Here are the specs of both the engines.
The Elantra makes 127 bhp from a 1.8 litre four pot engine. It makes about 110 Nm of torque and it’s a naturally aspirated petrol engine. Now, on to the Chevy’s engine which makes a spine bending 310 Nm of torque from it’s 2 litre 120 bhp oil burner unit. It makes use of a turbocharger and utilizes the latest generation Common Rail Direct Injection system.
The Chevy’s engine is one bomb-shell. No less. Slot it into second at about 1500 rpm, press the throttle a wee bit, wait for the turbo to kick in and…bam you go hurtling towards the horizon. It’s a surreal experience only that you won’t realise it while you are at it. Due to the simple fact that you are holding on for dear life when all that locomotive torque gets transferred thro’ the Goodyear GT3 tyres. The interiors are actually good. Light and airy with useful space all around. I'd much rather the fake wood garnish was a bit less shiny though… the engine is so fantastic that after a while, you start to wonder if that 5 speed manual ‘box in the Chevy is anything but, er, a waste. Why do you need to multiply the torque when it can pull a trailer along, let alone a 1.2 ton sedan? The suspension is not plush by any means but it doesn’t thud on potholes either. Show it a rough patch of road, do some 60 odd kph, slam the brake pedal and you can expect the Chevy to slow down without so much as a drama… it’s so frightening that you would never want to go any lower than 4th gear in city traffic. Well, I am talking about the engine, er, again. Oh my! I am so sorry but I can’t help but keep coming back to it. Believe me, if the car does set the sales chart on fire (which it will sort of do, I reckon), it’ll be thanks to the engine. That’s it about the the Chevrolet Optra Magnum TCDi and allow me to finish this article lest it’ll be the engine stuff all over again!
The Elantra isn’t too shabby either. The music system is absolutely awesome with incredible clarity and bass. The clocks are clear but don’t look the part. The engine is refined and quite powerful if a bit less torquey down at the lower end of the power band. After it crosses 100 kph, the steering starts to vibrate like, well, no other car's. Of course, this might be down to some sort of a misalignment in the suspension geometry due to rough use. The car doesn’t float at three digit speeds on undulating roads and that’s a good sign. The build quality is impressive for me and the cabin feels well built too - no nasty shiny plastics on the dash. While styling is a matter of personal opinion, to me atleast, it’s disgusting. Perhaps the most interesting feature in the car is, I think, the Traction Control System. I didn’t get to try it, so obviously, I can’t comment on it. That it probably won't have to fight torque steer in slow 1st gear corners is for sure.