The Honda Insight actually has the more powerful electric motor compared to the 1st gen Nissan Leaf.I have to agree with Motor Trend. The "launch" is unlike any other car I've driven. Although I'd suspect that traction control plays a part in it.
First gen Nissan Leaf would easily destroy the insight in a 20 ft race.
Traditional Ice cars are closer to the insight, where the car pulls harder as rpms increase, but they have gears (unless cvt).
It's just the fact that peak power requires both ICE and EV input, at 0mph, it's all EV. There's atleast a 1 second delay before the ice/generator combo adds that little extra "go". Kind of like a turbo lag.
Maybe it's psychological, but the fact that I can't shred the tires on Demand, makes it hard for me to ever think about the performance of the Insight from a speed perspective.