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Old 2nd February 2012, 12:55   #196
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Thanks for the inputs, the background and other details on the Optra, Poitive.

Yes indeed I must admit and inform others planning to go for the Optra, I bought it for the Surge and as I have said in the past the surge is no longer as pronounced as it was in the BS3 cars BUT so has the lag reduced, likewise findings have been reported by a fellow owner - Chetan.

On the surge part, though I have just done 1800 odd Kms on my Optra, I am planning to go for the RD box or the Race Chip (more details on the chip can be found on racechip.de).

Poitive and fellow owners need suggestion on the following -

1) Is it too premature to go for the RD Box ?
2) Suggestions on which would be better suited in the longer run, the RD box or the Chip.
3) Will these performance enhancements cause long term ownership issues on the Optra?

I am basically looking for that kick A$$ feeling once the turbo kicks in, that sudden burst of power, that PINNED DOWN feeling.

Thanks in anticipation mates.

Happy Motoring !!
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Old 4th February 2012, 01:33   #197
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
Welcome back, Poitive

Forget opinions formed without proper test drive - I have had my close friend telling me 'Optra? Waste car' without even driving it once. And when I cornered him with pointed questions, he lamely tells me his opinion is based on 'popular perception'. Sad but that is how it is about Optra.
People just have to have an opinion! At times, it is rather amusing, when people who know nothing about a subject, will still have many things to say; often with that supreme confidence . No different for the Optra; most people barely understand/know this car well enough.

In a very selfish way, it helps for people to have this sort of an opinion, otherwise this car may have commanded a price of 12L! So in a very selfish way, it has been good for us guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
Thanks for the inputs, the background and other details on the Optra, Poitive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On the surge part, though I have just done 1800 odd Kms on my Optra, I am planning to go for the RD box or the Race Chip (more details on the chip can be found on racechip.de).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1) Is it too premature to go for the RD Box ?
2) Suggestions on which would be better suited in the longer run, the RD box or the Chip.
3) Will these performance enhancements cause long term ownership issues on the Optra?

I am basically looking for that kick A$$ feeling once the turbo kicks in, that sudden burst of power, that PINNED DOWN feeling.
I am no expert on tuning boxes, but it seems that, a lot of tuning kits work towards reducing turbolag also. So, if and when you go for it, choose carefully.

If you are going through a graded running-in, as described earlier in the Experiencing posts, it surely is premature. The pinned down feeling which you are looking for, came by default, as there was a dip in power and then a sudden surge, if you just sat on the accelerator pedal. The torque curve was such. Now you have to just flex your right foot muscles a bit differently.

The pinned down feeling can still be achieved. Move up normally, upto 2500 rpm in second gear (or, say about, 2600-2700 in third). Stay there for a few seconds (you are roughly simulating a stop in power delivery with turbolag, and probably helping the turbo to spool up). Now do not floor the accelerator, but dip it down with urgency. You should get the pinned down feeling. I was more than impressed. It accelerates pretty hard upto about 4000-4200 rpm. More pronounced till about 3800rpm. Around the redline (4500) the power will suddenly be lost. As I understand, it is a protection mechanism built into the ECU. Of course, make sure you have adequate road conditions for it.

I would strongly suggest you to wait till your first oil change at 5k.

Last edited by Poitive : 4th February 2012 at 01:35. Reason: Minor correction.
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Old 4th February 2012, 02:56   #198
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.

EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs14a.jpg

.

Howzaaaat?
(Loved this one!)
.

You always knew my "colours"
.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs14b.jpg

.

Envy turns the neighbors Green,
Ones overtaken see Red,
Behind the steering one gets rid of the Blues,
Mates wanted my colour,
Alas I remain colourless & Grey,
I am the VVS!
.

(I never was as poetic!!!
The VVS effect?)
.

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Old 5th February 2012, 17:00   #199
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Hey Poitive!

Wonderful thread....My love towards this car bowled me over, Now I am proud owner of this diesel rocket. Amazing Amazing feel to own this gentle giant. My ownership thread will be unveiled soon.

Cheers,
Raps
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Old 5th February 2012, 17:24   #200
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raps View Post
Wonderful thread....My love towards this car bowled me over, Now I am proud owner of this diesel rocket.
Thanks and Congrats Raps! It surely is a lovely car. Takes a bit, to really reveal itself. Have had close to 13k on it (used much lesser for the last month or so). Still an absolute delight.

