By Drew Johnson
Monday, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 2:40 pm
 

Looking to finally crack the secret to rivaling Toyota's Prius line, Honda is moving its next-generation Insight hybrid down market. Whereas the current Insight targets the standard Prius, the next-generation of the car will take aim at the smaller Prius c.

Don't let this test mule's looks fool you - what we have here is an early testbed for the next-generation Insight, not a new version of the Honda Fit.

Underneath the Fit's bodywork resides all-new mechanicals that will form the basis of the all-new Insight. Although our spy photographers weren't able to snap a picture of the mule's engine bay, Honda's latest 1.5L four-cylinder and new seven-speed gearbox likely reside underhood.

Honda hasn't found much success going against the standard Prius, so will instead focus on the compact Prius c for the car's next-generation. In fact, this Insight mule was spotted testing alongside Toyota's smallest Prius model.

A peak inside reveals significant modifications to the Fit's center stack and gauge cluster. A new gear lever is clearly visible, mimicking the design found in Toyota's Prius.

Given the Insight's disappointing sales, Honda is likely rushing this new model to market. That means we could see Honda's new Insight for the 2014 model year, rather than a 2015 launch that was previously rumored.