Daewoo Leganza

The Daewoo Leganza is a mid-size sedan manufactured by the former Daewoo Motors in South Korea between 1997 and 2002. Internally during development this model was known as V100, under which it and its platform, which is unique to this model, are also known. Daewoo has explained that the name Leganza originated from the combination of two Italian words – elegante (elegant) and forza (power). Seemingly though, after looking at the car and driving it, this was somewhat over stated. The Leganza was a part of Daewoo's effort to develop a lineup of vehicles to replace the previous General Motors-licensed models. Similar to the Leganza are the T100 Daewoo Lanos and J100 Daewoo Nubira. This model is really not a Daewoo at the core given that the parts have been supplied from a plethora of places. This involved, among others, ZF with regard to transmissions and Holden concerning the engines. The Leganza was designed by Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. It is believed that this design was inspired by Giugiaro's 1990 Jaguar Kensington concept car. In the case of the Leganza, however, Giugiaro had to deal with a shorter vehicle with front wheel drive rather than rear wheel drive, which, combined with Daewoo's styling cues like the large chrome grille, resulted in a very peculiar appearance. And the use of the word peculiar is being generous. Unlike the Matiz or Nubira, the Leganza was not afforded a mid-life facelift. Rather than that, Daewoo increased the wheelbase of the Leganza platform by 30 mm to develop a new model, called the Daewoo Magnus. This subsequent model was launched in 2000. Both models were sold side by side in Korea, but the Magnus was not launched internationally until Leganza's inevitable demise in 2002. The North American market saw the Suzuki Verona quickly replace the Leganza.