Honda is making history today - the very first day when a hybrid car goes on sale in Britain. The all-new Honda Insight coupe, represents a technical milestone, the beginning of a new era for UK motoring and shows how clever & clean cars of the 21st Century will be…

The Insight is called a hybrid because it is powered by a petrol engine and a 10 kW electric motor / generator mounted between the 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, VTEC petrol engine and the 5-speed manual transmission. During acceleration the electric motor assists the petrol engine, increasing performance to the level of a 1.5-litre unit. During deceleration, the electric motor acts as a generator recharging the 144-volt power pack mounted between the rear wheels. So, Insight owners will never have to 'plug-in', as this car does not require an outside source of electric power.

The Honda combines a lively sporty performance - acceleration from 0-to-62 mph in 12 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph - with ultra-low emissions and fuel consumption. The car produces just 80 g/km of CO2, and CO, HC and NOx are way below future European Union limits. In the Government fuel economy tests, the Insight has achieved over 94 mpg running on unleaded petrol.

The normal on-the-road price for Honda's Insight is £17,000. However, the first 200 cars sold in the UK are eligible for funding by the Powershift demonstration project scheme which reduces the cost by £1,000 to £16,000.