Despite being first to the hybrid market with the launch of the Insight back in 1999, Honda has since seen most hybrid-buyers head for the Prius – a vehicle that has emblazoned Toyota with an image of being the manufacturer of the most fuel efficient and ecologically-friendly vehicles.

Honda is now hoping to claw back much of the hybrid car market by launching a number of petrol-electric vehicles over the next couple of years.

The first of these new generation of Honda hybrids will be a global model designed to take on Toyota’s segment-leading Prius. The car has already been spotted in prototype form and shares a similar shape to the current Prius. According to Just-Auto, Honda will reveal the new model this Thursday ahead of its world debut planned for next month’s Paris Motor Show and sales launch in the first half of next year.

The new model will be a five-door hatchback built off a completely new platform and designed along the lines of the FCX Clarity fuel cell concept (pictured). The information comes from Honda’s UK environmental manager John Kingston, who also revealed that the car will feature a lighter powertrain than previous hybrids and store its key components beneath the cargo space to maximise interior room.

Honda envisions the small global hybrid as part of a three-car range starting with the newest addition, a new Civic Hybrid in the middle and topped with a new hybrid based on the CR-Z concept. A company spokesman has previously stated that all three models will be on sale by 2011, and that Honda expects hybrids to account for 400,000 to 500,000 of its sales each year.


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