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|Also called||Daewoo Aranos|
1995-1997 (UK, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia)
|Assembly||Bupyeong, South Korea|
Bam, Kerman, Iran(Kerman Motor Co(KMC))
Warsaw, Poland (FSO)
Craiova, Romania (Rodae)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size car (D)|
|Body style||4-door notchback saloon|
|Transmission||4-speed Aisin 50-42LE automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,620 mm (103.1 in)|
|Length||4,615 mm (181.7 in)|
|Width||1,718 mm (67.6 in)|
|Height||1,388 mm (54.6 in)|
|Curb weight||1,108 kg (2,443 lb)|
The Daewoo Espero (also known as Daewoo Aranos in some Spanish-speaking countries) is a four-door, five-seater mid-sized notchback saloon produced by the South Korean company Daewoo Motors from September 1990 to 1997. It was technically based on the GM J platform. The body was designed by Bertone. Daewoo also said that the Espero's design was their own work. It was done in a consultation with Italian design master Bertone. The car was equipped with a Holden-built GM Family 1 1.5 L 90 hp (67 kW; 91 PS) engine, or the 1.8 95 hp (71 kW; 96 PS) or 2.0 L 108.5 hp (81 kW; 110 PS) Family II engine. The Espero was replaced by the Daewoo Leganza in 1997.
The Espero was renamed Aranos in some but not all Spanish-speaking countries (not in Argentina and Chile for instance), since the word Espero means "I hope" in Spanish. Such a name was deemed less than marketable.
- 1 Development
- 2 Prototype
- 3 Other Dimensions
- 4 The Asian Market
- 5 The European market
- 6 The South American Market
- 7 The Australian Market
- 8 Social culture
- 9 Design Hints
- 10 Design Quirks
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The development was actually started from the Citroën XM and Xantia in 1989, as Citroën were looking to make a middle class car. Many project designs were created, exterior as well as interior. Initially, the projects that are in the picture were to be won and this was what the Xantia was supposed to look like (because this was the model the projects were intended for). Ultimately, however, these two projects did not pass because Citroën said that they were too associated with their large family car - the Citroën XM. Daewoo, however, liked the project very much and bought it from the French (specifically the blue design). This project had been minimally modernized by Daewoo by the time the Espero debuted on the Korean market in August 1990.
Another feature is that the Espero achieved very good results in the wind tunnel and it was one of the reasons it was highly rated for. Its result for the air ratio was 0.29 Cd. This means that the Espero was a very streamlined car, which, among other things, slightly reduced fuel consumption. The best result for a personal serial car was 0.26 Cd, so the Espero was not far away. For comparison, the air ratio for the Daewoo Evanda was 0.32 Cd, and the Daewoo Matiz II 0.39 Cd. An interesting fact is that the same air ratio for the Espero was also obtained by the Daewoo Chairman.
There was also a prototype that looked very similar to the Espero. This prototype is called DEV 2 (DEV meaning Daewoo Electric Vehicle) and was presented in 1995 at the Korea Motor Show in Seoul together with the Daewoo Bucrane concept, Tico concept, Nexia, Arcadia and the NGV3 concept. It was basically a version of the Espero but made out of recyclable materials which did not impact the environment. However, the Daewoo DEV 2 out of appearance had nothing to do with Espero. This prototype was shown only in South Korea and only once at these fairs. It was painted white pearl and had 'DEV' badges in blue at the rear doors, its interior was white and the rims where a three spoke design and white as well.
Under the hood it was powered by an electric motor which was a water-cooled AC induction motor (86 kW) with performance figures with 0–100 km (0-60 mph) acceleration of 13 seconds. Top speed was around 85 mph. 22 new lead acid batteries were laid on the floor of the body, and one charge distance of 80 km (49.7 miles) was carried out.
It was said that the perfection was high but the performance and the range as an electric car was low.
|Trunk Capacity||560 litres|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||50 litres|
The Asian Market
In Korea, the Espero made its debut in August 1990. The styling was very different from the European Espero's, including no badge at the front but at the rear and on the steering wheel; the badge was black and had white three waves and white writing 'ESPERO' underneath it. The first version had different rear lights which the brake and indicator lights extended to the boot lid (though there were no illuminating lights at the boot lid) and differently styled hubcaps.
