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Japanese mag update
 Date: May 10, 2006 09:30
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: Daniel Garcia, TOV's Tokyo Correspondent
 Credibility Rating: 6

You may recall the report from Japan filed by DanielGR back in March. I recently asked if he had heard much about the upcoming Stream replacement, which is due in Japanese showrooms in the next month or two. I also about any further information he could dig up on the upcoming Fit replacement and the long rumored hybrid version. Here's his response:

Hi Jeff,

About Stream

So I could not find anything from the Stream this time. Anyway, release date is so close that I guess rumours/spy shots will ramp up on the months to come.

I guess that as WongKN stated before, there shouldn’t be much new for the power train or drive train points of view. But Honda has really taken its time to redefine the Stream package, and although Honda invented the recipe, nowadays both Nissan and Toyota are selling Stream-like cars like hotcakes, with Honda having lost most of its market share. On a personal note, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Stream shared the modified Jazz/Fit platform with the new Euro Civic 5D.

About Fit Hybrid

As for the Fit Hybrid news, I took some time because I was looking for a scanner, but I just couldn’t find anything these days. So I hope that these pictures taken with my camera are good enough.

In fact, apart from the render, and as usually with these kind of reports, there is not much new. The rumour of a 1.0L Hybrid Fit has been all over the press for months now. Inevitably, people link it to the slow selling Insight, and that’s exactly what you find on this mag’s figures. Petrol engine specs are straight from the 1.0L Insight engine, where as Electric Motor output is just directly taken from the new Civic IMA system.

As for size, predicting slight increases in length, wheel base, and width, for the next-gen Fit is certainly reasonable, but I don’t think that the info is based on any actual information from any Honda source.

As for the fuel efficiency value of 38km/L, you can take the Insight rating as a reference, which is 36 Km/L.

Regarding the Prius, well, basically it will arrive later than the Fit, and it’s more of the same except a new package and one key element: the article says that, as many people expect, next gen Prius will base its strength and improvements on a long awaited Li-ion Battery module by Panasonic. It’s supposed to be the first ever on a mass produced car.

On the Honda side, the article says that at this time, both NiMH and Li-ion batteries are being considered, but not much more.

On a personal note, I think the (Fit's) fuel efficiency target is optimistic, but not unachievable. What I find it impossible to believe is that Honda would put the old petrol engine of the Insight in a 2007/2008 model. And certainly, no matter how much they have improved the IMA system, a Fit won’t get better fuel economy than the all-aluminium aerodynamic Insight using the same petrol engine. Basically, every new IMA car has benefited from a newly developed gasoline engine to enhance even more the environmental performance of the car, I don’t think that the Fit will be an exception.

Finally, regarding the Fit render, it reminds me some similarly sized cars from Toyota-Nissan (I attached a small pic of the Note) that are currently running in Japan, and I find it strange that there are no mirror integrated turning signals, since all new Honda’s in Japan have them. But overall I don’t recall having seen anything like it before, so who knows…

Overall, I would rate this article as pure speculation on facts known to everybody. But still, you have a pic, and for sure this adds to the rumours wave that has been around for some time.

PS: My Japanese is not so good, so sorry if I made any mistakes or I misunderstood something. Maybe some Japanese TOV readers can add more info after reading it.

Last edited by JeffX on May 10, 2006 11:02

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05-10-2006 14:54 JeffX
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