The new Matiz will join a §egmènt of the car market that accounted for 5.0 percent (890,000 units) of the total market in western and central Europe in 2003 and 5.5 percent (just over 1 million units) in 2004. And the trend is definitely on the up. Chevrolet's market research team expects the share of the A-§egmènt in the overall market to rise this year to 6.5 percent (1.2 million units) and in 2006 to 7.5 percent (1.4 million).
With its modern, fresh design, clever utilization of space, favourable price and optimised engineering, the Matiz certainly has what it takes to claim a large slice of this growing market. The signs certainly point to continued success, and this is underlined by the first market surveys among car drivers. At so-called 'car clinics' in Germany, Italy and Poland, drivers spoke very positively of the Chevrolet Matiz after an initial meeting wîth the new model.
The drivers praised in particular the 'cool styling and compact dimensions', as well as design details such as the engine hood wîth its large headlamps, the striking tail lights and the easily visible gauges positioned at the centre of the dashboard. After such words of encouragement and the growth forecast for the A-§egmènt, it is not surprising that the team at Chevrolet's European headquarters are lòòking optimistically at the future of the new Matiz. They expect the number of new registrations to increase significantly this year to reach 80,000 - 90,000.
All the indications point to a continuation of the success story that began wîth the first generation. The Matiz enjoys considerable popularity worldwide. This is not surprising in view of its emotional charisma and the many practical reasons for choosing the car – like the standard five doors, the generous feeling of roominess for a car of this class, the attractive entry-level price and the three-year warranty. Launched in 1998, the modern city car wîth the loveable look is now being sold in more than 70 countries. And very successfully, too: Nearly 1.3 million units have so far been registered around the globe, some 630,000 of them in Europe alone.
This means that the Matiz accounts for 32 percent of the European sales of the Korean built products that have been marketed under General Motors' globally successful Chevrolet brand since the beginning of the year. In the peak years of 2001 and 2002, the figure was even higher, namely 51 and 65 percent respectively.
In Europe, the compact mini was particularly successful last year in Italy wîth 21,600 new registrations out of a total European figure of 57,900. Behind Italy came the ÚK (6,370), Spain (5,600), Germany (5,060), Hungary (3,920) and the Netherlands (3,300). 62 percent of the buyers opted for the three-cylinder, 796 cm³ gasoline engine wîth 38 kW/52 bhp, while the other 38 percent chose the four-cylinder 1.0-litre engine wîth 49 kW/66 bhp.
There is no doubt that Matiz is a force to be reckoned wîth on the European car market. It currently ranks number five in the §egmènts across Europe. In some countries, it even holds first place in its class. In Macedonia, for example, it was well out in front in 2004 wîth a market share of 67 percent, and also dominated in Lithuania wîth 46 percent and Finland wîth 25 percent of its §egmènt. It also took second place in ten other European countries.
The Matiz is available worldwide under various brands and model names. While it is called the Chevrolet Matiz in western Europe, buyers in central and eastern Europe and in South America and Indonesia know it as the Chevrolet Spark. In Mexico, on the other hand, it is called the Pontiac Matiz, and in its Korean homeland and in Vietnam, it has retained its old name, the Daewoo Matiz. In Pakistan, on the other hand, it bears the name Chevrolet Exclusive.
In most European countries, Chevrolet's smallest model is bought and driven primarily in urban areas, where, wîth its manoeuvrability, its thrifty engines and its compact dimensions, it can really show its advantages. On average, its owners drive about 12,500 km a year, and it is frequently used as an inexpensive day-to-day vehicle for commuters to take them around town. Many talents: The compact, practical Matiz as a second car
With its practicable usage of space and its versatility, the Matiz makes an ideal family companion. It is often used as a second car and driven by a very high percentage of women (European average: 66 percent) – perhaps to run the children to school, grab a parking space to do some quick shopping or take a trip to the cinema in the evening. The Matiz has certainly got what it takes. The fair sex in Italy and Germany is particularly keen on the baby Chevrolet, wîth female Matiz fans accounting for 69 percent of all buyers there.