There are many things I have yet to cover in the ownership review. I seem to be going a bit too slowly. Do share your impressions. Looking forward to your thread
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Old 5th February 2012, 23:38   #201
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raps View Post
Hey Poitive!

Wonderful thread....My love towards this car bowled me over, Now I am proud owner of this diesel rocket. Amazing Amazing feel to own this gentle giant. My ownership thread will be unveiled soon.

Cheers,
Raps
Congratulations and welcome to the Magnum club!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Mates wanted my colour,
Alas I remain colourless & Grey,
I am the VVS!
Ahh. At last the suspense is broken. Another addition to the SD grey club. This does look a fresh choice and the rage from the current set of color choices. IMHO a dignified one for the ones who have passed the flashy stage of life.

Last edited by optimist : 5th February 2012 at 23:40.
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Old 8th February 2012, 19:05   #202
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by optimist View Post
Ahh. At last the suspense is broken. Another addition to the SD grey club. This does look a fresh choice and the rage from the current set of color choices. IMHO a dignified one for the ones who have passed the flashy stage of life.
@Optimist - I thought, given the huge delay, everyone had lost interest in the VVS now; the colour of the VVS, rather. And Optimist, well said about the "flashy stage of life". Good you didn't say youth!!!! :d

Colour Choice

It went like this:

Caviar
Black - Too difficult to maintain. Having had dark colours before and knowing the effort it takes, was easy to skip this one.

Summit White - Quite liked it to start with. But very soon, it started giving me a feel of a Radio Taxi. (no offense to owners of this).

Linen Beige - Didn't like it much. Even though it is a very practical and logical colour. Should be easy to maintain. Light, so will reflect light/heat.

Velvet Red - Was considered. Found it a bit boyish for this style of a car. IMO, even though I like the colour, it doesn't fit in well with the Optra's design style.

Diamond White - Thought it really suited the design style of this car. Gave it that sophisticated classy look. Seemed worth paying the 10k extra for it. Was in contention with SD grey. Eventually thought that it looks too Classy-Old-Chauffer driven-Executive like. Almost an old man's car. Had SD grey not been available, would have been difficult to make the choice.

Sanddrift Grey- Had quite liked it. Was the "if not anything else, will have this" choice. Then one night, saw one just out of the showroom passing through Golf Links. Followed drooling!!!! The choice was made. It really did look good.

More about this colour - Is not a classical Grey. Has a slight two tone effect. A hint of beige in it. As Keyur had pointed out, before my purchase, the colour changes. Looks remarkably different based on the light it is in. Quite copper like, when under those Sodium Vapour lamps.

As the shade suggests, is not as easy as a White or Silver to maintain. No way. But a far cry from the difficulty of Blacks. Find it very acceptable. A coat of wax makes things simpler. Have noticed that if there is a fairly even layer of dust on it, till you run your finger on the surface to check, one can barely make out the dust on the car. Only the paint looks a bit duller.

In one way, it is a very poor colour to choose. It merges with the road colour quite easily. It may take a tiny fraction more for the car to be noticed, which may matter in an accident like situation. Whites, Silver (not available in the Optra) and Linen Beige like colour are well suited for that.

Am happy with the colour choice.

Note: I am not as regular on the forum as I used to be, and often only check it from the phone, so replies/responses may often be delayed.

Last edited by Poitive : 8th February 2012 at 19:08. Reason: Note on "flashy stage of life"
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Old 8th February 2012, 20:12   #203
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.
EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.

The ‘drives’ not to the mark, the agility of a ‘light’ youngster missing – The VVS Under ‘Pressure’

(Tyre pressure and a bit about the suspension)
.

Now, am going back to the period, soon after getting this car and it’s initial impressions. I liked most of it. Almost all of it. The is one thing that did bother me - this car didn’t feel agile. It felt even worse than the test drives. This is the one weak area of the car. It was to do with the weight of the car and the soft suspension. The weight really could not be changed; the suspension was too good in other ways to consider tampering with (There will be more about the agility of this car in another post soon, which will give a more complete idea of things).

It was super-comfy. Amazingly comfortable for a car in at this price. Suddenly, it seemed that the roads in town were much better!! But the car was slow to respond to steering inputs, thereby taking away a lot of the joy.