In the pre-facelift, the range consisted of two models, named '1.5 DOHC' (being the base model) which had standard hubcaps and then the '2.0 DOHC' which had different styled hubcaps. The '2.0 DOHC' also had a version with package, being the top of the range model.
In the cabin of the Korean Espero, a different steering wheel and an electronic dash was available with orange letters and accents. The steering wheel was slightly different from the three-spoke wheels in Europe, and more like the steering wheel from an Opel Vectra A/Vauxhall Cavalier MK3 except that the badge was different (again, the black emblem). No airbag was available. The front door cards were different: rather than the wrap-around design in European models, the vents were more square like and the grab handle was more ergonomic rather than just a pocket design. The centre console was flat and more angular.
In 1993, a facelift of the Espero was made. This included redesigned hubcaps (base model), a black badge saying 'ESPERO' at the rear, the rear lights were redesigned and now the black badge was put at the front. The boot opening was redesigned with a swivel badge over the keyhole to open the boot. This also meant the trim levels were revised, the base model being the 1.5 MPFi and the 2.0 MPFi (or with the package).
In 1994, a second facelift was made with the front logo changed from the black badge to a separated oval, with the same on the steering wheel). A new model was introduced, the 1.8 MPFi (which had alloy wheels and a 1.8 engine).
Production terminated in 1997.
In 1993, (2 adverts) they compared spacecraft technology and used racing drivers to demonstrate how powerful the Espero was.
In 1994, (second facelift) it was advertised that the Espero was available as the following models: 1.5 DOHC, 1.5 MPFi and the 2.0 DOHC.
The European market
While the Nexia is based on the Astra Mk2 or Kadett E (GM's T-Type Platform), the Espero is based on the Cavalier Mk2 or Ascona C (GM's J-Type Platform). It sold well, thanks to its competitive asking price, notchback roofline with a steeply raked rear window, spacious interior, luggage compartment, impressive equipment levels and the comprehensive aftersales package.
Despite the fact the Espero also featured couple of drawbacks as outdated interior design backing to the 80's, mediocre fuel economy and its body fairly prone to corrosion it still maintained popularity among price-conscious drivers.
In all European markets, there was option stickers at the back of the window in white writing ('ABS' for example).
When Daewoo arrived in the UK at the beginning of 1995, Daewoo was aiming the Espero to the Cavalier and Mondeo market, plus providing good promotions and offers in the package. This included a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty (this could be extended to a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty for an extra £350), a six year anti-corrosion warranty, 3 years free servicing, maintenance and AA membership (which looked after breakdowns or accidents). Every replacement of parts were free, though you only had to pay for tires. If your Daewoo ever broke down, needed servicing or was in an accident, they would bring a courtesy car for you to not leave you stranded. Once your vehicle was fixed, they gave the vehicle back to you and collect the courtesy car (this was in the AA membership). Plus, there was free delivery number plates, one-year free road tax and a full tank of petrol. There was also a free 'N' plate replacement for a free upgrade for the first 1,000 customers who bought a new Daewoo; it would then be replaced in August 1995. Daewoo also provided fixed prices (no haggling) and they claimed this was the best way of selling a car.
From 23rd December 1996, another promotion was added, three years' free insurance.
These were the listed prices in the UK:
GLXi - £10,695
CDi - £11,995 (Not certain)
CDXi - £12,250
With all the options selected, Daewoo claimed these prices were up to 40% less than its competitors.
However, in 29th March 1996, Daewoo announced these prices were risen to the following (although the price of the 1.8 CDi remained the same) from 1st April 1996:
Then, in 10th October 1996, Daewoo announced that the day after, they will extend the range of all their models with and without air-conditioning, so with the Espero GLXi, these were the following prices (* = without air-conditioning):
In 6th December 1996, Daewoo announced that from 9th December 1996 they will raise the prices of their range reflecting changes made to the vehicles for 1997 model year (Espero prices):
The Range, Reviewing and Production Halt
In the UK, the range consisted of three trim levels. The base model was the GLXi that had a 1.5 DOHC engine, GLXi emblems at the body wings and (some) boot, hubcaps, electric windows, ABS, power steering, drivers airbag, sunroof and radio/cassette. Air-conditioning was a free option from (before, air-conditioning was an £880 option) so was automatic transmission from May 1996 onwards. Then, there was the CDi model which got a 1.8-litre SOHC engine for a step up, CDi emblems at the body wings and (some) '1.8 CDi' emblem at the boot though air-conditioning was standard. Alloy wheels were optional for the CDi model. Finally, there was the CDXi which had a 2.0-litre SOHC engine, CDXi emblems at the body wings, (some) '2.0 CDXi' emblem at the boot lid, alloy wheels and a CD player as well. From May 1996, a six-disc CD autochanger was standard on the 2.0 CDXi. All models got the same four-spoke steering wheel.