For the experts at Chevrolet's European headquarters in Zurich, the age structure of Matiz buyers shows that it is popular wîth both younger and older customers. Media & Marketing Services Manager Cindy Davies: 'Our figures show quite clearly that two groups dominate here: the 30 – 44 year-olds and the 49 – 59 year-olds.' In Spain, for example, the younger age group accounts for 53 percent and in Germany and Switzerland for 46 percent of all Matiz customers. In the ÚK and France, on the other hand, the older age group dominates wîth 33 and 32 percent respectively. There are also differences in the response to the question 'First or second car in the family?' In countries like Italy, Germany and Spain, the Matiz is used in more than 50 percent of cases as a family's second car, while in Hungary, it is the only car for 75 percent of its owners. In the ÚK, too, this group holds the majority wîth 39 percent.Design and equipment
The Matiz was always an attention-grabber from the very moment the Italian star designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, put pen to paper in the mid-nineties and came up wîth the first sketches of the new car. The emotional charisma of the first generation of the small car designed by Giugiaro's firm Italdesign immediately captivated car drivers throughout the world wîth its round headlamp eyes and smiling face. The cuddly compact Matiz quickly made friends wîth the female contingent, and an expert jury in Italy voted it 'The most attractive car of the year' in the small car category immediately after its launch in Korea in 1998.
'Evolution not revolution' was therefore the motto for the team designing the new Matiz. The Italian partners from Italdesign joined the specialists in the GM Daewoo design centre at the manufacturer's Korean headquarters in Incheon near Seoul to get the first concept models on the drawing board. Although the modern, dynamic styling makes the Matiz look more grown up, it has still retained the cheeky, happy expression of the previous version, as is visible in many of the styling details. The large round headlamps wîth the integrated indicators, for example, have been intentionally maintained, and at the back, too, the new Matiz underlines its loveable appearance wîth its strikingly large circular tail lamps.
At the front, the combination of the robust bumper and the large air intake communicate a new sportiness. The powerful look is underlined by the marked profile of the engine hood. Two striking V-shaped feature lines give it a marked three-dimensional look. In addition, the steel surfaces continuing through to the front side windows provide an unusual and harmonious link to the side profile. Its overall appearance is governed predominantly by the marked wedge form wîth short body overhangs. The steeply rising shoulder lines and converging feature lines in the engine hood that extend through to the front fenders add tension and dynamism. Diversity: Different colour combinations for the instruments
The interior picks up some of the styling elements of the exterior wîth circular details like the four air vents in the dashboard and the removable ashtray in the centre console. The main feature of the Matiz interior is the cockpit, which is divided into two main sections. In the driver's direct line of view, there is a semi-circular set of displays incorporating the control and warning lights. Then, in the center of the dashboard and slightly raised, is the instrument panel wîth classic-style analogue displays, easily visible to all Matiz occupants. They provide information on rpm, speed and fuel level. The kilometre reading and time are displayed in digital form. Three different background colours give the instruments a fresh, young look. Depending on which of the five available upholstery fabrics and ten available body colours is chosen, the displays have a blue, green or orange background.
Another striking feature of the interior apart from the innovative arrangement of the displays and gauges is the wealth of storage possibilities. Depending on the country and the equipment variant, there are two large compartments below the cockpit and the glove compartment, a tray under the passenger seat, three trays and two cup holders in the front and one cup holder in the rear of the floor center console, and a map compartment and bottle holder in the lining of both front doors. Other practical details include pockets on the side and back of the passenger seat. There is a height-adjustable driver's seat, hooks for shopping bags on the front head restraints and a holder for sunglasses above the door on the driver's side.