It was time for a trade-off. No, wasn’t letting the VVS go! Time to trade some of the comfort for better agility. Took the experimentation with tyre pressure further. The front of the car is clearly pretty heavy, especially with the diesel engine. The rear not so much. Even with other diesel cars, have tried and found keeping the front 2psi higher to work well.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs15.jpg
IIRC the tyre pressure then should have been about 28-29 cold, when this picture was taken.
Notice that even with a very slight undulation, the tyre wall is prominently deformed.


Now to cut a long story short, I settled with 33psi front and 31psi rear – usually checked at night, after about 20 minutes of fairly high speed driving. It should equate to about 30-31 in front and 29 rear, if measured cold. It is not too far from what is recommended anyway.

Would I recommend the above to others? Well, 32 in front would be a bit better for most (especially non-enthusiasts). At 33, it seems a bit more stiff and the traction (grip to the road) is a bit less than ideal. I keep it due to the feel it gives and the slightly faster response to steering inputs, which I presume mean similar safety in my case. The rear at 31 seems just fine.

In the past, have felt that that the sidewalls of the Apollo Acceleres, at recommended pressure, were a bit too soft and prone to flexing. Especially with any quick manoeuvres at high speed. At 33 in front, it feels a lot better.

The car feels a LOT better now. Not a Linea, Fiesta or Vento for agility, but not at all bothersome anymore. Also, partly due to getting used to driving it a bit differently. Not as comfortable as it was, but still very good.

Would I choose this car, if I had to travel in some huge emergency, in the city?
Through moderate to dense traffic – No.
Through more open roads – Yes .

Oversensitive

It is also worth mentioning that the car is VERY sensitive to tyre pressure. It has happened many times that I have felt the car to be behaving a bit differently. Got the tyre pressure checked. Found a 1-2psi difference. On correction, the car feeling back to the same. Each time, surprising me, that even a 1psi difference could make a perceivable and almost significant difference.

Would I do anything differently, if I went through this car purchase again?

Yes.
Would consider a tyre change a lot more seriously, than I did. A lot lot more.
However, given the oversensitivity to tyre-pressure, shows that this car is more sensitive to it’s footwear than others. Would probably have gone in with tyres with stiffer sidewalls. Probably some MRFs, even though many look down on them a bit. Would have liked to have taken a call on the tyres, after actually checking them on the car; even if it meant dealing with a dealer selling them for a bit more (better to pay a bit more initially then being stuck with tyres, which make one uneasy).

For the average non-enthusiast, the Apollo Accelers they come with are just fine. Rather, very good. Very plush ride. Pretty silent, especially at recommended tyre pressures.

Can still go in for a tyre change, with a decent buy-back, but these really aren’t bad enough to warrant the effort. Rather, they are pretty good, especially for OE.

Misunderstood
Now, this may be another reason for the car getting more flak for it's handling, than it deserves. It is so very sensitive to tyre pressure. Also, typically dealerships often under-inflate tyres, for a better ride. Most potential buyers (think outside T-bhp), check the ride a lot lot more than the handling. Understandably, people complain about how this one handles, based on TDs. In many of my TDs, I had first gotten the tyre pressure checked.

Last edited by Poitive : 8th February 2012 at 20:18. Reason: The "Misunderstood" section at the end.
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Old 8th February 2012, 20:27   #204
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Good to see you active again on this forum. Btw finally did make it to a Chevy showroom last weekend, a friend was checking out the Beat, had accompanied him. On entering the showroom, I headed straight towards the Optra lying on the display and sat on the back seat - man, what a back seat! Sofa is an apt word being used for it.

However they didn't have a TD vehicle then so couldn't really try the car out. Unless some Pune Magnum owner could help me do a TD, I guess this will always be left out. Btw the board said "New Optra Magnum", along with the car's basic dimensions and details. Asked the SE on what was new, he was clueless.
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Old 10th February 2012, 01:07   #205
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Good to see you active again on this forum. Btw finally did make it to a Chevy showroom last weekend, a friend was checking out the Beat, had accompanied him. On entering the showroom, I headed straight towards the Optra lying on the display and sat on the back seat - man, what a back seat! Sofa is an apt word being used for it.

