This paper presents the technical approach used to design and develop the powerplant for the Honda Insight, a new motor assist hybrid vehicle with an overall development objective of just half the fuel consumption of the current Civic over a wide range of driving conditions. Fuel consumption of 35km/L (Japanese 10-15 mode), and 3.4L/100km (98/69/EC) was realized. To achieve this, a new Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid power plant system was developed, incorporating many new technologies for packaging and integrating the motor assist system and for improving engine thermal efficiency. This was developed in combination with a new lightweight aluminum body with low aerodynamic resistance. Environmental performance goals also included the simultaneous achievement of low emissions (half the Japanese year 2000 standards, and half the EU2000 standards), high efficiency, and recyclability. Full consideration was also given to key consumer attributes, including crash safety performance, handling, and driving performance.