Click photo for spy shots

Honda’s watched from the sidelines for the better part of a decade as the Toyota Prius left its hybrids in the dust to become the must-have ride of the green set. Fed up with being an also-ran, Honda hopes to take down Toyota with an entry-level hybrid that gets 60 mpg and costs about $19,000.

Honda hasn’t shown off the car yet, but spy shots reveal a five-door hatchback that looks remarkably like the Prius. Granted, the car snapped by was camouflaged with lots of plastic and tape and it’s said to take some styling cues from the FCX Clarity, but there’s no mistaking that profile. It’s almost as if Honda’s designers had pictures of the enemy taped up in the studio.

Under the skin the new hybrid gets a smaller version of the 1.3-liter Integrated Motor Assist system in the Civic Hybrid, a continuously variable transmission and several chassis components lifted from the Fit. A nickel-metal hydride battery is tucked under the rear floor.

People who make predictions based on so-called spy photos are doing unpaid market research – whether they realize it or not. Even “leaked” tech-info on the innards is calculated.

We’ll all find out in October at the Paris Auto Show.

  1. eds70 says:

    Based on my past experience with newly designed models from Honda, when this becomes available, each dealer will have like 1 car, and will be selling it for $2000. over the suggested retail price.

  2. JoaoPT says:

    The Civic Hybrid runs rings around the Prius. Consuption wise and Drivewise. The Prius sucks big time. Toyota and Honda are close competitors, but Toyota never had that little finesse that Honda has and sets them worlds apart.

    Signed: Civic owner… 🙂

  3. lakelady says:

    ugh, the body looks as bad as a Prius. I drove one for the first time a few weeks ago as a rental and the body design sucks. There’s a ridiculous horizontal bar in the middle of the rear view, just at eye level and the support bar for the roof in the front blocks your field of view when turning a corner. I would think Honda could come up with something much better

  4. JimD says:

    Save Your Money !!! Wait for FULL ELECTRIC, PLUGGABLE RECHARGE CARS !!! You want to GET RID OF ALL THE “INFERNAL COMBUSTION” ARTIFACTS – Engine Oil and Oil Pumps, Coolant and Coolant Pumps and Radiators, Air Filters, Carburetors and Fuel Injection, and of course: GAS TANKS !!! PLUG and DRIVE is the WAVE OF THE FUTURE – Time to abandon PRE-1900 TECHNOLOGY !!!

  5. Dave W says:

    If someone wants to really sell they will come out with a hybrid that gets Prius level fuel economy handling, reliability, etc. but doesn’t look like a mini version of the Pontiac Aztec!

    How about a very efficient hybrid that one wouldn’t be tempted to put a bag over?

  6. JoaoPT says:

    Pontiac Aztec is FUGLY beyond sanity.

  7. GigG says:

    JimD! Get back on your meds.

  8. Jim says:

    the aztec is the ugliest vehicle made in the last 20 years. but that being said, a new hybrid being made available for near 20 k, not a bad idea… now if on the US can pump them out sooner.

  9. Buzz says:

    I would go full electric, but I enjoy certain luxuries like heat in the winter, lights on in the dark while I’m driving, and maybe a little AC on a hot summer day. None of these things are battery friendly.

  10. Buzz says:

    Sorry, JimD I meant #4 not #5

  11. The answer says:

    Question is, Will honda overprice it as alwyas and make the inside so only midgets can drive. I am 5’10” and my head touches the top of a civic. Give me a break… great gas mileage cause it’s smaller and lighter then the others.


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