Honda Insight Engine
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The Insight is only manufactured as a hybrid electric vehicle and features an Integrated Motor Assist system. In 2009 The Insight was listed as the cheapest hybrid on the market. The engine for the Insight 1 liter 12 valve SOHC lean burn the produces 67 hp. The electric portion of the motor produces 13 hp. The Insight is a sub-compact model only produced as a two-seater car with a manual transmission. Finally it was offered a CVT transmission which became very popular.
The engine is a 3 cylinder lightweight build using aluminum, magnesium and plastic to keep weight down to a minimum. The electric portion of the motor serves more than 1 function. It will assist the car to increase power to equal a 1.5 liter engine. Also, the electric motor will act as a generator and charge the batteries for the car and it is used as the starter for the gasoline engine. Using these technologies improves the fuel efficiency of the car, reduces brake wear and tear which saves money and saves on overall weight.
One major factor in reducing the weight of the Insight is the use of aluminum and plastic. The suspension, brake calipers and brake drums are also aluminum. When the car comes to a full stop the gasoline engine shuts off to save on gas. The ECU controls the electric engine torque, tell the transmission how and when to lock up and even which ratio is optimal for the situation the car is being used in.
When all of these factors come together, you have a vehicle that gets 61 mpg in the city and 70 mpg on the highway while averaging 58 mph. This makes the Honda Insight the first mass market hybrid. The next in line is the Toyota Prius which soon got great traction in the hybrid market.