The Espero was also given an 'AUTOMATIC' badge at the boot lid for those which had an automatic transmission or (some) a 'TWIN CAM 8v' badge on the 1.5 GLXi models. The dealer plates had the writing 'DAEWOO' in a black background with the phone number, a black line going through either side with the number plate ID under the number plate. In the UK, the Espero was not sold with a third brake light, a spoiler with a third brake light nor the three-spoke steering wheel.
When AA (Automobile Association) tested the Espero CDi in October 1995, they rated it high because of its aftersales package and equipment it provided but criticised because of its electrical issues and lacking some safety features. In conclusion, they claimed that it was like 'cash-and-carry groceries or 'flat-pack-furniture from a warehouse store' which meant it did the job as a decent family car but this lied to the fact that it was new at the time yet it was generously priced and equipped than anything else at the price.
Plus, AA (Automobile Association) later did an extension test in a revamped Espero 1.8 CDi in July 1996 to see their experience with it. They had a few niggles with it but as time moved on it had less problems. Overall, they claimed that ride and fuel economy is reasonable. In the 1996 revamp (although pre-facelifts were sold at the time), this included four-shot washer jets rather than two shot ones, door mirrors fold flush with body flanks, indicator fenders revised, rear light housings in boot less vulnerable, gear lever surround modified and a better RDS radio.
People weren't sure what was the replacement for the Espero (though it was claimed to be the Leganza), but a new Daewoo range was added in September 1997 (Lanos, Nubira, Leganza) and in 1998 the Matiz. Despite this, the Espero was sold until December 1997 (late R reg examples).
One of the main reasons the Espero became so rare was because of an ABS control module which was not only difficult to replace but also very expensive when it was faulty. This led to many MOT failures so many owners got rid of their Espero's. Plus, there were lots of electrical problems (central locking, wiper, radio, light faults). Also, their resale value was very low so it depreciated rapidly as soon as their warranties ran out so these are considered worth little value. Spare parts were also quite difficult to find as they didn't sell well in the first place and the fact that because the Korean economy was affected, so Daewoo could not provide much spare parts.
In Poland, there were only two models, GLX and CD. The base model 'GLX' came with a 1.5 litre DOHC engine, a three-spoke steering wheel, electric windows, hubcaps, (some) a third brake light and a 'DOHC 16V' badge at the back (for colour reasons, the badge is black if the car is white and white if the car is in another colour). No airbags were available for the GLX model. The pricier 'CD' model came with a 1.8 SOHC or a 2.0 SOHC engine, a four-spoke steering wheel with (some) a drivers airbag (though some still had a three-spoke one), and (some) air-conditioning.
The Espero was praised however for its durability and long-term reliability, so taxi drivers used them quite a lot.
Production started in 1996. Very shortly there was a facelift at the same year (revised door mirrors and indicator fenders). Poland was the only country that offered the Espero the longest in production which ended in December 1999. In 2000 you could buy the last copies from the showrooms. No wonder that interest in Espero has fallen, since Nubira was extremely popular in Poland and the Nubira II was announced in 2000.
When Auto Śwait tested the Espero 2.0 CD back in January 1996, they claimed that it was decent to drive, spacious and had an outdated 80's interior design. In their conclusion its far-eastern competitors were doing a better job (Nissan Primera, Mazda 626) and the fact that 'attractive prices and rich furnishings will convince them of the "Korean" - and these are not the worst argument these days.'
In Netherlands, the market started in 1995 and terminated in 1997. There were two trim levels with three engines. The base model was named 'GLX' with a 1.5 DOHC engine and also what Poland got. Then, there was the second model which was named 'CD' and had either a 1.8 SOHC engine or a 2.0 SOHC engine. The 1.8 litre and the 2.0 litre had hubcaps as standard but some got air-conditioning. Automatic transmission, a spoiler and different types of alloy wheels were optional on all models.
Promotions were provided, this included a 3 month/3,000 km refund period, 3 year/50,000 km maintenance warranty, 3 year/100,000 km warranty, 3-year paint warranty and a 6 year anti-corrosion warranty.
