Daewoo has developed a modular inline six-cylinder engine so compact it can be transversely mounted in the new Magnus sedan.
The Magnus is an upscale and slightly larger version of the Leganza sedan.
The new inline six-cylinder, designed with extensive help from Europe, is called XK6 (for eXtremely Kompact). It comes in 2.0- and 2.5-liter versions. The modular design means Daewoo could produce five-, four- or three-cylinder versions for smaller vehicles.
Transversely mounted on the front-wheel-drive Magnus, the 2.0-liter XK6 is just 642mm long along the axis of rotation, making it the world's most compact inline-six, Daewoo said.
By contrast, 2.0-liter inline-six engines produced by Toyota, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are 193mm to 241mm longer, Daewoo said. These engines are used only for rear-wheel-drive applications because they are too large to be mounted sideways.
Daewoo reduced the XK6's cylinder-wall thickness to 6mm instead of the normal 8mm to 10mm separating cylinder bores.
'They said it couldn't be done, but we developed the technology for the lining and cooling to overcome the problem,' said Kim Chong-Chul, a lead engineer on the project. 'We could even get the spacing down to 5mm if needed.'
Ulrich Bez, then head of Daewoo research and development, first conceived the XK6 project in 1995. Most development work was done at Daewoo's European development center in Germany until the center closed in 2000. Bez is now CEO of Aston Martin.
Daewoo used Porsche and FEV of Germany and AVL of Austria as consulting engineers on the project at various stages.
Daewoo also used German suppliers during development. Siemens supplies the engine-control and fuel-injection systems. Kolbenschmidt provides pistons for the 2.5-liter version. Automatic transmission technology comes from ZF. Getrag supplied the technology for the manual transmission.
Daewoo invested 200 billion won (E228 million) in the engine program.