Work on new models – Lanos, Nubira and Leganza – began in late 1993 with the so-called “V100 project”. Cars were intended for world markets, and made them “the whole world.” The overall engineering development of Leganza was conducted by the English MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association).
In 1998, the gaining strength of the Korean concern Daewoo launched a massive attack on the world market. The flagship of the squadron, consisting of completely new models, was the Leganza sedan. Since before the company was engaged in the production of only licensed copies of other people’s cars, to create new models had to attract the best minds of the global automotive industry. The engines were helped by the creation of GM designers (a division of Holden) and the engineering company Ricardo (Great Britain), the transmission – German ZF (Zanradfabrik AG) and Sachs, electrical equipment – Siemens and Bosch. The suspension was tuned by the English Lotus; the brakes were handled by the American Delphi. The Italians helped with the design: ItalDesign offered the Koreans the Kensington project, created a few years earlier for Jaguar and rejected by the customer due to excessive modernism. Slightly modified, it formed the basis of Daewoo Leganza. The car was produced in Korea, assembled in a large-knot way in Ukraine – at the Kvant plant in Ilyichevsk and in Russia – at the Krasny Aksai plant in Rostov and TagAZ at Taganrog. Russian versions that differ from the Korean nameplates on the trunk were sold only at home – under the name “Doninvest Condor.”
The main advantages of this machine are spaciousness and comfort. The interior is made in “Korean”, in the “avant-garde” style inherent in almost all new Korean models – a lot of pathos, a little order. Smooth transitions of surfaces, bizarre combinations of forms of ventilation deflectors, a liquid crystal display of hours and function buttons are the result of the wild imagination of Daewoo designers. But there are no complaints about the quality of the finish.
Five people can easily fit in the car (width at the back at shoulder level – 141 cm). The front seats have combined adjustments: seat cushions – electric, backs – mechanical. The position of the cushion varies in height, the angle of inclination and the distance from the pedal unit, and the back – in the angle of inclination. In addition, the driver’s seat has a profile adjustment in the lumbar region. Fit the seats does not cause difficulties – its algorithm and the location of the control buttons are the same as on the Mercedes E-class. The process of landing in the cabin is not ideal because of the high seat cushions and low doorways. The review as a whole is not bad, but the back view is somewhat limited by the high trunk.
The car body is partially galvanized – in some countries it was given a six-year warranty.
The new Leganza engine with the T20SED index is a modified 2 liter Opel powertrain (in the Holden version), which has served its purpose on the Espero / Prince / Super Salon. Now – thanks to a new 16-valve head and an improved injection system – its power has grown from 110 to 136 hp. The maximum torque increased by 12%. The motor can be aggregated with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic. A T18SED engine with a volume of 1.8 liters (8V, 95 hp) is also installed on the car, which is characterized by less power, the lack of which is felt when driving in a dense city stream. Structurally, all units are the same.
The chassis is one of the main advantages of the model. The front of the car has the familiar McPherson, and the rear has an independent multi-link. On smoothness Leganza came close to European classmates. Soft energy-intensive suspension dampens any bumps in the road. At the same time, there is no hint of intensive work of springs and shock absorbers. The car literally spreads along the asphalt. Moreover, in the suspension of the car there is no impossibility. Lateral roll in high-speed turns is acceptable both from the point of view of comfort, and from the point of view of management. The front end swims a little, but the car stabilizes surprisingly quickly.
The force on the steering wheel changes depending on the speed of movement – the hydraulic booster is responsible for this.
Disc brakes on all Leganza wheels are effective with precisely dosed force. Almost all 2.0-liter versions are equipped with ABS, which is optimally tuned.
For its price, the car is equipped with luxury. The list of equipment for the most common CDX version is impressive: ABS, variable power steering, power windows, tinted windows, fog lights, electrically adjustable and electrically heated mirrors, rear window heating, alloy wheels, five-way driver’s seat, height-adjustable steering wheel, foldable parts rear seat, wood trim, velor, clock with thermometer, central locking, driver airbag, safety bars in the doors, audio training, correct headlights, additional brake light, wipers with adjustable cycle.