Make way for the leader

With an eye on the sky and feet firmly on the ground, Matiz has zipped past all others to be on the top of the lot

Published: Friday 30 November 2001

Make way for the leader

-- (Credit: Ananda Banerjee / CSE)An overall impressive track record with a huge emphasis on advanced technology, Daewoo Matiz has beaten hollow all others in the segment to emerge as the most desirable option. Launched just three years back, this comparatively new product was pitted against a hoard of competitors -- Maruti 800 and Maruti Zen as old favourites and Hyundai Santro, Telco's Indica and Fiat Uno among the new comers. But the compact and clean car has propelled itself to a position of envy with a sound vehicle and engine design incorporating some of the best features of the latest technology. Since this first-rate product has been designed keeping in mind the ground realities, it is well suited to Indian conditions. For instance, Indian fuels have a higher gum content which often clog the fuel injectors. Matiz has evolved a perfect solution to the problem by providing a big hole, instead of the regular four small-sized ones to reduce the chances of injector choking.

Similarly in a scenario, where fuel adulteration is very common, the air-fuel ratio needs to be flexible to incorporate the fuel quality. Matiz is the only vehicle in its class to have installed a knock sensor which takes care of this aspect and therefore enhances the driveability performance. Even in the fuel injection system, it is a step ahead of its counterparts in terms of technology.

Even with a 796 cc engine, the car produces power almost equivalent to the 1000 cc vehicles and has a high mechanical efficiency. Even its fuel efficiency at 15 km per litre is fairly decent and there is substantial scope of increasing the fuel efficiency by lowering the unladen weight of the vehicle which is currently 800 kg, about 100 kg more than the vehicles of similar size.

The material used in the construction of engine parts in Matiz also reflects the use of a better technology. Instead of going for the old metal-based intake manifolds which are being used by majority of the cars and utility vehicles, Matiz uses optical finished polymers which improves the engine breathing and reduces pumping losses. The car has also installed all necessary control equipments which are technologically superior to the other vehicles in the segment. It uses a three-way catalytic converter, but relies less on it for reducing emissions. With the installation of an oxygen sensor, the car is able to ensure a more precise control on air-fuel ratio. Similarly, incorporating electronically controlled exhaust gas recirculation system and evaporation loss control device have been effective in further checking the level of emissions. And on an average, its emissions are 66.4 per cent better than Euro ii standard. All in all, Matiz can be termed as an all-rounder within its segment.

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