Honda has taken the unique approach of using a four year old Honda Insight to demonstrate the effectiveness of its IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) petrol electric engine technology.
So successful was Honda (UK)’s appeal to find Britain’s highest mileage Honda Insight, that several well used examples were found. And true to its word, the company was happy to provide Matt Partridge, owner of the highest mileage example, with a brand new replacement.
Now, in an unprecedented move, Honda has requisitioned the 100,000 mile motor for use on its press fleet. The four year old Insight will be used to demonstrate not only how effective IMA is in terms of drivability and fuel efficiency, but also how durable it is.
Of course the company could have cheated by restoring the four year old car to ‘as new’ condition, replacing all the parts subject to wear. But that wasn’t necessary: the car, complete with its full Honda dealer service history, looks and drives pretty much like a new model. Journalists will be able to drive the Oxygen Blue Insight exactly as the car is, with its original engine, gearbox, clutch, battery and IMA components. The only maintenance deemed necessary has been to replace the brake friction materials and tyres - and to give the car a thorough clean.
Honda remains the only manufacturer with two petrol electric vehicles and in the future another IMA vehicle - styled for the European market - will emerge.
It has good reason to be committed to IMA. The petrol electric market has risen by nearly 700% since 2000.
To read our in depth road test of the Honda Civic IMA [ click here ]Published 4 November 2004