Honda Refreshes Its High-Tech Hybrids

Apparently a little miffed at the popularity of the Toyota [NYSE:TM] Prius, Honda [NYSE:HMC] is planning a “Prius-killer” hybrid that has been spotted being tested out west under heavy camouflage. While Honda claims that the new model, the Insight Hatchback, is only in its incipient form, a few media outlets are speculating that the vehicle is actually quite close to production-ready, with a few stylistic changes as the only obstacles. The design will be based largely on Honda’s own FCX Clarity fuel cell car.

The new Insight Hatchback will not only undercut the Prius in price when it arrives at dealers for around $19,000, but it will also undercut the Honda Civic Hybrid’s price. That’s leading to speculation that the Insight will be a base model and that the Civic hybrid might receive a little luxe treatment so that the two models don’t canabalize each others’ sales.

Honda believes it can sell 200,000 of the new Insights around the world, and about 100,000 of those in the US and Canada. If that comes to pass, it will put Honda’s hybrid sales past the half-million per annum mark.