Already much praised in the new Captiva, the latest diesel engine from Chevrolet Europe is now to be built into other model series, too: From spring 2007, the two-litre common rail unit will also be available for the midsize Epica sedan. The 110 kW/150hp diesel version will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show.
As standard, the powerful diesel (maximum torque: 310 Nm at 2,000 rpm) is mated with a manual five-speed gearbox, but it can optionally also be paired with an automatic transmission. The Epica Diesel travels from 0-100 km/h in just 9.7 sec (automatic version: 10.1 sec) and has a top speed of 201 km/h (automatic: 208 km/h). Despite this excellent performance, the new unit is very frugal indeed with an MVEG fuel consumption of only 6.1 litres /100 km (automatic: 7.7 l/100 km).
The four-valve engine boasts a latest-generation common rail system from Bosch, in which the injectors inject the diesel fuel into the combustion chambers at a pressure of up to 1,600 bar. Other technical features of the SOHC unit include the aluminium cylinder head, a balance shaft and the turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG).
Alternatively, buyers of the new 4.81m long sedan will be able to choose one of two transversally installed, in-line six-cylinder gasoline engines. The two 24-valve units with capacities of 2.0 and 2.5 litres (105 kW/144 hp and 115 kW/156 hp) are noted for their particularly smooth running. Equally convincing is the way the powerful six-cylinder gasoline units develop their power. They take the Epica from zero to 100 km/h in 11.8 and 9.9 seconds respectively, and both have a top speed of over 200 km/h. The 2.0-litre engine has been mated with a five-speed manual transmission as standard. The top model comes with a new five-speed automatic transmission, an option that is also available with the smaller engine. The MVEG consumption for the 2.0-litre model is 8.2 l per 100 km (automatic: 8.9 l), and with the bigger engine, 9.3 l.
With its sporty yet elegant contours, the Epica complies exactly with the taste of Europe’s car drivers. In the distinctly arranged front section, particular highlights include the large wrap-around clear-glass headlamps and the substantial cross bar carrying the large Chevrolet bow tie in the chrome grille.
The side view of Chevrolet’s new top-of-the-line sedan is strikingly modern with its rising, wedge-shaped profile. It is marked by a striking character line that extends to the front and rear wings. The designers have positioned the grip-type chrome door handles and the large outer mirrors with integrated indicator lamps precisely on this character line. The rear is dominated by the large bumper and the dominant chrome strip that joins up the two tail lamps with their circular lenses.
The generous amount of space is one of the strengths of the front-wheel driven Epica (length/width/height: 4,805 / 1,810 / 1,450 mm, wheelbase: 2,700 mm). The trunk has a capacity of 480 l (VDA standard). Extra space can be created by folding the rear seat backrest down onto the seat in the ratio of 1/3:2/3, and longer items such as skis can also be transported without problem.
Passengers also benefit from maximum safety and drive comfort. The modern chassis is equipped with McPherson struts at the front and a multi-link suspension at the rear. The Epica is also fitted with four disc brakes (ventilated at the front), four-channel anti-lock braking system and electronic brake-force distribution. The standard safety package in the Epica includes many passive safety features like the stable passenger cell (made 40% of high-strength steel), front airbags for the driver and passenger plus side and head airbags, belt force limiters and belt tensioners.
The equipment in the new Chevrolet conforms to the level of the upper mid-class. Even the basic LS version has a height-adjustable driver’s seat, electrical window raisers at the front and rear, remote-controlled central locking, thermal insulation glass, air-conditioning and an audio unit with MP3. The top model, the Epica LT, has a number of additional comfort and safety features like the standard leather upholstery, electronically controlled automatic air-conditioning, heated seats for the driver and passenger, cruise control, traction control and a sensor-guided parking aid at the rear.