CALSTART News Notes 

12/14/1999 - Honda to Unveil 'Sprocket' Hybrid EV Concept
Torrance, Calif. - Honda Motor Co.'s California design studio has developed a hybrid-electric, four-wheel drive concept vehicle that can change from a four-seater to an open-top two-seater with the touch of a button. The ''Sprocket'' created by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. ''is a convertible, pickup and sports car, all in one,'' according to Honda, which will unveil it January 7 to the press just before the public opening of the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. The Sprocket's advanced drivetrain employs a hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrain that powers the front wheels and two in-wheel electric motors for the rear wheels to provide full-time four-wheel drive. This month Honda also begins sales of its hybrid-electric ''Insight'' passenger car, which achieves 70 miles per gallon fuel economy on the highway while producing extremely low emissions (News Notes 12/9/99).

Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Human Resources Dept.
21001 State Route 739
Raymond, OH 43067-9705
Fax: 937-645-6337

Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Human Resources Dept.
1900 Harpers Way
Torrance, CA 90501-2746
Fax: 310-781-5677

TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 9 — The first gasoline-electric hybrid to go on sale in America will have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $18,880 when it reaches dealerships December 15, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.
The Insight earned the EPA's top mileage rating ever, 61 mpg in the city and 70 mpg on the highway. In addition to its outstanding mileage rating, the Insight also meets California's stringent Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards. The Insight with factory-installed automatic climate control will be priced at $20,080.
"The Insight is a continuation of Honda's philosophy of making the latest environmental technology accessible to consumers," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "By pricing the Insight at less than $19,000, it becomes obtainable to a broader range of car buyers."
The Insight features Honda's Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA) system, which combines a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine with electric motor assist for improved efficiency. The electric motor is powered by a nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack. The IMA™ system automatically recharges the battery pack, using energy generated during braking. As a result, the Insight does not require an outside source of electric power and never needs to be plugged in.
The sporty two-seater incorporates an advanced aerodynamic design and an aluminum body, over 45 percent lighter than a comparable steel-bodied model, highlighting the culmination of 40 years of Honda research into lighter, more fuel-efficient and cleaner-burning vehicle technologies.
The Insight also features a full complement of comfort and convenience features, including variable-assist electric power steering, power windows, mirrors and door locks, AM/FM stereo cassette player and full electronic instrument display.
In addition to meeting current safety standards, the Insight meets 2003 safety standards for side-impact and head-injury protection. Other safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS), an Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System and remote keyless entry.
"This year alone, two out of every three Hondas sold in the U.S. will be equipped with advanced low-emissions technology," said Elliott. "Honda is committed to the environment and the continuing development of cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles."