De-hybridized Insight. How Cool is That?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
de hybridized insight how cool is that

Iconoclasts that we are, we love it when people experiment with automotive irony. Case in point: LHT Performance's K20a Insight. The Floridian tuners (tunas?) stripped a red Honda Insight of its earth-friendly gas – electric innards and dropped in a Civic Type-R K20A engine. We're talking over 200 horses mated to a six-speed tranny. (How kinky does that sound?) The resulting car "goes like a rocket" and still gets 48mpg. The K20a is no stripped-out street racer. You got your power steering, AC, ABS, and an uprated suspension and frame. While building what could be the ultimate sleeper, LHT has raised (however unwittingly) an important eco-point. While automakers spend billions in a technological arms race to develop ever more complex drivetrains, these guys have proven that simple, small, aerodynamically efficient cars can be fun, fast and frugal. Who knew?

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  • Ghillie Ghillie on Mar 13, 2008
    * shaker : March 13th, 2008 at 7:12 am I don’t think that Insight could pass many crash tests — that’s when all of the bloat started. Actually, the Insight passed all the crash tests very well. The problem is it's still a less than 2,000 lb car potential up against the standard suburban behemoth. Trucks are both less safe for everyone else and less safe for the occupants - unless there is another car and its much smaller. Trucks are safer to the extent that they transfer risk to other road users. It's the "get out of my way!" school of road safety.

  • Matt Matt on Mar 13, 2008

    rodster205: As a previous owner of an SL1, the best I ever managed was 40 mpg highway. I still rarely saw anything below 35 mpg though, unless I absolutely flogged it (which really did nothing except make it louder), and I would still never do worse than 30 mpg. That said, I'd take this de-hybridized Insight over my old Saturn any day of the week. :-)

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Mar 13, 2008

    ghillie, I believe you are mistaken. Single vehicle accident stats that I have seen show that trucks and large SUV's do better in spite of lower safety regs. Overall, you are safer in a truck. Now, if you want to figure out a way to make me feel safer in a smaller vehicle that meets all my needs and otherwise offers the value to me my Land Cruiser does, I will look at buying one. I understand that smaller cars are at a disadvantage, but I am playing by the rules. I don't believe people are driving SUV's due to malicious intent against people in subcompacts.

  • Adonis Adonis on Mar 30, 2008
    I don’t believe people are driving SUV’s due to malicious intent against people in subcompacts. But, regardless of intention, that is the end result. Many people driving SUV's makes it less safe to drive a small car around. SUV's are allowed to be built like tanks, and they tend to demolish any small car in an accident. That's because the car is made to crumple on impact, not plow right through. SUV's make the driver more safe, but everyone else is a little less safe sharing the road with such a large vehicle. Back on topic, I can't get over the look of the Insight enough to actually buy one, though the 200 horsepower of this one makes it mighty tempting.