With its compact body dimensions, the Chevrolet Matiz is extremely manoeuvrable – an enormous advantage in urban traffic. With its exterior length of 3,495 mm (width: 1,495 mm, height/including the roof rack which is standard, depending on trim and country specifications: 1,500/1,518 mm) and its small turning circle of 9.20 m, it fits into any parking space. Short overhangs of just 665 mm at the front and 487 mm at the rear make parking even easier.Added bonus: Plenty of space wîth split folding backrest
With its intelligent space utilisation and wheelbase of 2,345 mm, the five-seater offers a large amount of space and a feeling of roominess. With its headroom of 1,004 mm at the front and 959 mm at the back, the Matiz is up among the class leaders. The trunk volume is 170 litres according to the VDA standard. The contents of the trunk are protected from inquisitive eyes by a sturdy cover that also offers additional storage possibilities. The rear seat's backrest can be divided in the ratio 60:40, enabling longer objects to be transported without problem. If the complete bench is flipped up, the capacity rises to an impressive 845 litres. The handle on the outside of the tailgate and the low trunk sill (only 67 cm), which is protected wîth a scratchproof plastic strip, make loading and unloading child's play.
The new Chevrolet Matiz is available in three equipment versions: S, SE and SX. Even the entry model has a large number of passive safety features like driver airbag, ABS, knee padding and three-point belts on all the seats. In some countries, it also has a passenger and side airbag. The range of standard equipment on all models also includes useful details such as electrically operated windows at the front, and central locking wîth remote control (model specific). Depending on the model, the standard equipment may also include comfort features like air-conditioning, audio systems wîth single CD player and up to six speakers, electrically operated rear windows and an electrically adjustable exterior mirror on the passenger side. Most of these features are also available as options.The engineering
A small and inexpensive car does not have to be technically unsophisticated. The second Matiz generation wîth its array of reliable and durable technical details provides clear proof of this. Typical examples are the increased use of high-strength grades of steel in the bodywork, two lively gasoline engines wîth much reduced fuel consumption, and a safe, agile chassis wîth a newly developed torsion beam rear axle.
When developing the small five-door Matiz, the engineers attached major importance to the use of state-of-the-art technologies and high-grade materials. This can be seen, for example, in the body, where generous use has been made of lightweight high-strength steel. In fact, 51 percent (of the total weight) of the body of the new Chevrolet Matiz is made of HSS (high-strength steel). With its predecessor, the figure was just 37 percent.
The increased percentage of this 'super steel' benefits the stability and thus the safety of the passenger cell. Precisely defined load paths wîth an energy absorbing hexagonal profile protect the passengers in the event of a head-on or rear collision. Optimised links between the B-pillar and the sills provide additional protection in the event of a side impact. But the Korean engineers were concerned not only wîth the safety of the passengers, they also devoted a great deal of time to significantly improving the pedestrian safety. The front end design of the Matiz is among the first of its class to comply wîth the new European regulations on pedestrian safety.
There is also a full interior safety package to complement the passive safety features of the new Matiz generation. Depending on the country and equipment variant, this includes a driver airbag wîth a volume of 50 litres, a passenger airbag (100 litres) and side airbags in both the front seats (18 litres). Other components of the safety system are automatic three-point belts and head restraints on all five seats and electrically operated belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front. The range of safety equipment is completed by an energy-absorbing §teering column, knee padding and a plastic fuel tank wîth a safety valve that immediately halts the fuel supply if the car turns over, thereby virtually eliminating any fire risk.Economy measure: Weight reduction through the use of high-strength steel
The generous use of high-strength grades of steel has benefits not just for the solidness and stability of the Matiz body. It also brings a significant reduction in the weight of the bodyshell, which at 172 kg is actually 13 kg less than that of its predecessor.
