The midsized 2010 Honda Insight is named after Honda's original, now-retired 2-seater, which broke the 70 mpg barrier in 1999. So what's the big deal about the new Insight? Price and fuel economy: If rumors turn out to be true, the sticker for a well-equipped model will be around $19,000, and MPG could be as high as 71.
And then there's the design factor: While the new Insight's Prius-like, cheese-wedge shape is dictated by squeezing a big battery, trunk space, and 4.5 adults into sheet metal that won't clog a wind tunnel, we're encouraged by the wheels on the concept car. One of the dead giveaways of any econo-box are the tiny, low-rolling-resistance go-kart rims; but the Insight appears to sport the high-profile rubber of a performance car. An illustrator's embellishment or the real deal? We'll know for sure on October 2, when the Insight will officially be unveiled at the Paris International Auto Show.
David A. Greene
Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.