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Future models - Daewoo - Nubira

SCOOP! Daewoo duo caught on camera

Testing for two: Lanos replacement, the T-200 (left), and the J-200 Nubira.

Vital models for Daewoo have been spied testing in Australia

13 Feb 2002

YOU'RE looking at the two main hopes for Daewoo's resurgence - the T-200 Lanos replacement and the new J-200 Nubira - both photographed by our spy right here on Aussie soil.

The T-200 mini - or Kalos - will debut here in production form by July/August, while the J-200 is due early in 2003.

Both should arrive in the wake of a deal for the bankrupt South Korean to become part of the General Motors empire. GM has already signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase significant components of Daewoo and a master contract should be signed soon.

Both cars will be vital planks in restoring confidence in Daewoo.

In Australia, sales fell 44.8 per cent in 2001 as uncertainty reigned, and have dropped almost another third in January, 2002, compared to 12 months ago, despite a buoyant market.

The J-200 has been penned by the Italian styling house Pininfarina and will come with a variety of engine choices - 1.4, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol units, of which we should only get the latter two.

The new Nubira will come as a sedan, five-door hatchback and possibly a wagon. Pricing is tipped to start under $20,000 with the sedan and wagon expected in Australia.

Our photo gives a good indication of the restyled shape of the Nubira sedan, which is shorter than its predecessor, but wider and higher.

A show car version of the Giugiaro-styled Kalos has been seen in Australia already, but the car in our spy photos is a virtual production car, other than a front-end redesign requested by GM. An example of Kalos will be on display at the Melbourne motor show this month and you can expect that to be near production.

Physically, the Kalos is a little shorter and narrower than the old Lanos, but is somewhat wider. It is also expected to take over the Lanos name when it goes on sale here priced from around $15,000.

The Kalos will initially be sold here as both a five-door hatch and four-door sedan with the choice of 1.4-litre or 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines. A three-door is no more than 12 months away.

Meanwhile, the chances of the mid-size Magnus arriving to take over from the Leganza are improving, albeit only in six-cylinder form.

Daweoo Automotive Australia was unsure if it could make economic sense of the Magnus, the factory demanding significant sales numbers to justify conversion to right-hand drive.

The Magnus would be re-named Leganza if it makes it here, with an arrival time tipped for about October.

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