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The ZE1 was Honda's proof-of-concept that showed off their materials engineering, aerodynamic design, and electric motor technologies. Indeed, Honda sold the ZE1 for much less than it must have cost to build this all-aluminum car.
The goal of Honda's Fit-based ZE2 Insight was become the more popular, lower-cost, hybrid alternative to the Prius.
Honda's I-MMD system first appeared in the 2014 Accord Hybrid, and in the rare one-year-only 2014 Accord Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV).
Not satisfied with its first I-MMD iteration, Honda halted Accord Hybrid production after 2015.
Although it worked fabulously in the 1850-lb all-aluminum, ultra-aerodynamic, two-seat ZE1, it couldn't compete with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive in a larger, heavier vehicle.
Again, the world had to soldier on without the Honda Insight.
The question is whether the exact same 103-hp, 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and 181-hp electric traction motor from the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid will also serve as the powertrain for the new Insight.
The 4,000-lb Clarity Plug-In Hybrid takes around 9½ seconds to get to 60 mph.
However, if it can manage 50 mpg and get to 60 mph faster than the Civic Si’s 6.5 seconds, this great-looking car will be a runaway success.
While the IMA system slid beyond the automotive horizon, Honda wasn't standing around doing nothing.
The company developed an elegant 2-motor "full-hybrid" system, named Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (I-MMD), to replace the IMA system.
It's expected to begin arriving at dealers in late 2017.
I had my garage wired for 240-volts in anticipation of the Clarity Plug-In months before Honda's announcement of their new dedicated hybrid car.