Honda refining hybrid lineup, preparing to take on Prius

Honda CEO Takeo Fukui has announced that the Japanese automaker has not yet begun its fight in the hybrid vehicle segment. Fukui admitted that the company should have developed a hybrid only model instead of the Civic Hybrid. Honda is currently developing such a "Prius-fighter" for launch in 2009.

"The real competition has just begun," Fukui told Automotive News. "Until now, it has been an image-based competition, not a business-based competition."

Fukui also revealed that the new hybrid-only model will feature a lighter motor system that will increase fuel economy. Honda has yet to release official pricing for the upcoming car, but says that it will sticker for less than the current Civic Hybrid -- which retails for $23,235.

Honda hopes that hybrid vehicles will makeup 10% of its sales by 2010, with the new hybrid-only model accounting for 200,000 sales annually.