By on February 6, 2009

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42 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture?...”


  • avatar
    BDB

    Wow. Honda managed to make their clone even more fugly than the original!

  • avatar
    elloh7

    All the plastic fantastic rice-a-roni crap on this thing totally negates its original mission of efficiency.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    So I want a Mugen Insight. Is that so wrong?

  • avatar

    The plastic sun shields bulging from the body on the side windows. One of my pet peeves.

  • avatar
    Mike the loser

    FRONT–GORGEOUS

    BACK–UGLY

  • avatar
    racebeer

    Uhhhh ….. Where’s the fart can??

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The “Powered by Honda” sticker is missing.

  • avatar
    turbobeetle

    Mike the loser:

    FRONT–GORGEOUS

    BACK–UGLY

    I totally agree, the front looks like the Civic hatchback that SHOULD be sold in the U.S.

    The back looks like an Aztec… very bad!

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Shouldn’t the Mugen model Insight have the plug-in for 240v instead of 110v?

  • avatar
    TRL

    What’s wrong?

    How about it takes a car whose greatest virtue is being cheaper than a Prius and adds enough useless crap to make it cost as much or more.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Missing a Type-R sticker.

    Wonder whether those are low rolling resistance tires?

  • avatar
    tedward

    Robert Farago
    sun shields? I always just assumed they were wind screens for cigs. Stops the ashes from whipping back into the car when you stick the tip out of the window… but maybe not.

    The idea of a Mugen (or Si) with a STD (sorry…CVT) makes me cry on the inside.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    “rice-a-roni crap”?

    Funny insult. Rice-A-Roni is an Armenian dish, a tweak of Armenian pilaf. Nothing Japanese about it.

  • avatar
    menno

    There is no room under the hood for a 500 cubic inch Caddy V8 with twin Paxton superchargers, and a 9″ Ford rear end?

  • avatar
    Areitu

    It looks kinda fugly.

    Other than that, it’s light weight and aerodynamic.

    One should ask, what -isn’t- wrong with the picture? Other than looking kind of fugly. Pocket-rocket jollies and 40+ mpg in daily driving doesn’t sound bad to me. There’s even a handful of videos of people taking the original Insight to the track.

  • avatar
    Dawnrazor

    I discovered TTAC a few months ago (by far, the best auto-related web site I’m aware of BTW) but have never felt compelled to contribute a comment until logging in today and being immediately confronted by this abomination.

    At first glance I thought it was just a riced-up Prius (horrible enough to contemplate on its own), but when it dawned on me that this actually came from a respected car manufacturer rather than some Vin Diesel wannabe the realization that the best days for the automobile are probably behind us hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks and brought an abrupt end to the denial that has helped me cope with this fact over the past year. I’ve been a Hondaphile for years and years, attracted (like so many others) to the rock-solid build, amazing 4-cylinder engines, and good driving dynamics, but the relationship has grown cold. It seems to me that they have truly lost their way: new accord is a bloated and slightly decontented version of old (snazzy LED tail lights on the old replaced by boring incandescent bulbs on the new for example), new Acura TSX also watered-down, other new Acuras not even worth mentioning, motorsport division and planned halo car killed, S2000 killed, and new Civics heavier and more bloated than Accords were in the 80s. Seems like Honda is the new Toyota and Toyota is the new GM-interesting times for sure.

    Not to mention that this car will attract the worst of both douchebag worlds. Can you imagine anything worse than hybrid-superiority smugness + boy-racer assholery IN THE SAME DRIVER?!

  • avatar
    BabyM

    I’ve always thought it would be fun to strip the hybrid drivetrain out of a Prius and drop in something that makes about 250 HP and a good five-speed tranny, stick some good grippy rubber on the stock wheels.

    The ultimate sleeper.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I would’ve done the side fins of the rear wing a little differenly – more vertical, no outward kink. And it should have a more modern wheel design.

    But I still think it’s awesome.

  • avatar

    that body kit writes a cheque (Canadian spelling) that the engine can’t cash.

  • avatar
    arapaima

    It’s not a mid 90’s civic? They stole the RX-8’s tail pipe? Two spoilers?

  • avatar
    dgduris

    I always love those big wings. Pushing down the rear wheels of a front-wheel-drive car is, well, not for winners of the Darwin Awards – or great drivers.

    @DawnRazor,

    You just helped me put two and two together…Two years ago the Honda F1 team changed all their branding to being earth friendly. At about that time they also totally halted any progress they had made towards the front of the grid. Last year they were absolute also-rans in F1 and this year they pulled out all together. Also, about two years ago, we began to see Acura and Honda vehicles clearly losing their way in the automotive feng shui department.

    Somewhere within the depths of Honda, they have gone all soft and green. Too bad. Looks like their cauliflower is cooked! No racing. Politically correct cars. Sinking market share and death will follow, surely.

  • avatar
    NickR

    There aren’t quite enough tacky add-ons. They should look to that yellow car you posted yesterday for inspiration. Or a Fokker Triplane.

  • avatar
    cleek

    …a large, smooth, vertical surface on the rear end for a really phat “Type R” sticker.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    dgduris, the old statement about rear wings and FWD is erroneous.

    Drag racing is the only form of driving in which you only need downforce on the driven wheels – and in drag racing with normal cars, aerodynamics doesn’t play a big role because most of the traction concerns are at launch.

    Keeping the rear wheels on the ground is important when taking a corner at 90mph (or even 60), no matter which wheels are driven. Oversteer slows you down. In fact, aerodynamic downforce is even more important on FWD cars because they tend to have less weight acting on the rear wheels.