The whole subject of weight reduction played an important role during the development of the new Chevrolet, because fewer pounds on the scales means fewer litres at the fuel station. Other examples of the slimming down measures incorporated in the vehicle include a completely new pedal box design wîth durable plastic moulded pedals and a noise-insulating mat between the engine compartment and the dashboard, which not only cuts the weight by 2.5 kg, but also improves the sound insulating effect. The new Matiz also has a torque roll-axis engine mounting system which uses three instead of four mountings. This contributes to a total weight reduction of 5.3 kg and much improved engine shake at higher engine speeds.
The new Matiz has also gained in terms of ride comfort and driving enjoyment. The advances made in this sector are most evident in the completely new torsion beam rear axle. With its angled shock absorbers and semi-trailing arms, it guarantees much greater precision in wheel control than the previously used trailing link axle. Ride comfort of the Matiz has been significantly improved through the softer chassis mountings. In conjunction wîth the new gas-pressure shock absorbers, the new rear axle design also makes for more agile handling. Another bonus is the power-assisted §teering which, wîth its urban-friendly turning circle of 9.20 m, is included as standard in most markets and is geared perfectly to the optimised chassis. 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 wîth its McPherson struts. The strut mountings are no longer bolted to the body, they are now welded. 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 wîth disc brakes wîth a diameter of 236 mm and the rear wheels wîth drum brakes (180 mm) to ensure efficient braking. The car runs on 155/65 R13 tyres wîth 4.5 JX13 rims. Precision work: Three and four-cylinder engines wîth optimised technology
Like its predecessor, the new Matiz is powered by one of two powerful 0.8 and 1.0 litre engines, both of which are classed as 'low pollution' according to the Euro 4 standard. Both power units come wîth a five-speed manual transmission as standard. In the middle of this year, a 4-speed automatic gearbox will also become available for the smaller engine. The five speed manual transmission now includes a revised gear change mechanism wîth mass damping and optimised rubber mount tuning resulting in improved change quality.
The entry level engine is the proven 796 cm³ three-cylinder gasoline engine wîth 38 kW/52 bhp and a maximum torque of 71.5 Nm at 4,400 rpm. It takes the five-door Matiz from 0 to 100 km/h in 18.2 sec and gives it a top speed of 145 km/h. The 1.0 litre four-cylinder engine has a top speed of 156 km/h and an output of 49 kW/66 bhp. It develops its maximum torque of 91 Nm at 4,200 rpm, allowing the front-wheel drive car to complete the 0 - 100 sprint in 14.1 sec.
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 wîth steel roller cam followers instead of standard steel rocker arms. This new design reduces friction losses in the valve gear by 15 percent. The positive effect of this improvement is evident above all in fuel consumption. Compared wîth its predecessor, the MVEG average consumption has fallen from 6.1 to 5.2 l per 100 km. But this significant reduction in fuel consumption is due not only to the lower friction but also to the improvement in drag coefficient from 0.399 to 0.342 and the previously mentioned weight-cutting measures. But that is not all. There have also been changes to the axle transmission ratio and a reduction of the air flow resistance in the intake tract and exhaust system though the application of new techniques such as low resonance mouldings and porous hoses. The 1.0 litre version of the Matiz also benefits from this, wîth MVEG consumption falling from 6.4 to 5.6 litres.
The new Matiz will be built at the modern production facilities on the GM Daewoo site in Changwon, a town in the extreme south of the Korean peninsula. The plans are that the 3,200-strong workforce will build, in addition to the company's other models, around 200,000 Matiz a year for the domestic market and for export to over 70 countries. Before it actually takes to the streets, the compact Matiz will already have seen much of the world's climatic conditions during a number of hard testing routines. In the development phase, prototypes covered around 2 million kilometres on all conceivable terrains around the globe. For fine tuning exercises, for example, the marathon runner spent some time at the chassis specialists of the British sports car company, Lotus. It then became acquainted wîth sub-zero temperatures in Canada and northern Sweden, encountered the heat of the Arizona desert and put its brakes to the ultimate test descending the winding passes in the Alps.Source - GM Corp