Honda at the Paris motor show 2008Thu, 02 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0700
By James Foxall
02 October 2008 10:35
Honda’s Paris stand was largely devoted to clean and affordable motoring. There was the latest Jazz and a new six-speed gearbox. But the real excitement was reserved for the new second-generation Insight, whose low price Honda believes will lure a whole new raft of buyers to hybrid motoring.
This bears about as much relation to the wild-looking Insight coupe of old as the Jazz does. But the firm says it will be ‘significantly cheaper’ than any other petrol-electric hybrid on the market when it hits showrooms in spring 2009. Think in the region of £14,000. The five-door, five-seater is based around an all-new platform but uses the same Integrated Motor Assist hybrid technology as the existing hybrid Civic.
Predictably you could barely turn round without tripping over the neat new Jazz, already on sale from £9990. In addition there was Honda’s new six-speed auto box, the first time the firm’s diesel buyers have been able to choose a self-shifter. Meanwhile, performance fans were dribbling over a Civic Type R with a limited slip differential.
Fortuitously given the parlous state of the world’s finances, the Japanese firm was one of the most in tune with the mood on the street. It’s a shame no one could explain why the front of the Insight has to look so much like the Toyota Prius..
CAR's Honda show score: 4/5
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By James Foxall