However they didn't have a TD vehicle then so couldn't really try the car out. Unless some Pune Magnum owner could help me do a TD, I guess this will always be left out. Btw the board said "New Optra Magnum", along with the car's basic dimensions and details. Asked the SE on what was new, he was clueless.
So you bought the Vento, without even a TD of the Optra. GM is really messing it up man! Good to see you on the thread, Ninja, especially after how we both started off. Appreciate it.

And boy, what a lovely colour you chose for the Vento. Congrats mate! (for those who don't know about it, you need to see the Blue shade on the Vento on Ninja's thread here) More on your Vento, on your ownership thread. Had seen it, but didn't comment, as there was much to read before commenting, than just adding a congrats one liner.

When I said sofa about this car, I was referring to the front seat. I just love the ergonomics of the seat for my body structure. Ergonomics are very good on the whole, but not flawless. Would you believe it - I have not sat in the rear seat of the VVS at all in the 13k odd!!! Not once. Others are quite happy about it though.

New Optra Magnum?
Now this is interesting news! Thank Ninja. It may help other potential Optra customers. Another Bhpian, Chetan, had mentioned about a HU, which was not the usual Clarion. Have asked him on his thread for details and am waiting for him to answer.

Anyone who has any info on a
new Optra Magnum, please let us know.

Given, the lack of focus of GM on this car, wonder if that "new" board could be a very old design print!
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Old 10th February 2012, 07:16   #206
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
So you bought the Vento, without even a TD of the Optra. GM is really messing it up man! Good to see you on the thread, Ninja, especially after how we both started off. Appreciate it.

And boy, what a lovely colour you chose for the Vento. Congrats mate! (for those who don't know about it, you need to see the Blue shade on the Vento on Ninja's thread here) More on your Vento, on your ownership thread. Had seen it, but didn't comment, as there was much to read before commenting, than just adding a congrats one liner.

When I said sofa about this car, I was referring to the front seat. I just love the ergonomics of the seat for my body structure. Ergonomics are very good on the whole, but not flawless. Would you believe it - I have not sat in the rear seat of the VVS at all in the 13k odd!!! Not once. Others are quite happy about it though.

New Optra Magnum?
Now this is interesting news! Thank Ninja. It may help other potential Optra customers. Another Bhpian, Chetan, had mentioned about a HU, which was not the usual Clarion. Have asked him on his thread for details and am waiting for him to answer.

Anyone who has any info on a
new Optra Magnum, please let us know.

Given, the lack of focus of GM on this car, wonder if that "new" board could be a very old design print!
Lol. Yea, we did. Anyway, that was bygones.

Btw here is an image of the board which I took. You might be right when you guessed it could be a very old design print.
Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-img00216201202041512.jpg
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Old 12th February 2012, 16:41   #207
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Lol. Yea, we did. Anyway, that was bygones.

Btw here is an image of the board which I took. You might be right when you guessed it could be a very old design print.
Attachment 885175
Yeah!

And that guess wasn't stupid after all. The picture mentions the MAX model, which has very long been discontinued. It was the base model, LS the middle model and LT the top one. So, evidently, it is anything but a "New Optra Magnum". Even when I ventured into the market about a year back, the MAX was not available. Probably discontinued long back.

GM does seem to have a business model of it's own. To not spend more on this car, but to reduce the price of the car, and hope for the consumers to see it's value. Well, well, well.
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Old 12th February 2012, 18:25   #208
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Btw finally did make it to a Chevy showroom last weekend, a friend was checking out the Beat, had accompanied him.

However they didn't have a TD vehicle then so couldn't really try the car out. Unless some Pune Magnum owner could help me do a TD, I guess this will always be left out. Btw the board said "New Optra Magnum", along with the car's basic dimensions and details. Asked the SE on what was new, he was clueless.
Hey Ninja, which showroom did you go to? I can help you out with the TD in Pune!
The current Magnum is the 'new' one. Nothing new coming up, and nothing getting discontinued either

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
I bought it for the Surge and as I have said in the past the surge is no longer as pronounced as it was in the BS3 cars

I am basically looking for that kick A$$ feeling once the turbo kicks in, that sudden burst of power, that PINNED DOWN feeling
To get the surge, you need to start driving like that. The ECU will adapt to your driving style and give you more power. At 1700, it's time you start driving a bit harder - you will see the change!
Second and Third gears are where you will get the boost (rather, feel it).
The best way to get the boost is to hold the car back (just out of the lag zone, but throttle not opened, around 2000 rpm or so), and then just let her go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torquedo View Post
Poitive and fellow owners need suggestion on the following -

