EX w/Navi 4dr Hatchback (1.3L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Options on test vehicle
1,339cc (82 cu-in)
Single overhead camshaft, variable intake and exhaust lift, 2 valves per cylinder
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
98 @ 5,800 (includes electric motor assist of 13 hp @ 1,500 rpm)
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
123 @ 1,000-1,500 (includes electric motor assist of 58 lb-ft @ 1,000 rpm)
Continuously variable transmission with sport mode and paddle shifters
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
Variable between 3.17:1 and 0.53:1; Final Drive = 4.20:1
Almost agonizingly slow unless you brake-torque the launch, then it's merely slow and matches the Prius' highly repeatable numbers.
It probably doesn't take much brake hardware for a 2,700-pound car, but this is good performance nonetheless. No evidence of fade, but I didn't torture it, either. Some rear-end wriggle, but nothing spooky or dangerous.
Skid pad: Extraordinary measures that no Insight buyer is likely to use (ESC off and allow the tail to hang out around the skid pad) produce better-than-average results. But it takes a bit of skill to hold it there, as it feels on the brink of oversteer all the way 'round. Slalom: The Insight will definitely oversteer with the ESC turned off, requiring a handful of opposite lock to keep up with it at the exit. With ESC on, there is no drama whatsoever.