The New Daewoo Kalos - Market And Model

Daewoo Kalos Interior

Chevrolet Kalos

Daewoo Kalos - strong contender in a buoyant market sector

  • Kalos enters a buoyant market sector in Europe
  • Daewoo newcomer due to reach UK dealers late in 2002

Unique design, well-balanced driving characteristics and outstanding space utilisation are the key strengths of the new Daewoo Kalos. But these are not the only reasons why the prospects of success for the compact Korean are good: the car is also being launched into an expanding west European small car market sector. The so-called B-segment grew from 1999 to 2001 alone by around 11 per cent or 420,000 units. In 2001, some 4.3 million Europeans decided to buy a vehicle of this class, and with nearly 27 per cent of the overall market, this is one of the biggest segments of all. The current half-yearly figures also indicate continuing growth.

Successful start on the domestic South Korean market

The reasons for this positive development are, according to the market researchers, firstly the generation change among large-volume models and secondly the debut of a number of attractive new models that have no direct predecessors. In the autumn of 2002, this latter group will be extended by another highly promising candidate in the form of the Daewoo Kalos. In its South Korean domestic market, it has already found many friends, with some 3,000 having been sold every month since May and although the South Koreans prefer notchback models, the attractive five-door version has already captured half the sales of the Kalos notchback. The Kalos is manufactured in Bupyong, situated between Seoul and the port of Incheon.

Youthful style designed to appeal to the young and young at heart

The new Daewoo Kalos has been designed with a fresh new look which will appeal to all ages, from the young to the young at heart, each looking for a combination of attractive styling, driving comfort and low cost of ownership. The new model will be launched in the UK late in 2002 and will initially be available with a high-traction 1.4-litre 61 kW/83 hp petrol engine in combination with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The new five-door Kalos will be available in two versions, the SE and SX, with a number of optional extras ranging from an electric glass roof to a high-quality audio unit with CD changer.

Design and aerodynamics

Kalos sparkles with well-balanced proportions and European design flair

  • Modern European body lines stem from Giugiaro
  • Unusual lamps add distinction to the front and rear
  • Circular elements are a recurring feature in the interior
  • Wide choice of colours including six Mica finishes

With its sporty style, the new Daewoo Kalos has injected new verve and flair into the small-car sector. The striking design originated in the styling studios of Italdesign in Turin. Daewoo is thus continuing its successful co-operation with the famous team of Giorgetto Giugiaro that gave the smaller Matiz (introduced in 1998) its unmistakable, southern Europe-inspired contours. Giugiaro and the members of the Korean design centre have continued developing the finer details of the compact car from the first public appearance of the Kalos as a concept vehicle at the Paris Motor Show in 2000, through the prototype study at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2002, to the final production model. The end result is a well-balanced and attractive style with wide appeal.

Eye-catching profile: Deep side groove and wide wheel arches

Extremely short overhangs (at the front, 81 cm, at the rear 49 cm) combined with the high roofline; the lower window edge rising slightly to the rear and the steeply angled back gives the Kalos well-balanced proportions with excellent space utilisation. The wide, muscular wheel arches and the deep groove in the lower area of the doors, which makes a dynamic downward kink in front of the rear wheels, are other notable design features.

The additional third small side window not only opens up new perspectives for the rear passengers; it also optically loosens up the rear section, giving it a light and airy feel. In addition, the extra glazing stretches the body slightly and creates the impression at first glance that the car is longer than reality. This is reinforced by the black glass borders that, viewed from the side, suggest one continuous window area. The large rear window also adds to the bright, friendly atmosphere inside with the comparatively large glass surface achieving a light and airy feel to the whole design. This combination of high functionality and attractive design is typical of the Daewoo Kalos.

The rugged moulded bumpers, like the side sills, are colour keyed. Colour keyed door mirrors are also available as an option. If desired, the sporty appearance can be further enhanced with attractively designed light alloy wheels and a rear roof spoiler.

Striking front features: Headlamps in a clear-glass look

The novel lighting technology of the Kalos is another eye-catching feature. The headlamps are designed in a clear-glass look, with the horizontal indicator lamps distinctively placed like eyelids under the same cover. The bumper and the chrome grille have been designed to blend harmoniously into the bonnet.

The rear lights have an unusual hexagonal form and are geometrically divided into the brake and tail lamps (red) and the indicators and reverse lamp (white). The number plate is positioned in the tailgate between the two lamps and, with its rectangular form, creates an attractive contrast with the obliquely designed rear lights.

The striking style is further enhanced by a wide choice of body colours. Eleven colours are available, including six Mica and three metallic finishes.

Aerodynamic qualities: Favourable drag coefficient of 0.35

Many minor modifications were made in the wind tunnel to optimise the flow pattern over the outer skin of the car, resulting in the Daewoo newcomer's low drag coefficient of 0.35. The height of the vehicle, resulting from the large amount of headroom inside, gives a frontal area of 2.16 m², the whole achieving an aerodynamic resistance of 0.74 m². The use, for example, of an inclined roof antenna instead of a rod antenna and flat door handles contribute to the good overall aerodynamic properties.

Friendly atmosphere: Circular forms and fresh fabric designs in the interior

The Kalos also presents a modern and attractive appearance inside. In the SX version, the anthracite-coloured centre console contrasts against the light grey of the dashboard, and the instrument binnacle and steering wheel complement in this dark, stylish tone. Two ventilator rosettes on the top of the centre console are another striking style element. Their circular form is repeated in the side air vents, the cockpit displays and the door handles.

The interior designers have retained this circular pattern in the fabric applied to the four doors. Carbon fibre-like finish in the edgings around the power-window switches, for example, accentuate the elegant appearance in the SX version. The SE model also looks inviting in its fresh, easy-care fabric patterns.

continues... | Part Two
Published 17 September 2002 Melanie Carter
 

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