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Daewoo's SUV Assault Continues

By Motoring Channel Staff - 3/05/2005

T2X Concept Car
T2X Concept Car

GM, Daewoo and SUVs

When the Chevrolet S3X first hit the scene at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, initiating GM's foray into Europe with an entry-level brand, people stopped and took notice. Built by Daewoo in Korea, the appealing S3X is a 7-seat SUV, and will be badged as a Chevy in Europe, as will all future Daewoo product exported there.

Daewoo will also begin new exports to Australia later in 2005, where the Korean-built small cars will have Holden badges slapped on.

There is a chance that the S3X could make landfall in Australia badged as a Holden in the next few years, which would fill a gap left by the Isuzu-sourced Jackaroo, while helping GM Holden to claw back SUV ground lost to the all-conquering Ford Territory.

The T2X is a more radical looking concept vehicle than the S3X, but its chances of reaching production (and Europe) are almost guaranteed, especially when the head of design at Daewoo drops hints like "we might find something very similar to the T2X in production in the near future." Indeed we might...

- Feann Torr, Editor

T2X Concept Car
Daewoo went for a simple cabin layout, with
big controls and a dominant centre console

The T2X concept car, unveiled late last week at the fifth Seoul Motor Show, is the sportier, younger sibling to General Motor's much talked-about S3X.

While the Chevrolet S3X will be on sale in Europe in 2006, the T2X is at this stage still a concept car, based on the S3X's architecture.

According to GM, the new model "offers a glimpse of the future design direction of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology (GM Daewoo)".

Developed by the company's Design Center in Incheon, Korea, the T2X combines the body of a compact sport utility vehicle with the exciting design of a sport coupe.

If the T2X concept reaches production, it will takes sales away from vehicles like the Toyota Rav4 and other 'funky' compact SUVs.

"This striking concept car exemplifies our company slogan ‘Driving Innovation’. It demonstrates the capabilities of our design team", said David Lyon, head of design for GM Daewoo and GM Asia-Pacific.

"We are very excited to unveil this concept car for the first time here in Seoul. The T2X has tremendous potential and we might find something very similar to the T2X in production in the near future."

The T2X is based on the architecture of the Chevrolet S3X show car, which itself serves as the basis for the company's new SUV and is likewise appearing at the Seoul Motor Show.

The T2X will debut in Europe at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show in September and the Chevrolet production version of the S3X show car will be available in Europe in Summer 2006.

"It all adds up to a glimpse of the future direction of the automobile," said Lyon. "Customers want great looks and great practicality. With T2X we give them both. We give them the excitement of a great looking sports coupe and the utility of an SUV."

The light silver body of the T2X has a bold front end with prism-style headlamps and an abundance of LEDs, giving the car a very technologically advanced look.

Its taut surface is highlighted by a dynamic side character line that rises up toward the rear. With a wheelbase of 2,707mm, sporty, front-wheel arches and 20-inch wheels that are situated outside the vehicle's body, the T2X has a very athletic stance.

The 4-door, which has an overall length of 4,320mm and an overall width of 1,856mm, lacks conventional B-pillars and features rear-hinged backdoors, which will appeal to a trend-setting youth demographic.

Combined with its overall height of 1,666mm, this allows easy access for both people and cargo. Completing the exterior design is a removable glass roof panel.

According to Max Wolff, deputy director of advanced design, the new Daewoo concept will be popular with younger drivers.

"The T2X represents a segment-busting concept that will appeal to nearly everyone," stated Wolff, "but particularly to those in their 20s and 30s who aspire to a sports car look but need the off-road flexibility and configurable load space of an SUV. It represents one of the future design directions for GM Daewoo."

The dramatic coupe-style upper body and strong, functional lower exterior theme carry through to the interior of the T2X. Practical lower surfaces contrast with inviting, fabric-covered upper surfaces that have a sporty theme.

A mixture of blue fabrics with orange accents provides a cool and neat atmosphere that is in harmony with the stylish exterior. The workmanship and detailing are consistent with the company’s outstanding reputation for fit and finish.

According to interior design expert, Jin-Wook Choi, the driver-oriented interior is as spacious as it is comfortable. "A high-tech center spine connects to the rear seats and is reflected in the roof of the T2X by an aircraft-style structure with additional storage space. Fully foldable rear seats add to the flexibility and roominess of the T2X," he explained.

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