its release in October 2003, my opinion of the Honda entry is of course mostly shaped by my Prius experience. I've also driven the Accord and Civic hybrids, though. Nice cars, but seem to be playing catch-up. They all run much like a series hybrid rather than the remarkable Toyota parallel system.
Few will drive Insight and Prius and choose the Honda, as it's simply less of a car. When the new Prius reaches the market, the difference will grow.
Ike
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Yeah, Ike, I guess it is a matter of perspective. I have an HCHII, the reasons I bought it are many, first I did not want to tell the world "look at me I have a hybrid" it is more like a car not a video game with an overall better look and feel. I have driven the Prius 1,000 miles in 4 days, not fun...less headroom, seating position too upright, I HATE the video game screen, I HATE the a/c controls, the bar across the back, the seating position is too high & too upright, less headroom odd console, cup holder, pushbutton start, shift knobbie on the dash to bang my knee on the list goes on and on, yes I know it has more interior room than the Civic but in the cargo area, not in the passenger area where it counts....so, while my Civic may not be a Prius, I am thankful for that every day, yeah, I get 1 less mpg than my friend with a prius but, who cares, at least I have a car I am comfortable in and does not have a top heavy skitterish ride. I does look like the 2010 prius has fixed most of my issues, I am sure the seating position has not been fixed because for me Toyotas (generally)have the most uncomfortable seats on the market and I see the bar across the back is there too (a major fault on the insight too, sadly).

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250 miles a day??? Where's the stress in THAT?
The Prius is a very comfortable car, even for 1000 miles in one day.

I don't even see it anymore. I agree--it was way too much "look at me! I'm different!"

??? Little button on the wheel--it goes up, it goes down, the temperature goes accordingly.
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Everyone will evaluate the features and size against the price for each vehicle, and will make his own choice.
Not everyone wants or can afford the Prius. While they might have otherwise bought a Corolla, now that the Honda is out many will go that route.
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