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GM Daewoo Introduces New Matiz Creative Global Mini-Car

The Matiz Creative. Click to enlarge.

GM Daewoo Auto & Technology (GM Daewoo) introduced its all-new global mini-car, the Matiz Creative. The new mini will go on sale from 1 September. Based on GM’s global mini-vehicle architecture, the Matiz Creative took 27 months to develop, with an investment of KRW 295 billion (US$236 million).

Following its launch in Korea, the global mini will be sold in more than 150 markets around the world including those in Europe, Asia and North America. The global vehicle was put through more than 1 million kilometers of intensive durability tests, extreme weather tests, and crash tests worldwide.

The new Matiz Creative features a newly developed S-TEC II engine—a 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine with a displacement of 995 cc that delivers 69 hp (51 kW) of power and maximum torque of 92 N·m (698 lb-ft). Fuel efficiency is 17.0 km/L (5.9 L/100km, 40 mpg US).

The S-TEC II engine includes a series of advanced features that enhance performance. The first-in-segment application of the PDA (Port De-Activation) system ensures high exhaust gas recirculation, resulting in combustion stability at low speeds and optimal performance at high speeds together with improved fuel efficiency. In addition, the PDA system contributes to a reduction in emissions, making the Matiz Creative a truly eco-friendly vehicle that meets the stringent KULEV (Korea Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle) standard.

Another first-in-segment application is an automatic temperature controller inside the engine, which helps improve fuel efficiency by reducing unnecessary heat loss. A dome-type long-skirt cylinder block narrows the space between intake valves while the application of four resonators reduces engine noise.

Mated with the efficient S-TEC-II engine is a 4-speed automatic transmission tuned to GM’s global standards that provides enhanced shifts for an outstanding ride.

Adopting the body-frame integral (BFI) system, the upper body structure and frame are engineered as a single unit, resulting in better feel of the road along with a heightened sense of firmness and stability, and enhanced connectivity between the driver and vehicle.

A McPherson strut front suspension combined with a four-point mounted long engine cradle and a width power reduction spring enhances the solidity of the entire chassis, for improved crash safety and driving performance. A rear compound crank torsion beam incorporates a tubular V-beam for more effective tuning and dynamic performance.

A first-in-segment triple acoustic absorbent structure and special underbody structure prevent noise inflow from outside, for optimal quietness. Wind noise is minimized through the Matiz Creative’s aerodynamic body line and detailed door sealing structure.

The body of the Matiz Creative is the stiffest in the mini segment; 66.5% of its body is constructed of high-strength steel; more than 16% uses ultra-high-strength steel. This ensures the highest level of protection in the segment. The solid structure will play a key role in securing expected four-star ratings in NCAP crash tests in Korea, Europe, and the US, according to GM Daewoo.

In addition, ultra-high-strength steel applied to the side structure minimizes the chance of the structure deforming in the event of a crash. High-strength steel is also used in the rear body structure to protect passengers as well as the fuel tank, minimizing the possibility of fuel leakage during a collision.

The four-point mounted long engine cradle protects passengers in the event of a head-on collision by optimally dispersing crash loads. The steering column features an extended impact protection zone to enhance protection of the driver’s torso.

The use of H-spider type ultra-high-strength steel bars in the underbody prevents severe deformation caused by a side crash. The tailor-welded blanking method used in the B-pillar ensures maximum protection of passengers’ upper bodies. High-strength steel in the rear and first-in-segment rear crash boxes minimize the impact of whiplash.

The roof is especially stiff, for maximum rollover protection. The Matiz Creative has been developed to withstand up to four times its weight—which goes far beyond industry regulations. As a result, GM Daewoo expects the Matiz Creative to receive the highest ratings in IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) crash testing in the US.

GM Daewoo engineers also factored in pedestrian safety. Ample space between the engine and hood reduces the chance of a secondary collision, meeting European safety regulations for the protection of pedestrians.

The first-in-segment application of front-end crash boxes for greater passenger protection adds an economical factor as customers will need to change only the crash boxes instead of repairing the entire vehicle in the case of a low-speed crash. As a result, the vehicle is expected to receive a good grade in the RCAR (Research Council for Automobile Repairs) test for determining customer insurance fees.

Besides driver, front passenger and side air bags, the Matiz Creative also offers first-in-segment curtain air bags mounted on the roof rails to protect both front and back seat occupants. A 4-channel/4-sensor EBD-ABS system reduces braking distance and helps prevent skidding and rollover. Other safety highlights include seatbelt pre-tensioners, shock-sensitive door locks and rear parking assist sensors with a broad range.



The next step for GM will be to come out with a Kei car. 'Kei cars are a class of small cars in Japan which have a length limit of 3.4 meters, a width limit of 1.48 meters, height limit of 2 meters and a engine limit of 660 cc. The Kei car class was created (and given tax breaks) as a way to beef up the domestic auto industry after the second world war. According to the FAQ, mileage of 40-60 MPG, which you would expect from such a tiny car, is common for these vehicles.'


A good idea for selling cars in Japan.



In USA, tax breaks are given for gas guzzlers OVER 6000 lbs, not for mini cars.

For the long term, a very recent study claimed that, at the current going rate, 100% of us will be obese by 2056 and we will not fit in Kei cars.

Can you imagine a family of four (1200+ lbs) in a Kei? Larger trucks/SUV may be back unless the current (body weight) trend is changed.


Do I hear;
“Why don’t those greedy bureaucrats at GM import this car?”
“Oh, they are? – well I don’t want it after all.”

Seems like a good engine for the Volt.

I do not presume to know that the Volt would sell better if it had this 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC 995 cc 69 hp engine.

Maybe requiring the engine to run “sooner” (at maybe 30 miles) to assure undiminished power at the wheels is an advertising and customer perception disadvantage and maybe the smaller engine size saves little weight and might actually cost more (and it would be imported).

Maybe the Volt II.

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