Honda Gearing Up to Unseat the Mighty Prius

Fukui confirms Honda will offer a subcompact hybrid in 2009 that will feature a smaller, lighter engine to improve fuel economy and a lower price than the Civic hybrid.

Published: 27-Dec-2007

Honda brought the first gas-electric hybrid to America when it launched the funky Insight in 1999, but it was soon overshadowed by the Toyota Prius and Honda's been trying to catch up ever since.

After eight years playing second-fiddle, Honda has decided enough is enough.

Company president Takeo Fukui says Honda is investing heavily in hybrids and insists the race "has just begun." The technology's first phase was all about cultivating a green image, Fukui says, clearly taking a swipe at Toyota. The next phase will emphasize making the vehicles more affordable and fuel efficient, he says, and Honda has two cars in the pipeline that he promises will challenge Toyota's eco-supremacy.

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