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Daewoo edges ahead

Kalos clue: The Kalos concept provides a good indication of what the next generation Lanos will look like.

Daewoo has revealed its future product as it fights to stay afloat

Daewoo logo23 Apr 2001

By GAUTAM SHARMA in SOUTH KOREA

DAEWOO has revealed its next generation Lanos and Nubira passenger cars.

The embattled South Korean company opened up its research and development department to visiting Australian and New Zealand journalists last week in an effort to prove it has a future.

Daewoo was declared bankrupt last year and it could soon be sold to GM, which is in negotiation with its creditors at the moment.

The next generation Daewoo cars bear an obvious family resemblance to the new Magnus flagship, eschewing the rounded, organic lines of the current Lanos and Nubira in favour of square-shouldered, New Edge designs.

LANOS: THE new Lanos - codenamed T-200 - was styled by Giugiaro and is scheduled to go into production in February, 2002.

It will be launched in South Korea next April, but we won't get it until the second half of next year.

Externally, the new Lanos derives some styling cues from the likes of the Honda Civic hatchback, featuring a cab-forward layout and mini-MPV proportions.

It will initially be offered in sedan and five-door configurations but Daewoo insiders suggest a three-door model will be added to the line-up later on.

The prototype model shown to us featured automatic transmission with a Mercedes-Benz-style gated shift.

The new Lanos will be built with a range of powerplants - 1.2, 1.5 and 1.6-litre petrol engines and a 1.5-litre diesel unit aimed at the European market. We are likely to get only the two larger petrol engines.

T-200 Lanos dimensions: Length: 3882mm Width: 1666mm Height: 1495mm NUBIRA: THE next generation Nubira - codenamed J-200 - also features taut, sharp-edged lines, penned by Italian styling house Pininfarina.

The new Nubira will also come with a range of engine options - 1.4, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol powerplants, as well as a 1.5-litre LPG unit aimed at the domestic market.

Like its smaller sibling, the future Nubira will be offered in sedan and five-door hatchback configurations - but the two variants will feature different frontal styling.

Production is scheduled to start in August, 2002. Daewoo insiders suggest we may see it in Australia late next year or in early 2003.

J-200 Nubira dimensions: Length: 4450mm Width: 1725mm Height: 1445mm MAGNUS: THE existing Leganza flagship will make way for the bigger and more stylish Magnus in September, 2002.

The new range-topper will be powered by a compact 2.5-litre, in-line six-cylinder engine (as opposed to the ubiquitous V6 used in most other front-wheel drives) developed in-house by Daewoo.

We were allowed a brief drive in the car and most journalists came away impressed with its refinement and performance.

Daewoo officials suggest the car will be pitched somewhere between the Hyundai Sonata and Grandeur, which indicates a price around $30,000 in today's money.

It won't be called Magnus here, as this name is too close to Mitsubishi's Magna.

Magnus dimensions: Length: 4770mm Width: 1815mm Height: 1440mm DAEWOO KEEN ON THE MUSSO DAEWOO Australia is keen to get hold of the all-new Musso off-roader being developed by Ssangyong.

Ssangyong had been taken over by Daewoo in 1998 but since the latter was declared bankrupt, the two marques have been in the hands of different creditors who want to keep them separate.

The new Musso features Mercedes-Benz M-class-inspired styling, a separate chassis and full-time four-wheel drive.

Power will come from the same 3.2-litre, in-line six-cylinder engine used in the current Musso or a 2.9-litre common rail turbo-diesel.

Daewoo Automotive Australia executive director Michel de Vriendt said the new Musso could land here around April, 2002.

It will be sold by only 25 of Daewoo's 132 local dealers, which will result in a more focused approach, according to Mr de Vriendt.

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