Inside Track blog

Prius and Insight: resistance is futile

Dan Trent writes: Two of the world’s biggest, most advanced carmakers

By Tom the gaffer 13/01/2009 01:00
The promised next step away from dependence on the internal combustion engine. Millions spent on development. Endless hard work by some of the cleverest engineers in the industry. And two of the most boring looking cars ever made. Hang on, make that one, seeing as Honda and Toyota seem to have inadvertently ordered the same styling package from the mail order catalogue for dull hybrid hatchbacks.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the new third-generation Toyota Prius:

And this is the all-new Honda Insight. Or is it the Toyota? Hang on…

C’mon guys, I mean, really! If the car industry is trying to convince us hybrids and fuel cells are the way forward why do they insist on making the cars using this technology so, well, dorky. Toyota reckons the Prius needs to look the way it does to ensure world-beating aerodynamics and a drag coefficient of 0.25. But Mercedes has managed the same figure with the new E-Class, which while admittedly controversial at least has something to say for itself design-wise and proves there’s life in the old three-box saloon yet.

There’s no reason why alternative fuel cars can’t be as sexy as their internal combustion equivalents. And until they are, making us give up our V8s is going to be an uphill struggle. Some of Honda’s concepts look like a step in the right direction – let’s just hope they turn out more inspiring than the Insight.

Insight into Honda Insight
Honda’s affordable hybrid revealed
About Richard
  • Richard AucockRichard Aucock

    So committed to car journalism he is Guild Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers. He has been writing about cars since he was 15 and is living the dream.

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    CJ is thoroughly enjoying fulfilling the ambition he's always had to become a motoring writer. Don't ask him about working in retail, though, or he may start to twitch...

  • Ian DicksonIan Dickson

    Ian is the senior editor on MSN Cars, a job that involves planning, writing and editing content and generally keeping the site ticking over day-to-day.

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