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New Honda Insight Prototype Marks Return Of Insight Hybrid

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New, 2019 Honda Insight Prototype

The Honda Insight hybrid is back but not as the car you expected.

After two attempts to take on the Toyota Prius, Honda has reinvented the Insight back as a stylish hybrid sedan positioned between the Civic and Accord, featuring styling that’s a mesh of the two. It’s no longer a funky-looking hatchback and, frankly, will upset far fewer people than the rather polarizing Prius.

The new Insight debuted as a prototype, but as is typical with all Honda prototypes, the production model will be virtually identical visually and mechanically. It is powered by the Japanese automaker’s two-motor hybrid system, which consists of a 1.5L gas engine and an electric motor backed by a lithium-ion battery pack, with both motors transitioning smoothly between each other in everyday use.

You might never need to stop at a gas station because the Insight will operate mainly as an electric vehicle, with its gas engine primarily serving as a generator for the car’s battery pack. However, should you, Honda is targeting a combined city/highway EPA rating of over 50 mpg — much better than the previous Insight, which barely managed to compete against the Prius.

Essentially the hybrid version of the Civic, the Insight will offer more room, comfort and on-board tech than its gasoline-powered counterpart, including a customizable 8-inch touchscreen display that allows users to create home screen shortcuts, a 7-inch LCD gauge cluster, and WiFi-enabled over-the-air system updates.

Honda hasn’t fared well with its dedicated hybrid vehicles, having recently put the poor-selling CR-Z hybrid sports car out of its misery. Add to that the added competition from Hyundai with the Ioniq and Kia with its Niro hybrid, and we don’t think the company risked skimping on its third attempt at the segment.

The production Honda Insight is scheduled to go on sale in 2018. Would you choose it over the latest Toyota Prius?

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Honda

Honda Resurrects Long-Dead Passport SUV For 2018

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New Honda Avancier SUV - China

Are you old enough to remember the Honda Passport? Having been dead for while, it’s now being resurrected.

The Passport dates back to the mid 1990s and was Honda’s first SUV long before the CR-V or Pilot became the household names they are. Production ended in 2002, but the Japanese automaker has reportedly revived the name for an all-new, five-passenger crossover that slots between the CR-V and Pilot, much like it did with the new Insight.

According to , the new Passport likely rides on a six-inch shorter version of the Pilot’s platform and seats only five passengers. Leaked patent photos suggest it will resemble the Honda Avancier sold in China (pictured), especially from the profile, featuring blunt proportions and a sloping roofline for a coupe-like look.

As a five-seater, the Passport competes with the likes of the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, as well as the upcoming Chevy Blazer, in a relatively uncluttered mid-size crossover segment.

It will make its world debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show before going on sale in early 2019, with production expected to take place alongside the Pilot, Ridgeline and Odyssey at Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama plant.

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Honda Reveals ‘3E’ Robots Called Empathy, Experience And Empower

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New Honda 3E Robots

It’s a little known fact that Honda makes more than just cars, with its expertise extending to motorcycles, aircraft, power equipment and robots. The Japanese automaker has now broadened its vision for robots.

At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, Honda unveiled a series of robotic concepts termed 3E — represents ‘Empower,’ ‘Experience’ and ‘Empathy’ — that serve public, workplace and consumer purposes and can operate autonomously.

The Empathy robot is a creepy-looking bugger called 3E-A18, and it’s optimized for supporting people in their daily lives, such as serving as a guide at airports or shopping malls. Honda says the 3E-A18’s soft-touch skin “invites people to touch or hug” it.

Second up is the 3E-C18 — the Experience robot. It can supposedly learn by observing peoples’ action and features a cart-like design optimized for carrying spaces, as well as a canopy combined with a compact-sized vehicle body base with a driving function.

Last but not least are the 3E-B18 and 3E-D18, the Empower robots. The former is a chair-type mobility concept designed to help support people with baggage carts or strollers, while the latter is an autonomous off-road vehicle with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities.

The robots utilize Honda’s Mobile Power Pack World concept, a swappable battery system with detachable power modules that can be charged using renewable energy and then placed into a robot or vehicle for power on the go.

Honda R&D chief Yoshiyuki Matsumoto stated:

“We have entered an era when robotics will become increasingly visible and essential in our everyday lives and have the ability to unlock human potential.”

While Honda hasn’t confirmed if any of the concepts will be produced, is there any particular one you want to see?

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Honda Working On Electric Cars That Can Recharge In 15 Minutes

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Honda Urban EV Concept

Other than revealing two retro styled concepts, one of which will enter production,
Honda has been pretty quiet about its future electric car plans. However, a new report claims the company is working on a new lineup of electric vehicles that will only require 15 minutes to recharge.

Most of today’s electric cars, be it a Chevrolet or a Tesla, take nearly twice as long to recharge using a DC Fast Charger.

According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Honda’s electric cars, which are expected to have a driving range of up to 150 miles (241 km), will have significantly reduced charging times thanks to a new high capacity battery that is being developed entirely in-house.

Even though fast charging times will definitely enhance the appeal of any electric car, the biggest hurdle is the inability of existing charging networks to provide such charging speeds. Fortunately, government officials in Europe, the United States, and Asia are working with the private sector to build thousands of high-capacity chargers before the next wave of electric cars hits the market, with Europe in particular expected to have 350 kW charging stations up and running by 2020.

Do you find an electric car that has a driving range of 150 miles and can recharge in 15 minutes competitive?

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