Expected soon from Honda Malaysia and following the launch of the 3rd generation CR-V will be the all-new Stream. Featuring a low-floor platform, the new Stream combines stylish compact exterior with a comfortable interior and powerful driving performance. With a low overall height of 1,545mm, the new Stream has a modern dynamic sporty wagon look.
Into its second-generation, the Stream is a 7-seater with the versatility and functionality to make family and friends outings a joy. Along with its vibrant, low-slung styling, it delivers total comfort and a feeling of integration wherever the driver and passengers come in contact with the vehicle — whether getting in and out, steering, throttle response, or manipulating seating arrangements.
Body frame rigidity has been enhanced for improved driving performance, and the front sub-pillars have been eliminated to attain a significant increase in visibility. The floor design has also been significantly improved to create a flat foot area from corner to corner and a significantly lower floor for the third row of seats. These innovations mean improved passenger comfort as well as a lower centre of gravity for better handling.
Both powerplants—the newly developed 2.0L i-VTEC engine with CVT and the 1.8L i-VTEC engine with 5-speed automatic transmission—deliver powerful, smooth driving performance (from low to mid rev band).
Wheelbase has been increased by 20mm and the pedal layout adjusted to increase the tandem distance between the 2nd and 3rd row seats by 30mm, affording more room to third-row passengers.
Its side sill has been redesigned to obtain an extra 20mm of width for passengers in the first and second rows. For the third row, the use of a slim fuel tank permits a lower floor, while the reduced cross section in the rear frame results in more width. The adoption of a separate rear frame and floor panel construction allows for a floor flat all the way out to its edges on both sides. The floor tunnel has been eliminated for a significant gain in leg room. A completely flat floor creates an expansive and relaxing space, no matter where an occupant is sitting.
The R20A 2.0L i-VTEC engine found in the new CR-V will likely find its way into the local Honda Stream. It is unsure at this point whether the 1.8L i-VTEC version will be made available, but highly unlikely judging from the engine capacity of its competitors, the Mazda5 and Toyota Wish. Honda’s i-VTEC system is an improvement on the original VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) technology to allow the engine to retard intake valve closure timing under low engine-load driving conditions. Valve control is complemented by a DBW (Drive by Wire) system that provides optimum throttle valve control, significantly reducing pumping losses. This results in greater combustion efficiency, for a major improvement in fuel economy while cruising. At the same time, improved intake efficiency and a higher compression ratio create ample low-range torque, while comprehensive friction reduction measures and precise air-fuel ratio control result in outstanding fuel economy
The increased energy efficiency of the i-VTEC variable valve timing control system is further enhanced by a 3-stage variable-length intake manifold on the newly developed 2.0L engine to deliver torquey performance at all engine speeds, while the 1.8L engine employs a variable-length intake manifold that optimizes intake ram effect. Both engines achieve excellent fuel economy of 14.8km/l (claimed).
2.0L models are equipped with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with torque converter. The torque converter delivers powerful, urgent off-the-line performance, AND with the CVT’s smooth, seamless acceleration to follow later into higher speed.
The 1.8 Stream comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission that takes advantage of the engine’s performance characteristics to achieve both powerful acceleration and outstanding fuel economy. The upgrade to a 5-speed transmission from the previous Stream’s 4-speed transmission permits both a wider overall range of gearing and closer gear ratios.
Top-end RSZ model comes equipped with a paddle shifter with intelligent control. Operating the paddle shifter when the gear lever is in ‘D’ automatically flips the transmission into manual override. What’s more, the RSZ (2.0L) with CVT also comes with a 7-speed manual-shift mode of ‘virtual’ ratios.
The all-new Stream is widely expected to be launched by Q4 2007 in CBU form, to be imported from Indonesia. A continuation of its predecessor's ‘tradition’, as well as to relieve Honda Malaysia’s Melaka assembly plant maxed-out production capacity. Price is estimated to hover around RM160K.
Update: According to reliable sources involved in the 'processing' of Honda CBU cars, the all-new Stream is unlikely to make it to our shores in 2007. Allegedly, there are still hundreds of units of the current Stream uncalled for at the holding area at Port Klang, and the slowdown in sales hasn't picked up for this Honda MPV.