Finally, the aftermarket has gotten to modifying hybrids, and wouldn’t you know it, Honda gets in first. What we have here is Honda’s Prius fighter, the Insight. Honda’s latest entry into the hybrid game has been faulted here and there, but one of the main dings against it has been its looks. Although Honda denies it, plenty of people see it as looking very much like the car it’s trying to go head-to-head with: The Prius.
Perhaps a little aftermarket tweaking can help. Well, if it can’t help it in the looks department, it might be able to help with performance – a regime that hybrids have always put last on their list of things to do.
The aftermarket firm that has worked over the Insight pictured here is a Japanese tuner named Zeus. They handle lots of home market stuff with all of the usual tweaks you’d expect from the aftermarket, so their take on what to do with the Insight should be indicative.
The Zeus aftermarket treatment for the Honda Insight is part of the company’s GLMRS Line and consists of what has become “the usual” for the aftermarket tuner crowd, circa 2009.
You get spoilers front and rear, a new grille, and side skirts fabricated from aluminum, rather than the normal fiberglass or some other composite. The wheels you see, and the drop that Stevie Wonder could notice, is not part of the Zeus package. Think of them as being more of a suggestion from Zeus as to what you should do with your now-customized Insight.
The whole kit goes for around $1,418 U.S. unpainted, or for about $2,194 U.S. color matched to your car (depending on exchange rates).
Typical for the aftermarket though: Start with how it looks, how it goes we can worry about later. Which is what I would love to see. I’d love to see someone take the Insight or the Prius and dial up the performance, and dial back the economy settings.
Handling the engine and chassis ends of the equations would be the easy part. The hard part would be finding someone who could handle tweaking the electronics end of things. C’mon, and there ANY interested electrical engineers out there?