  • avatar
    beken

    Hey look! A Mazda RX-something tailpipe, A rear from a shrunken Aztek.

  • avatar
    realpower1

    Millions of dollars and thousands of manhours of wind tunnel tuning shot to hell as the kamm-back trailing edge aeros are violated by that thing. oh yea, and the hatch won’t stay open.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    BabyM :
    The ultimate sleeper.

    That’s a cool idea, I’d love to see a WRX driver’s face as a Prius whips past him…

  • avatar
    elloh7

    Funny insult. Rice-A-Roni is an Armenian dish, a tweak of Armenian pilaf. Nothing Japanese about it.

    You missed the point of my comment entirely. That being, this poor vehicle has been riced to within an inch of its life. I pity it. Almost.

  • avatar
    golf4me

    ROFL!!

    Well, if there is ever a car that needs a coffee can exhaust, it’s a hybrid. And knowing Mugen’s level of sophistication and taste, they’ll add an external speaker to re-create that lovely flatulent sound for when the car is in electric mode. My god, I am still laughing.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Wow, front skirts, window deflectors and a rear spoiler. On a hybrid built for aerodynamic efficiency.

    Why not put a hood scoop on and totally hose the drag coefficient?

  • avatar

    Is this a direct compete with Scion?

  • avatar
    ca36gtp

    What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Everything.

  • avatar

    In before the “VTEC JUST KICKED IN YO” comment… or does this count as such?

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    BabyM:

    Sleeper versions of the first generation Insight, with high output honda I4s, have become somewhat common on the internet.

    It has an very light two seat aluminum structure, and came with stick so there are already clutch and shift linkages.

    Of course all of the sleeper Insights I’ve seen on the internet have been bone stock on the outside other than upgraded wheels and tires to handle the additional power.

    carlisimo:

    Doing something to increase understeer, on a car that already suffers from understeer, doesn’t make sense. Some FWD racers actually use smaller rear tires to make the handling more neutral.

    This is all moot since the abomination on the back of this thing is most likely tuned for zero downforce.

    It’s horrible what they have done to a decent enough looking car.

    But it did get people talking. And some say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    At least the bodykit wasn’t subsidized by the US government.

  • avatar
    don1967

    It isn’t in my driveway, beside the ’88 CRX with plywood spoiler.

  • avatar
    billc83

    Man, I actually saw an old Beretta once with a wooden spoiler.

  • avatar
    don1967

    No way! I knew a guy who paid $270 to have a fog light replaced in his Beretta, and I thought that was the height of insanity…

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    no_slushbox:
    Doing something to increase understeer, on a car that already suffers from understeer, doesn’t make sense. Some FWD racers actually use smaller rear tires to make the handling more neutral.
    This is all moot since the abomination on the back of this thing is most likely tuned for zero downforce.

    Mugen parts are expensive because of the wind tunnel testing; it’ll work. If the stock Insight has a lot of lift at 90mph then maybe the wing will reduce the lift but not to the point of giving net downforce. Still an improvement.

    Smaller rear tires on FWD cars is only common in the drag scene. For those who have to take corners, giving up contact patch is anathema. Understeer is addressed with spring rates and sway bars. Honda was always good about making several sizes of sway bar for its popular models, like 19mm or 22mm rear sway bars for Integra GSR and type Rs, and drivers who start out with an Integra LS often make them their first purchase.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    It’s so ugly that it visually stinks.

  • avatar
    Antohn Crispin

    Not to admit to being totally Asian, but I think the side window add-ons for are more than just dimming the sun. I think these accessories are more to do with regional cultures that sees air conditionally as an excessive, tourist luxury mixed with humidity, heat, and rain (all at the same time!) plus a whiff of open sewer drains/unregulated moto-two-strokes/general equatorial miasma. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Mugen’s own website has to say, via Google:

    “Negative pressure is generated by a unique body shape and visors also promote the efficient drainage of the air, and prevent infiltration of rainwater in the car bounce up and the rain tends to break into a window at the opening, the visor have greatly improved the comfort of use.”

    Mugen provides a helpful graphic even:

    http://www.mugen-power.com/street/insight/parts/image/VentilatedVisor_02.jpg

    A set of 4 for only $170.95 (holy crap).

    By the way, in case nobody’s seen the rest of the site, Mugen is selling the aerodynamic package for its “zero lift” capability:

    http://www.mugen-power.com/street/insight/airflow/index.html

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    carlisimo:

    Here is an article from a TTAC contributor and FWD car racer arguing that wider front tires are optimal on FWD cars.

    http://www.speedsportlife.com/2008/10/19/avoidable-contact-18-its-actually-rather-easy-being-green-the-case-for-front-wheel-drive/

    It’s just not seen in road racing because the rules generally don’t allow for it.

    Also, FWD car racers at SCCA Solo events regularly either under or over inflate the rear tires to loosen the rear end.

    If the problem is airfoil lift at speed (like the Audi TT and new Beetle) then Honda should have made a small, speed actuated active spoiler standard on the Insight. Soichiro would have made it right the first time, not required ugly aftermarket parts to correct an aerodynamic flaw.

    A very small simple lip spoiler would have accomplished anything that the ugly appendage at the back of this car accomplishes.

    Mugen parts are expensive becuase of their relationship with Honda. But they are god awful ugly and pointless.

    My local honda dealer has an ’08 Mugen Civic Si sitting at deep discount, and has been trying to sell it at discount for months, because the stock Si is just as good and not ugly.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Front: Mugen.

    Sides and rear: Mugen: The Japanese J.C. Whitney

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