It’s fun to drive, incredibly efficient – even now, they can go 70 miles on a gallon of petrol. And they are still so clean with only 80g per km of CO2 emissions. Unbeatable for a hybrid that you don’t have to plug in. The Honda Insight ZE1 was ahead of its time.
In production from 1999-2006, the Honda Insight ZE1 hybrid is becoming a collectors item – only 17,020 were sold globally and less than 200 were sold in the UK so it’s extremely rare to see one.
It’s a fastback 2-seater, streamlined from lightweight aluminium to minimise drag. The unusual wheel arches and wing design gives it a sci-fi look, and inside is a futuristic digital dashboard that tells you how fuel efficient you are. This is a hybrid that you don’t have to plug-in, and with ultra-low CO2 emissions, it doesn’t make demands on the planet either.
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The Insight was the first Honda to use their Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, one of the most technologically advanced parallel hybrid power systems in the world.
Parallel means the engine and motor can both be used to propel the vehicle. By using brake-energy regeneration to maximise the energy being used, it combines low-pollution, low-cost operation with high levels of safety and running performance.