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OTHER ITA SITES:
95% Of Things You Don't Know About The Ute SS
The Chevrolet Lumina is big and happening and it comes in two casings – sedan and bakkie (though officially the bakkie is called a Ute).
It doesn't, however, matter what it looks like because each version is powered by a real engine, a six-litre V8 lump unhindered by an excess of electronic gadgetry and easily capable of 270kW and a whopping 530Nm of torque at 5750 and 4400rpm respectively.
The sedan comes with a tail aerofoil about the size of those things that haul people on a mini-surfboard across the ocean at high speed and the bakkie with a streamlined load box cover that roars in the slipstream and ground clearance that would barely crest a house brick.
The Ute, I'm told, is the world's fastest production bakkie.
The sedan is what a real car should be all about; no fancy folderol’s, instruments that a 90-year-could probably read without glasses and big and wide black leather seats, the one on the driver's side proudly proclaimed at the media presentation as having power adjustment – but it turned out to be for lift-and- tilt… fore-and-aft still needs muscle power.
The Lumina, I'd guess, will do more than its fair share of the job. The bakkie is for a niche market but the sedan (I think I said it has a six-litre V8?) is a big and very viable alternative to snobby status symbols such as BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar, the bigger Volvos and others of that ilk.
The Lumina has all the high-tech braking, traction and stability controls and crash protection of any other big luxury car along with serious space, individual air-con and temperature controls, power windows and exterior mirrors and the engine can be hooked to either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto – the latter with manual/sequential selection – at no extra cost.
In fact, there ARE no extra-cost items except perhaps a tow hitch.
"It's an all-new car," the bum-branded one, with rear-wheel drive architecture and a wider track and longer wheelbase than its predecessor that came to SA three years ago and that has allowed us to create a bigger cabin.
"The Lumina has been the top seller in Australia for 10 years.
All the sheet metal is new, as are the sports seats, the sports cockpit and the Bluetooth connectivity and the car's delivered with a three-year or 60 000km warranty. It's the sexiest Commodore/Lumina yet built."
Contact with the road is provided by 245/45 R18 tyres on 18x8” alloy rims.
It's power and exhaust note as the revs rise is not only exhilarating but also addictive; there's little pretence at sophistication though the cabin comfort is superb; if you love driving, you'll love the Lumina.
Standard on both the sedan and the Ute are a sluggish but user-friendly trip data computer that includes visual and audible warnings for under speed and over speed. A "night" panel function reduces the lighting to all but the most necessary functions.
The Lumina's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, I was told, have been designed to accommodate a broader range of operating conditions and the audio package includes a fascia-mounted six-CD changer and RDS radio feeding a high-performance amplifier and multiple speakers that can be controlled by roller switches on the steering wheel.
The Chevy is Bluetooth cellular-compatible and says fuel-gauge accuracy is excellent thanks to two sensors.
Remote boot and fuel flap releases are provided, with the boot release mounted in the glove box, while remote central locking comes as standard, as does an alarm system with a panic alarm feature. A transponder immobiliser system provides anti-theft protection.
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