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First look: Holden's RAV4 rival!

Dae-Wolff design: Aussie Max Wolff says the T2X combines coupe with SUV.

Holden is poised to play the compact SUV game, courtesy of Daewoo's T2X concept

3 May 2005

HOLDEN-controlled GM Daewoo sprung one of the few surprises at the opening of the fifth Seoul motor show on April 30 with the T2X.

Revealed in concept form, the sporty coupe-cum-SUV strongly signals what Holden will hit Toyota’s RAV4 and its rivals with.

For the moment the T2X is simply a concept car, with no word on production. But if reaction from the show-going public is strong enough, a green light is highly likely.

Exactly if or when that’s known Holden isn’t saying, although a 2007 start-up is a good guess going on the concept-to-production gestation period of GM Daewoo's other (larger) SUV concept, the S3X - and given Holden's pressing need for a representative in the growing compact SUV trade.

"Yes, we are looking at what options are available within the Daewoo Auto and Technology portfolio ... at what the Korean range can offer us across the board," is all that Holden spokesman Jason Laird would say of the T2X.

Mr Laird added that to draw any further comments is "putting a fair amount of polish on the crystal ball." Given the go-ahead, GM Daewoo would build the five-seat T2X alongside, and price it comfortably under, the significantly bigger seven-seat S3X.

In fact the S3X, known internally as the C-100 and still only seen in concept form itself, will donate its platform and perhaps running gear.

Thus the T2X may even eventually become the rumoured C-105 spin-off of the S3X as reported last September in GoAuto.

The T2X’s design is the responsibility of Australian Max Wolff, who is the Deputy Director of Advanced Design for GM Daewoo.

He says it "...represents a segment-busting concept that will appeal (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." Mr Wolff added that the T2X points to one of the future design directions of GM Daewoo: "We’d love to do it," he told GoAuto in Seoul, "...and we’ve already indicated that we’re exploring niche products. We’re always looking at new product entries." Aspects of the T2X concept, particularly the front-end design, muscular wheel arches and body tension, and basic silhouette would transfer to the productionised version pretty much as you see them today.

However, the Mazda RX-8-style rear-hinged side doors, 20-inch alloy wheels, removable glass roof panel, and space-age centre console are all motor show flights of fancy.

GM Daewoo – as well as Holden – makes no bones about its Korean-made products representing a strong value for money statement, and such items are expensive to produce.

13 center image If the production T2X transpires, a transverse-mounted Holden Alloytec V6 engine of 2.8-litre capacity driving the front as well as rear wheels when extra traction is needed, would be the likely mechanical configuration.

Meanwhile, the production version of the S3X, styled by GM Asia Pacific Design boss Michael Simcoe, is believed to be heading for a Frankfurt motor show debut in September.

Its manufacture will commence early in 2006, with Australian sales starting sometime soon after, wearing the lion badge of course.

The S3X, believed to be coming in 2.8 and 3.6-litre versions of the Alloytec V6, may even get a look-in at the Sydney motor show in October priot to going on sale here next year.

Sizing should help shore up takers for the 4.6-metre long S3X, since its 2.7m wheelbase, 2.3m height and 1.8m width will see the seven-seater wagon straddle the Honda CR-V and Ford Territory at an expected low to mid-$30,000 ask.

Daewoo in South Korea – the only country left using that name – is expected to market the S3X first, since it’s also made there.

It can’t come quick enough for both GM Daewoo and Holden, since both lack a compact SUV. Chevrolet will also sell the S3X in Europe and the Americas.

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