1) Is it too premature to go for the RD Box ?
Not at all. You can go for it. Only the Rail Pressure is changed, so not too much to worry about as long as you don't push it too hard


2) Suggestions on which would be better suited in the longer run, the RD box or the Chip.
I was initially planning on the RD box, but then moved to the RaceChip. The RD box is good, but it has 4 preset modes, out of which 2 are pretty much useless for the Optra (Stock and P2). It is better to find the exact or near-best match settings for the Optra and stick to them - there is no need to switch around. Both the RD Box and the RaceChip increase the Rail Pressure. The Race Chip has 2 dials for the settings, and you need to find the settings best for you - based on your driving style, you can play around and find the best match. The RD on the other hand has the preset modes, which may not end up suiting you!
And then there is the difference of 8K. The Race Chip is definitely cheaper, and does the same work, minus the funky remote.


3) Will these performance enhancements cause long term ownership issues on the Optra?

I had the Race Chip on from 10000km to 14500km. Removed it for my 15K servicing. The ride quality improved a lot - I could drive in 5th gear at 800 RPM, and pull from 800 RPM in the 4th gear - downshifting reduced considerably. After I removed it, the ECU seemed to hold the values for a few days, so I eventually disconnected the battery to clear them.

I had gotten so used to the Race Chip that I ended up stalling the vehicle a few times after removing it!

  • The fuel efficiency improved in the city.
  • In-gear acceleration improved tremendously (the sudden pinned down feeling gets converted to a continuous pin down effect).
  • There was no change in exhaust.
  • No change in engine noise.
  • The exhaust temperature variations (that I expected) were also not there. There was a slight case of EGR leakage, but that was due to loose clamps, nothing else!

Go for it - you will love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raps View Post

Wonderful thread....My love towards this car bowled me over, Now I am proud owner of this diesel rocket. Amazing Amazing feel to own this gentle giant. My ownership thread will be unveiled soon.
Hey Raps, Congrats! Welcome to the club!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
GM does seem to have a business model of it's own. To not spend more on this car, but to reduce the price of the car, and hope for the consumers to see it's value. Well, well, well.
I think they hired the wrong MBA! When everyone out there is going crazy about diesels, it seems that they are launching the SAIL in petrol (atleast initially). And hope they price it just right - a bit too high, and they will screw the sales of the Sail - a bit too low, and they will screw the Beat!!


BTW Poitive, I envy you for the amount of time you are able to spend to put in this amount of matter! I have done tonnes of mods to my Magnum, but all of that is getting added to the ever increasing list of back logs! Gotta start clearing up those backlogs!
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Old 13th February 2012, 02:22   #209
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyur View Post
Hey Ninja, which showroom did you go to? I can help you out with the TD in Pune!
@Keyur - I remember, when I offered @MAS (from Chennai) a TD on the VVS, if he were to visit Delhi, you were rather surprised that I'd let another drive my new car. Seems you have gotten less possessive about your Torqueen. Good going! But somehow, I almost expected you to offer it, if you were to read this.

@Ninja - Here is your chance! If you do grab it, do update us guys on your impressions.

Quote:
I think they hired the wrong MBA!
Even though I can't see enough logic in some of the approaches of GM, it may not be as bad as it initially seems. It is a company which was the highest selling company for long, despite operating from a pretty high cost country. There may be way more reasoning and situations behind how they operate, than what we may be privy to. I can now see much more reason for why they may not be upgrading the Optra - something I could not see enough, when the Choosing thread was active. But that is another topic for another day.

Quote:
BTW Poitive, I envy you for the amount of time you are able to spend to put in this amount of matter!

I think I'll let that pass.
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Old 13th February 2012, 07:31   #210
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyur View Post
The current Magnum is the 'new' one. Nothing new coming up, and nothing getting discontinued either
Any confirmed news?

I was informed from the Chevy showroom itself that the Cruze may be phased out soon, and hence the suggested to check out Cruze instead. They were not offering any discounts on Magnum as well. (Weird, since I guess there were huge discounts earlier?)

How does the turbo-lag compare with that of Cruze?
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