Feeds
75%
Honda Insight

Honda Insight five-door hybrid

Less pious than the Prius?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Urban economy is helped by a very efficient stop/start system, just keep your foot on the brake and the engine switches itself off. Take your foot off and the engine starts.

Honda Insight

A true family-sized five-door, five-seater

The Insight's CO2 emissions are rated at 105g/km, which is enough to get you into the VED Band B £15-a-year car tax bracket but is a higher emissions figure than the 104g/km that Volvo claims to get from its new DRIVe 1.6 turbo diesel C30 and V40 models. Register Hardware has driven both those cars and managed to get a very similar fuel consumption figure to the Insight's. Frankly, both felt faster and where rather more fun to drive. Unlike Honda, Volvo thinks car buyers after an eco-ride will put up with visually challenging low-drag wheel trims.

Of course, when it comes to CO2 the Prius goes one better and only pumps out 89g/km. That means Band A and no car tax.

Whereas Toyota's Synergy Drive system allows the Prius to operate in a low-speed EV or electric-only mode with the petrol engine wholly out of the equation, that's not a trick the Insight's Integrated Motor Assist system can pull off. This is down to the Insight having a simpler - and thus cheaper - drive train than the Prius.

While the Insight is capable of running on battery power alone, the transmission is still turning the engine over as it does so. While this is happening, the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system closes the cylinders so no fuel is being burnt but in terms of engine noise you don't notice the difference between low-speed driving using the petrol engine and low-speed driving using the electric motor. The upside of this is that the transition between petrol, electric and hybrid drive is totally seamless. The downside is that the engine is still imposing drag on the system and so draining the battery faster than is strictly necessary.

According to Honda, battery-only drive only occurs when you're cruising at below 50kpm (31mph). During our test, we only managed to obtain reliable and long-term battery motoring while stuck in a slow-moving tailback on the M6 and travelling at around 15mph. A shade under two miles was the best be managed before traffic speed picked up and the engine kicked in.

Honda Insight

There's a cubbyhole in the boot - but no spare wheel

On one rare occasion, we saw the dash indicate battery-only propulsion at a shade over 50mph, which shouldn't be possible. That may have had something to do with the fact that it was one of the odd instances on the open road when the battery was showing a 100 per cent charge, so presumably the system was looking for ways to use the charge effectively and not run the risk of having to 'waste' energy from the regenerative brake generators.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.