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Hybrid shoot-out: Honda Insight vs. Toyota Prius

A photo gallery of hybrid pacesetters. Toyota and Honda introduce the latest gas-electric vehicles at the North American International Auto Show this week.

Given the grim financial condition of the auto industry, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week has been, by many accounts, a relatively somber affair.

At the same time, the industry appears to be on the brink of major technological change: many automakers this week announced plans to introduce electric cars of various types in the next two years.

Toyota plans to introduce an all-electric car in 2012, but it said its primary technology will be the gas-electric hybrid, used in the iconic Prius and now some Lexus models.

The newest Toyota Prius. Click on the image to launch a photo gallery comparing the Prius and its relaunched challenger, the Honda Insight. Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

At the auto show, it introduced the next version of the Prius, which is designed to drive more than 50 miles per gallon and have an option for a solar panel on the roof to charge some of the onboard electronics.

Honda, meanwhile, is relaunching its own challenger, the Honda Insight, which is now a five-door sedan that will be available in April.

CNET Car Tech blog writer Wayne Cunningham is at the conference, where he filed this photo gallery of the two cars. Check out CNET's complete coverage of the Detroit auto show.