The new Chevrolet Captiva comes to South Africa initially with a choice of four models that provide a choice of engine size, petrol or diesel power, manual or automatic transmission, and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All have a seven-seat configuration.

A new generation 2.4 litre powers the Captiva 2.4 LT with front wheel drive. This 16-valve double overhead cam engine develops 100 kW @ 5000 r/min with maximum torque of 220 Nm @ 2200 r/min. The bore and stroke of this engine are 87,5mm X 100mm. The compression ratio is 9,6:1 and multi-point fuel injection ensures clean and efficient combustion that meets Euro 4 requirements. Transmission is 5-speed manual.

Acceleration from rest to 100 km/h takes in the order of 11,5 seconds and a top speed of 185 km/h is claimed. Chevrolet tests indicate exceptional fuel economy for a vehicle of this type with a combined fuel consumption figure of just under 10 l/100 km.

This same engine powers the Captiva 2.4 LT with All-Wheel-Drive. The AWD system is a latest generation, intelligent, all-wheel drive system that makes use of the very latest technology sourced from a major Japanese manufacturer. The Captiva is one of just two vehicles available on the market in South Africa with this type of AWD system.

This system provides On Demand All Wheel Drive that in normal operation delivers power to the front wheels only. All Wheel Drive is only engaged when the system senses that the front wheels are providing less than optimised traction and four-wheel drive would be better than two-wheel drive. The transition to AWD is instantaneous by means of an electronic clutch.

The system relies on a number of inputs to determine the best ratio for power distribution between the front and rear wheels. Traction at the wheels provides just one input, with additional inputs such as throttle position, engine speed, road speed, yaw angle, and steering angle all being processed to optimise the distribution of power for optimal traction.

This allows the system to be effective where all-wheel-drive might not be essential but of assistance, such as when pulling off on a steep incline or when towing. The AWD system also interacts with the ABS and ESP systems to further enhance vehicle control.

The second petrol engine is a 3.2 litre lightweight all aluminium V6 fitted to the Captiva 3.2 LTZ. This 24-valve dual overhead cam engine produces 169 kW @ 6600 r/min and 297 Nm @ 3200 r/min. Transmission is 5-speed automatic and On Demand All Wheel Drive. The top speed of this model is 202 km/h.

Also available in the LTZ specification is the Captiva 2.0 CRD LTZ. This all-new diesel engine from Chevrolet brings together the latest developments in diesel engine technology to provide superb refinement, performance and economy.

The Chevrolet VM 2.0 engine was developed in Europe and is produced by GM Powertrain at its facility in Gunsan, South Korea where 250 000 engines a year are built for global applications. Bore and stroke are 83mm X 92mm and the compression ratio is 17,5:1. Fuel injection is via a Bosch common rail system that injects fuel directly into the combustion chambers at a pressure of 1600 bar. A variable geometry turbocharger provides excellent engine response and overtaking acceleration.

Maximum power is 110 kW @ 4000 r/min and peak torque is 320 Nm @ 2200 r/min. The combined cycle fuel consumption claimed for this Euro 4 emission standard engine is 7,7 l/100km. Top speed is 178 km/h and acceleration to 100 km/h is in the order of 11,5 seconds.

For added refinement, the diesel engine makes use of a sophisticated four-point neutral torque axis mounting with the unit supported by bearings for reduced transmission of noise and vibration, particularly at idle. Transmission is 5-speed manual via On Demand All Wheel Drive.