A facelift was introduced in 1996, including revamped door mirrors and indicator fenders.
Limited edition models included the 'Executive' which basically was a sumptuous version of the Espero. The badges were located at the body wings, had alloy wheels, it had automatic transmission and had wooden trims inside for a more executive look. This was actually a package rather than a separate model. There was also the 'Colour Design' model which had special type alloy wheels.
Depending on the specification, these were the following prices:
|Trim Level||Engine Size (litres)||Fuel Type||Transmission||New Prices|
The Espero was marketed as 'Aranos' because the word 'Espero' translated to 'I hope'. Production started in 1995. There were two trim levels, 'GLX' and 'CDX'. The GLX was the base model which had a 1.5 DOHC engine with all other extras (power windows, power mirrors, hubcaps, (some) 'DOHC 16V' badge). Then there was the CDX which was available with either a 1.8 or a 2.0 SOHC engine. Other equipment included air-conditioning. A spoiler with a third brake light and different type alloy wheels were optional.
A facelift was introduced in 1996, including revamped door mirrors and indicator fenders.
The South American Market
In 1994, the production of the Espero was started. The badging and details were just like the second facelift Espero in Korea (being in 1994). The following models were sold:
- Base Model (Model without a name)
- CD / DLX
The CD/DLX was the top-of-the-range model which included all the necessary extras with some optional options: electric sunroof, 'CD' emblems at body wings, leather seats, Drivers' Air Bag, ABS, CD Player and automatic transmission. All models had the three spoke steering wheel (see Poland section).
In 1995, the Espero was updated which included new badging, the 'knickers' like badge, exterior and interior. However, the rear 'ESPERO' black badge remained. Only one engine was offered throughout production, the 2.0 litre GM Family II engine. Some Espero's had the '2000i' emblem at the back to represent this. Production terminated in 1998.
The Australian Market
When Daewoo first came in Australia, they used the slogan in their advert, "The Daewoo Espero. Beware of expensive imitations". They claimed the boot was bigger than the Commodore and the Falcon and they also provided promotions which included a (whichever came first) 3 year/100,000 km warranty. The starting price was from $23,750.
In Australia it was sold from 1995 to 1997 before it was claimed to be replaced by the Leganza. Throughout its production, it was only powered by one engine, the 2.0 litre GM Family II engine. This engine was Australian built and was exported to other countries for assembly. There was also only one trim level, it was called the 'CD'. It was well equipped, this included all-round electric windows and electric mirrors, a 5-speed manual gearbox, air-conditioning, power steering, remote trunk release and an AM/FM stereo radio with a CD player. There was also 'ESPERO 2.0i' emblems in white at the side skirts for the rear doors which no other markets got. The only optional items were a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and ABS/Airbag (combined safety option). The steering wheel was a three spoke design which was included for other markets (see Poland section) and the automatic transmission lever and writings had a different design as well.
In 1996, there was a facelift which included revamped wing mirrors and indicator fenders.
Top Gear 1997
In Top Gear 1997, the Espero was placed 39th out of 120 in an 'N' registration JD power survey. This was due to the fact that it had too much electrical and miscellaneous problems.
Also, Top Gear tested out both Nexia and Espero models to see the experience of how they fared against its rivals. They said the way the Espero drove was 'pretty dull and undynamic' because it had ancient Vauxhall Cavalier mechanicals however reliability was reasonable, the resale value was average and according to the people's experience they were well-warrantied, reliable and a manufacturer who cared more than most.
Daewoo Rescues Bride
A two-litre Daewoo Espero was used to rescue a Bride named Jacqueline with her soon-to-be husband David Morgan when their 1934 Daimler suffered a puncture close to the Daewoo Support Centre in the Docks Way Estate in Newport. This was to demonstrate the customer service and the unrivalled value for money so that Daewoo would maintain their standards.
World's Most Travelled Man Clocks Up Miles
At 10th May 1995, Daewoo claimed that the world's most travelled man, reported to be named Fred Finn, was one of the last 200 'guinea pigs' to be chosen by them. He took delivery of a £12,000 Daewoo Espero at the company's first London retail outlet in Camden after returning from his latest travels. He recently cerebrated his 11-millionth mile and he expected to pass the 11.5 million mile mark in the Daewoo later during the year.
