Chevrolet’s Optra Magnum diesel
a more serious Chevrolet..
a more serious Chevrolet..
General Motors may have lost the top spot to
Engine and Powertrain:
Long awaited diesel mill finally finds a place in the optra’s hood. The 2.0L, 16V TCDi engine (Turbo Charged Common Rail Direct Injection) which pumps out 120.5PS at 3000rpm and maximum torque of 314Nm at 2125rpm. Both these figures are greater than its competitors Skoda Octavia and Hyundai Elantra. General Motor claims the optra magnum can reach a maximum speed of 190kph and Chevrolet’s dealer claim optra magnum will deliver 14kpl. The engine struggles little bit in the bottom end, noisy in the top end but the mid range could be the optra magnum’s biggest USP. 5 speed manual transmission is only offered for the new Chevrolet’s optra magnum. Unlike the petrol optra, the gears are sharp and the gear shift is smooth.
Design and Engineering:
- SR-V like front end for the new optra magnum
- New optra magnum features large front grille and wraparound headlamps also the huge bumpers incorporates the airdam and fog lamps
- Other changes in the new optra diesel includes new doors and mirror mounted indicators
- new three-tone dashboard looks along with light colours and faux wood makes the optra magnum far more upmarket
- Ride is more comfortable in the optra magnum than the petrol optra as the suspension is fine tuned for the optra magnum.
- Reduced ground clearance and increased length when compared to petrol optra
For the new Optra Magnum though the GM has retained the width and the height, length is increased by 25mm. The diesel optra’s ground clearance is 165mm compared to its petrol sibling which has 173mm. Optra Magnum features Disc brake on all wheels and for the higher end variant of Magnum GM offers alloy wheels. Suspension for the optra magnum is through Mcpherson strut with anti roll bar and twin tube gas filled shock absorber in both front and the rear. With the fine tuned suspension the diesel optra magnum scores over the skoda Octavia in ride but in handling Octavia still leads Hyundai Elantra and the new optra magnum. GM calls the safety system for the new optra magnum as X-PRO system. ABS and Dual airbags are only for the optra magnum higher end LT variant. Impact proof bumpers and rear integrated fog lamps are additional safety features.
The optra petrol version despite being priced lower than the competition by over half-a-lakh was left behind, mainly due to GM’s reputation of poor after sales service. Much worse is the case for the spark. Though the segment leader is also worse in after sales service (both Chevrolet and Skoda ranked 8th and 9th in JD power Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI)). GM has to learn lessons from Fiat – even the excellent products can fail if the service is bad and it is difficult to change the image once it gets the bad reputation. The real test for General Motors India is in not bringing good products but lies in developing good service network. Over a period Skoda has built a strong image as a diesel maker among Indian customers. To make strides in this segment, GM has to break this mould and optra magnum is certainly a good beginning to break the mould.
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