New Daewoo Lacetti to be launched in spring 2004
2003-08-12 - By Philip Byrne
With its new, sporty Lacetti hatchback, which is due to celebrate its world premiere at the 60th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt (September 13 – 21), GM Daewoo will be adding an attractive new model to its compact class line-up.
The front-wheel drive, five-door car will reach European showrooms in February 2004. There will be a choice of three engines with manual or automatic transmission (for the 1.6 and 1.8 versions).
With its modern Italian design, generous standard equipment and excellent value for money, the Lacetti fits neatly into a fast-growing line-up of new GM Daewoo models.
Dynamic design, compact exterior dimensions, generous interior space
The Lacetti’s modern styling was created by Italdesign, the famous Turin studio founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro. This talented team was also responsible for the styling of the Daewoo Matiz, Kalos and Evanda. Almond-shaped, clear-glass headlamps and a new, self-confident radiator grille with the brand emblem integrated into a horizontal chrome strip, dominate the front view of the compact Lacetti (length/width/height: 4,295/1,725/1,445 millimeters).
The long wheelbase (2,600 mm) with short overhangs, the powerful looking wheel arches and the belt-line rising towards the rear combine to create a dynamic side view. The Lacetti’s muscular shoulder line extends into a rear design that is no less athletic with eye-catching, wrap-around light units and a strong character line below the rear window.
The new Lacetti is compact only as far as its exterior dimensions are concerned. Because of its excellent space utilization, the amount of room inside is very generous for a vehicle in this class. It has 932 millimeters of legroom in the rear, which puts it top of its category. The trunk volume is 275 litres (VDA standard) and, with the rear bench folded down, it rises to 1,045 litres when loaded to the roof.
High-volume segment, Lacetti tailored to European needs
With around 2.6 million new registrations a year and a current market share of 16.4 percent, the compact car segment is one of the most important in Western and Central Europe. Because of the large number of new models, market researchers are forecasting rising sales figures for this category in the medium term. It is a trend that will certainly benefit GM Daewoo's latest product: “It is crucial for our future growth plans that, with the Lacetti, we will soon have an attractive hatchback in the popular ‘C’ segment," says Erhard L. (Hardy) Spranger, Executive in Charge of GM Daewoo Europe. “Our almost completely revamped product range with the successfully launched Kalos, Nubira and Evanda has laid the foundation for our company's consolidation. Now, from next year, we will also have the Lacetti, which will appeal to an even larger target group of young, price-conscious buyers in Europe.”
The new five-door hatchback meets the demands of this group of buyers perfectly. Over 62 percent of all petrol engines in this segment, for example, have a capacity of between 1.4 and 1.8 litres, and the three power units available for the Lacetti fit exactly into this template.
Powerful, economical engines; agile, safe chassis
Buyers of the new Lacetti will have a choice of three four-cylinder Euro 3 petrol engines, all of which have two overhead camshafts driven by a toothed belt with four-valve technology. The power train in the Lacetti 1.4 generates 68 kW/92 hp at 6,000 rpm from a capacity of 1,399 cm3. It travels from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.6 sec and has a top speed of 172 km/h. Overall consumption (MVEG standard) is 7.2 litres for 100 km (preliminary data).
Next up is a 1.6-litre unit with 80 kW/109 hp. It gives the Lacetti a top speed of 187 km/h, and accelerates the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.7 sec. The Lacetti 1.6 has average MVEG consumption of 7.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometers, which, with the 60-litre tank, provides for a range of over 840 kilometers. The fastest and sportiest way to propel the new Lacetti is to go for the 1.8-litre engine with 90 kW/122 hp. This top-of-the-range model sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.5 sec and has a top speed of 194 km/h. Despite these excellent performance statistics, its total MVEG consumption is just 7.5 litres per 100 km. As an alternative to the manual five-speed transmission, a modern adaptive four-speed automatic transmission is available for the two more powerful engines.
The chassis of the new Daewoo Lacetti has undergone rigorous validation, notching up nearly two million test kilometers. In combination with the torsion-resistant body, it guarantees excellent handling and a high level of active safety. The new model has a sophisticated independent wheel suspension on McPherson struts on both axles. The lower wheel control at the front is taken care of by an A-frame arm, while at the back; two additional wishbones and one trailing arm link the wheels precisely to the chassis. Four disc brakes and a standard four-channel ABS make for good braking performance. Front and side airbags and five three-point safety belts – with belt force limiters at the front – are fitted as standard for passenger protection.
The new Lacetti is an international co-production. Soon going into production at GM Daewoo’s modern Gunsan facility in South Korea, the European influence during its development was considerable.
With its stylish Italian design from Giugiaro and its thorough chassis tuning in England it is geared exactly to the needs of this market.
And many technical components come from well-known German suppliers – Bosch, for example, will supply the ABS system, Siemens Automotive was the development partner for the airbags and the emission control system, while the automatic transmissions come from ZF (1.8) and Aisin Warner (1.6).