Honda has announced plans to introduce a new, standalone hybrid model next year.
A short press release sent out in the midst of this year’s Detroit Auto Show explains the company’s next dedicated gasoline-electric model will use a version of the two-motor drivetrain that currently powers the Accord Hybrid. In the Accord, the system is made up of a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, a pair of electric motors, and a lithium-ion battery pack. The drivetrain provides a total of 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque.
Additional details haven’t been announced yet, so it’s too early to tell whether the model will resurrect the Insight nameplate. Honda promises to release more information in the coming months. When it lands, the car will presumably fight in the same segment as the Toyota Prius and the Hyundai Ioniq.
Interestingly, the Japanese company also pointed out it plans to offer its two-motor hybrid drivetrain in a light truck. The term “light truck” is vague because it applies to a wide variety of vehicles including SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks. Nothing is official at this point, but the eco-friendly pickup truck segment is heating up in the United States and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a gasoline-electric version of the Ridgeline (pictured) join the Honda lineup. It could even steal the segment’s efficiency crown from the diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins.
Honda hopes that two thirds of its sales will come from electrified vehicles by the year 2030. To that end, the brand is making large investments in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, and hydrogen-electric technology.
“Half of the all-new models Honda will launch in the United States in the coming two years will be electrified vehicles,” said Takahiro Hachigo, Honda’s president and CEO. “In the long term, electrified vehicles are key to the future of carbon-free mobility,” he added.
Honda’s next standalone hybrid model will be built at an existing plant in the United States. Sales are scheduled to start in 2018. The truck will arrive before the end of the decade, but a more specific time frame isn’t available.