The Flex and Oto
are two concept cars that GM Daewoo is showing at this week’s Seoul Motor Show, that aim to grow peoples’ awareness of the rejuvenated brand, particularly in its home market. In particular, Nick Reilly, GM Daewoo President and CEO, wants these two cars to demonstrate a forward looking, high tech and customer orientated image.
Flex is a large MPV, as big as an Espace and nearly as big as a Voyager, but looks deceptively small in these pictures due to its large wheels and low ground clearance.
Its exterior design is unusually clean and well resolved for a Korean concept car. At the front a dark grey graphical theme is carried over from the Kalos of Frankfurt 2001 and integrates into the three part Daewoo grille in a similar way to that of the Mirae
Daewoo concept car of 1998 – a car with which the Flex shares its ‘girder’ spoke wheels. The A-pillars lift proud of the windscreen base which softens the car’s ‘one and a half box’ profile, and then sweep up in several subtly integrated arcs to give the DLO a single upper curve.
The rather complex bodyside features a concave section directly below the DLO, a sharply defined shoulder that wraps around the vehicle, and a unique lower feature line that fades out in the middle of the car where the door handles are. This lower feature line sweeps down at the front and rear, running parallel to the wheel arches, defining the lower bodyside as a distinct element.
At the rear of the car there are vaguely Avantime
influences with the wrap around rear screen and slight bustle, but the way in which this theme is integrated into the rest of the design and the way it reduces the apparent rear overhang is successful.
Inside the Flex, there is not the European or near production maturity of the exterior. Unusually thin and austere seats with exposed metal structures offer seating for up to 9 people and the IP looks like a home entertainment system mixed with the Ford 24/7
concept interiors’ IP.
The Oto follows on from a previous Daewoo concept, the DMS-1
, in being a coupe / SUV hybrid. It is a distinctly different design to the Flex with a different design language and completely different grille – almost as if it were another brand. But it is similar to the Flex in that it also disguises its size well, being slightly lower, but otherwise the same size as the Jeep Cherokee/Liberty. This helps the Oto to offer seating for seven, the rear 2 rows of 3 being accessed through suicide rear doors who’s shut lines can just be made out in the photograph here.
The abrupt front of the car sits on an otherwise handsome body that seems to successfully mix SUV and coupe design cues to deliver an appealing hybrid product, similar to the Bertone Sportut
of 1998 or Jeep Compass
from earlier this year.
Both Oto and particularly Flex are concepts that look like they may be very close to production vehicles soon to emerge form this freshly rejuvenated company. The Flex promises a modern European aesthetic in a mature market sector and the Oto promises a new type of vehicle that if cleverly designed may be just the type of image leading vehicle Daewoo needs.
November 27, 2002