By Marc Lachapelle
They are set only a few metres apart, in the prime spots of Honda’s exhibit at the CIAS. Both vehicles tout their eco-friendliness and yet, a world separates them.
The blue 2010 Insight is a production model aimed at making gas-electric hybrids available to a wider range of buyers. It will be available to Canadian buyers next April.
The FC Sport concept, on the other hand, is as pie-in-the-sky as they come in the realm of automotive prospective, or fantasy. It’s a low-slung and radically-styled ‘design study’ for a three-passenger sports-performance car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell closely related to what Honda is using in its FCH Clarity sedan now in real-world testing phase. The FC’s driver sits in middle and there are seats on each side, set back slightly.
The Insight, on the other hand, has five seats, four doors and a hatch in the rear. It is powered by the latest version of Honda’s gas-electric, series-type hybrid powertrain that makes a 1.3-litre all-aluminum gasoline engine with variable valve timing and a 10-kilowatt (or 13 horsepower) electric motor work together, through a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with estimated city/highway fuel economy numbers of 4.8 and 4.5 L/100km.