A Honda design executive has rejected claims about the Insight Hybrid being a copy of the Toyota Prius, the world’s best-selling hybrid car. The remarks were in response to the observation frequently made in the Japanese and overseas media that Honda’s new Insight gas-electric hybrid bears a resemblance to Japanese rival Toyota’s remodeled Prius.
“We don’t think it looks like the Prius at all. There may be some similarities in the roof line, but it is clearly different. Toyota Motor Corp.’s hybrid system is more complex than Honda’s so it needs a higher roof, and that makes for a distinguishing feature that should be easy to spot,” Nobuki Ebisawa, managing director at Honda R&D said. “Any similarities between the Prius and Insight are coincidence,” he added.
Both the hybrids went on sale at about the same time earlier this year. Both are selling well, especially the Prius in Japan, where it has been the top-selling model for three straight months, the first time a hybrid has taken that spot. In July, Toyota sold 27,712 Prius cars in Japan while Honda sold 10,210 Insights.