This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 14, 2007

Hybrid Concept Vehicles Point to the Future for Honda and Toyota

Photo of a sleek sports car with a curving glass top on a display stand with a crowd surrounding it.

Will this vehicle replace the Honda Insight? Honda is displaying a two-seat concept sports car at the Geneva Motor Show.
Credit: Honda

Visitors to the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland may be glimpsing the hybrid vehicle future for Honda and Toyota. Honda unveiled its Small Hybrid Sports Concept at the auto show, describing it as "how a future hybrid model might appear." The two-door sports car is designed around a front-wheel-drive, 4-cylinder engine with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, mated to a continuously variable transmission. Although Honda implies that its concept vehicle is far from drivable, the design concept suggests that Honda may be looking for a two-seater hybrid design to replace its now-discontinued Insight. See the Honda press release and a selection of photos of the vehicle on display in Geneva.

Toyota is also looking toward the future with the unveiling of its Hybrid X concept vehicle, a four-door, four-seat model with a unique styling that suggests a somewhat flattened version of the Prius. Like the Honda concept vehicle, the Hybrid X features a roof made largely of glass, creating an open, airy feel for the vehicle occupants. Although the company has said little about the new vehicle, industry analysts are speculating that the design is a preview of the next-generation Prius. The 77th Geneva International Motor Show continues through March 18th. See the Toyota press release and Hybrid X Web page and the Geneva Motor Show Web site.