Honda's Insight HEV Breaks UK Fuel Economy RecordJune 14, 2000 by Jeff Shepard
Honda's (Tokyo) all-new Insight coupe has set a new UK fuel economy record of 103 mpg after completing a non-stop 3,737 mile trip around Britain. Honda hopes to re-write the Guinness Book of World Records once all the details of its record run have been verified by the publisher next month. The 102.65 mpg figure supersedes the existing petrol-car record of 85.96 mpg set back in 1993 and is believed to be a world record for a standard production car driving on public roads.The Insight followed the coastline of England, Wales and Scotland, along a clock-wise route laid down by the Guinness Records staff and visited more than 25 check points, completing the course inside the 180 hours permitted by the rules. The drive was almost continuous over a seven-day period and took drivers as close to the coast as was practicable.The Insight hybrid uses a petrol engine and a 10W electric motor. The ultra-thin (60mm) dc-brushless motor is mounted between the 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder, low-friction VTEC petrol engine and the lightweight 5-speed manual transmission. During acceleration, the electric motor assists the petrol engine, increasing performance to the level of a 1.5-liter petrol engine.The Insight can accelerate to 62 mph in 12 seconds and has a top speed of 112 mph, a performance achieved with ultra-low emissions. In normal driving, the car produces 80g/km of CO2. In addition, the Insight's production of CO, HC and NOx are below the future EU limits for 2005.Cars attempting a Guinness record-run in the UK must be standard cars available to the public. The Insight goes on sale on Sept. 1, 2000.