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Honda looks to range-topping Accord sedan to shine high-tech light on brand

17 Jun 2015

HANDS up if you know which company was the first to sell a hybrid car in Australia? Gold star to you if you said ‘Honda’.

Costing more than $50,000, plus on-roads in 2001, the Insight three-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid weighed just 830kg and sported two doors, aluminium body panels, lead-acid batteries and idle-stop technology.

While the oddball Insight was a step too far for a buying public still comfortable with large V8 sedans, it opened the door to other companies to trial the emerging technology in the local market.

Certainly, the Insight provides a pretty unique point of contrast with Honda’s latest hybrid, the Accord Sport Hybrid, and shows just how far the industry has come in 14 years.

History aside, the Accord Sport Hybrid has to do two jobs for Honda Australia not only does it have to carry the hybrid mantle on its own – until the arrival of the NSX, at least – after the demise of both the second-generation Insight and the CR-Z at the end of 2014, but it must also act as Honda’s flagship sedan, after the disappearance of the Legend from local showrooms.

It also has to convince a buying public spoiled for choice like never before that its unique, high-tech package is worth the price of entry.

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Model release date: 1 June 2015 to 1 May 2016

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