New Daewoo Vehicle For Local Police Force
Daewoo supplied a second new vehicle on a free 12-month loan to Rickmansworth Police, which was an Espero. It replaced a Nexia which covered some 17,000 miles during its time with the Police which they managed to do 27 arrests with it.
The Espero is now a mod to some games. It was announced in February 1, 2015. This includes GTA 4, WR2 and Racer. Two models are currently available, the 1.5 GLX and the 2.0 CD.
Some claim that the Espero has some design hints from other cars:
- Front headlights and grille - Ford Sierra (1987-1993)
- Front Bumper/Nose - Citroën XM
- Bonnet - Citroën XM
- Roof and 'wrap-around' rear window lining - Ford Granada Hatchback (1985-1994)
- 4 spoke steering wheel - Mercedes E-Class W124, Mercedes C-Class W202
- Glovebox lid - Opel Ascona C/Mk2 Vauxhall Cavalier (1981-1988)
- Door handles and indicator fenders - Opel Vectra A/Vauxhall Cavalier (1988-1995)
- Automatic transmission lever and writings - Any 90's Toyota (Excluding Australian Market)
- Front door cards - Opel Astra F/Vauxhall Astra (1991-1997)
- Rear door window partition - Citroën XM
- Tail lights - Nissan 240SX S13
The Espero had some unusual quirks unlike some of its rivals:
- Door catches at armrest
- Interior 'wrap around' front door card air vents (European Models)
- Twisting badge anti-clockwise and locks in position to get at keyhole for the boot lid (once you twisted the key the badge would revert to normal position) (Not available in pre-facelift for Korea)
- "UkrAVTO Corporation. FSO". Ukravto.ua. Archived from the original on 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- "Daewoo Automobile Romania, 6 ani" (in Romanian). Daewoo.ro. Archived from the original on 2001-04-06. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
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- "Daewoo News - Concept Cars". Darewnoo. 1995-06-13.
- "Chronologia Daewoo Espero - NOWA WERSJA | filmyn". www.darewnoo.pl. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
- Daewoo Espero 1993 F-14 commercial (korea) 30s+30s, retrieved 2019-08-03
- "Korean Espero Advert - 1994". Darewnoo. 2019-08-03.
- "Daewoo News - Free 'N' plate replacement". Darewnoo. 2019-08-31.
- "Daewoo News - Major Addition to Customer Package". 1996-12-23.
- Mx 64 (2018-12-27), Top Gear 1995 - Daewoo's Road Test, retrieved 2019-07-15
- "Daewoo News - Free Options". Darewnoo. 1996-06-17.
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- "Daewoo News - Free Options". Darewnoo. 1996-06-17.
- "Daewoo News - Corrections". Darewnoo. 1996-06-09.
- Daewoo Espero 1.8 CDi road test AA - https://www.theaa.com/staticdocs/pdf/carreports/AA_REPORTS/DAEWOO_ESPERO_1.8CDI_SALOON_R9509.PDF
- Daewoo Espero 1.8 CDi July 1996 revamped extension test - https://www.theaa.com/staticdocs/pdf/carreports/AA_REPORTS/DAEWOO_ESPERO_1.8CDI_R9652A.PDF
- "Daewoo News - 3 New Models from Daewoo". Darewnoo. 1997-08-07.
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- "Daewoo Special Editions Brochure 1996". VEIKL. 1996.
- "Daewoo Espero Specifications and prices - Netherlands". Auto Week. 2019-08-16.
- Official channel www.darewnoo.pl (site about Daewoo and Daewoo mods) (2014-09-08), ☾ENG☽ 103 TV adverts with Daewoo from Europe, Australia and the USA! (1994-02), retrieved 2019-07-17
- "Top Gear 'N' reg survey". Youtube. 2009-04-24.
- TopGear, Daewoo, 1997, retrieved 2019-08-10
- "Daewoo News - Here comes the bride... Thanks to Daewoo". Darewnoo. 1995-06-16.
- "Picture of Bride with Espero and the Daimler". Darewnoo. 1995-06-16.
- "Daewoo News - World's most travelled man clocks up in a Daewoo". Darewnoo. 1995-05-10.
- "Daewoo News - New Vehicle for Local Police Force". Darewnoo. 1996-08-16.
- ☾PL, ENG☽ [GTA IV] Daewoo Espero - official presentation (FULL HD), retrieved 2019-08-16
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