The New Chevrolet Matiz | Part Four

Chevrolet Matiz

Chevrolet Matiz

A simple range but all great value

There are three models available in the new Chevrolet Matiz line-up - S, SE and SX. The smaller 0.8 litre engine comes in the entry-level S model; this is priced at £6095.

The 1.0 litre engine, ideal for those that make slightly longer journeys or spending a little time on the motorway, is more powerful yet still frugal. This engine comes in the SE and SX models where big car features such as air conditioning, electric rear windows and alloy wheels are included. The 1.0SE is priced at £6595, (air conditioning costs £400 more on this model) and the fully-equipped 1.0SX is £7695.

Engine and Gearbox

The new Chevrolet Matiz is powered by a 0.8 litre three-cylinder engine developing 51 Ps with 71 Nm of torque (the latter increased over the previous model through design changes to inlet and exhaust systems and EuroIV tuning) or a 1.0 litre four-cylinder unit developing 65 Ps and 91 Nm of torque, likewise increased over the previous model.

For the three-cylinder engine to obtain peak form for its appearance in the new Matiz, a number of fundamental new developments have been incorporated. They include the single overhead cam valve control being via aluminium rockers with steel roller cam followers instead of standard steel rocker arms. This new design reduces friction losses in the valve gear by 15 per cent and reduces valve train noise. The positive effect of this improvement, along with the retune to EuroIV emissions standards, is evident above all in fuel consumption. Compared with its predecessor, the MVEG average consumption has fallen by 15%. But this significant reduction in fuel consumption is due not only to the lower friction and retune but also to the improvement in drag coefficient from 0.399 to 0.342 and the associated weight-cutting measures outlined below. But that is not all. There have also been changes to the axle ratio and a reduction of the airflow resistance in the intake tract and exhaust system through the application of new techniques such as low resonance mouldings and porous hoses. The 1.0 litre version of the Matiz also benefits from the weight loss, EuroIV developments and these breathing improvements with MVEG consumption also falling by 15%.

The 0.8 has a maximum speed of 90mph and accelerates to 62mph in 18.2 seconds. The 1.0 litre cars will reach 97mph and accelerate to 62mph in 14.1 seconds. CO2 emissions are reduced on both engines by some 12% to 127 and 139g/km respectively.

Both models come with a five-speed manual gearbox which features an all-new gearchange mechanism with rubber mounts and mass damping for improved shift quality.

Chassis

Matiz has always been a nimble car but handling quality has been an issue for some customers. The new Chevrolet Matiz addresses any shortcomings in this area. The advances made are most evident in the completely new torsion beam rear axle with its angled and carefully tuned rubber mountings. Coupled with its angled shock absorbers and semi-trailing arms, it guarantees much greater precision in wheel control than the previously used and more simple trailing link axle for more agile handling.

Ride comfort of Matiz has also been significantly improved with the new gas-pressure shock absorbers and softer mounting rubbers in the suspension links. Another bonus is the power-assisted steering which, with its urban-friendly turning circle of just 30 feet, is geared perfectly to the optimised chassis. The chassis is tuned to ensure that progressive understeer sets in when cornering speeds get near the limit - the safe option, particularly for drivers in this sector of the market.

The engineers have also paid attention to detail by providing additional damping elements to improve noise comfort. The design team has also done some work on the front axle of the Matiz 2005 model with its proven MacPherson struts. The strut mountings are no longer bolted to the body, they are now welded into a much stiffer location. As a result of this modification, the suspension responds more sensitively and ride comfort has been further enhanced. All the Matiz models feature a modern four-channel anti-locking brake system. The front wheels are fitted with disc brakes with a diameter of 236mm and the rear wheels with drum brakes (180mm) to ensure efficient braking. Matiz runs on 155/65 R13 tyres with 4.5 Jx13 rims.

continues... | Part Five
Published 30 March 2005 Melanie Carter
 

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