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First look: Holden's medium sedan future!

Magnus-no-more: 2006 Tosca replaces South Korea's Magnus in early 2006.

Lookout Vectra! GM-Daewoo unveils Tosca medium sedan, and it could be headed our way

6 Dec 2005

GM-DAEWOO has issued the first official picture of its replacement for the mid-sized Leganza/Magnus sedan.

Normally, such a model reveal would attract little more than a snigger from GoAuto at its quaint Tosca nameplate, which is borrowed not from the chocolate bar but is instead a quaint acronym for "Tomorrow Standard Car".

But in this case Tosca’s relevance to Australia is significant because it’s likely to join Holden’s line-up as a possible replacement for the slow-selling Opel-sourced Vectra.

Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney, told GoAuto in June that he thought the Magnus replacement would drive more sales in the medium-car market than the premium-priced, Belgium-built Vectra, which has failed to ignite the sales charts since launching in all-new ZC guise in March 2003.

"We only do 3500 Vectras a year," he said in June.

Tosca – to be badged as a Chevrolet Epica outside South Korea, where it goes on sale early next year – is also expected to replace North American Suzuki's mid-sized Verona sedan that was never sold here. Tosca was developed in conjunction with Suzuki, but the company sells Daewoo-sourced models as Suzukis only in the US.

Codenamed V250, the front-drive 2006 Tosca features a different interior to the current Magnus, plus all-new sheetmetal, and should continue to be available with a Holden-built Family II 2.0-litre four-cylinder and a 2.5-litre straight six Daewoo engine.

However, both a new Korean-built 2.0-litre diesel engine based on an MV Motori design, plus a 2.8-litre version of Holden’s Alloytec V6 are also believed to be under development.

Whether Tosca replaces Vectra or is made available alongside it, positioned above the Daewoo Lacetti-based Viva, is unknown.

Holden was unavailable to comment on Tosca as we went to press, but in his first interview, the company’s new executive director sales, marketing and aftersales Alan Batey, remained upbeat about the prospects of Daewoo-sourced Holdens.

"Clearly there is a huge opportunity with affordability in the Australian market and that was the whole reason why we did GM-Daewoo. The whole reason for doing that was to be able to find the right cost base to be successful in that segment of the market.

"And we believe that GM-Daewoo has proven to be able to do that.

"So I would say that in the future our job is to use the strength of GM on a global basis to bring the right product, wherever that product may be. "Where we are with affordability is that one of the fundamentals that will make GM-Daewoo successful is to really have a focus on great styling.

"So going forward I believe the product that you will see out of GM Daewoo will have extremely expressive styling and will have the foundation of greater affordability and that will allow us to be successful in these opportunity segments."

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