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Interview with Car Designer of the Century, Giorgetto Giugiaro (well, not that new)

Zurich/Turin. It's still early in the New Year, but the next new offering from Daewoo is just around the corner: February will see the launch of the sporty Lacetti hatchback on European markets, the continuation of GM Daewoo's product push. With the modern Italian design by Giugiaro, a comprehensive range of standard equipment and outstanding value for money, this front-wheel drive model is an attractive proposition notably for younger drivers with a taste for design.
Its generous proportions (4.295 mm L x 1 .25 mm W x 1.445 mm H) provide the new car with more room than is usual in its class, particularly in the back. Three powerful four-cylinder engines with four valves per cylinder guarantee responsive performance together with moderate fuel consumption.
Engine capacities and output: 1.4 litres and 70 kW/93 hp, 1.6 litres and 80 kW/109 hp, 1.8 litres and 90 kW/122 hp.
In an interview given recently at his company's headquarters in Moncalieri near Turin,Giorgetto Giugiaro described the development process and the styling characteristics of the new Daewoo Lacetti.

Question: Mr. Giugiaro, when did you start on initial designs for the Daewoo Lacetti?

Giugiaro: It was in September 1998. And by May 1999 the basic lines of the design were settled. As partners with the car industry we constantly strive to offer a rapid and efficient design process.

Giugiaro at Lacetti drawing board:


Question: What is the first step in a design project - is it a pencil drawing, or are the first ideas brought into being right on the computer screen?

Giugiaro: With a pencil you can still draw a car faster - and above all more realistically - than modern computer technology.The most important things initially are balanced proportions and the characteristic 'look' of a car.

Question: What is the next stage after the first hand drawings?

Giugiaro: The drawing is then scanned in, and all the dimensions are converted into CAD (Computer Aided Design) data, using a highly complex mathematical model. The car can thus be looked at in our Virtual Reality studio in three dimensions and from all angles, with as much reality as if it was actually there, or alternatively clay models can be made from the design data.

The orignal Lacetti sketch

Question: Let's look a little closer at the Lacetti. In your view, where are the greatest stylistic differences to its predecessor, the Daewoo Lanos?

Giugiaro: (with a laugh) If I look at photos of the Lanos, it is as if I last saw a woman at the age of 14, and now, looking at the Lacetti, all of a sudden she's 25. Stylistically, the Lanos was simply one vehicle generation behind, and with its smoother, less pronounced contours, it is quite clearly a creation of its time.

Question: Apart from the exterior shape, there have been quite a lot of changes in the interior, haven't there?

Giugiaro: Right. A lot of Lanos drivers are going to be pretty surprised - in a positive way, of course!The Lacetti's interior has a lot of nice stylistic details, and yet the inside of the car doesn't feel heavy or overloaded.The most striking features are the four round air outlets in the dashboard, which with their metallic surrounds are in perfect harmony with the silver trim running horizontally across the dashboard.Question: Now let's look at the exterior - what in your view is the most attractive part of the Lacetti?

Giugiaro: Oh, definitely the rear. Seen from behind, the new Daewoo is totally distinct from all the other vehicles in this segment.

Question: That is first and foremost down to the striking rear lights. The headlamps, too, are very assertive. Is this a trend in the car industry, for designers to be paying more attention to the lights?

Giugiaro: Yes, front and rear lights have now developed from purely functional components into aesthetic details with their own unique look. Lights like these on the Lacetti enhance a car's appearance just as a good-looking watch or a special jewelled ring does for a person.

Question: You have pointed out some of the details of the rear to us. What would you say about the front view of the Lacetti?

Giugiaro: Almond-shaped clear glass headlamps and a new and confident radiator grille, with the Daewoo badge integrated into the chrome bar, are the dominant features of the Lacetti from this angle.

Question: And the side view - could you say something about that, too?

Giugiaro: The long wheelbase with its short overhangs, the bold shaping of the wheel-arches and the waistline rising towards the rear emphasise the dynamic look of the side view. The light is refracted at the edges of the wheel-arches, thus drawing particular attention to them.

Giorgetto Giugiaro with the production car.


GIUGIARO & DAEWOO

Giorgetto Giugiaro was born on 7 August 1938 in Garessio, Italy. His gift for car design was discovered in 1955 by the legendary Fiat Chief Engineer, Dante Giacosa, who brought him into the firm. After stints at Nuccio Bertone (1959 - 1965) and Ghia (1965 - 1967), in February 1968 Giugiaro founded the company Italdesigns. So far, Giugiaro and his staff have designed more than 100 production models, 40 million of which have been built to date. February 1994 brought the contact with Daewoo. The Lanos, introduced in Europe in 1997, was the first Daewoo model to be shaped by the renowned Italian styling experts. Other Giugiaro designs include the Daewoo Matiz (launched in 1998), Kalos (2002) and Evanda (2003).
 
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