In 1957 Opel Product Director Karl Stief wis mandatit bi General Motors headquarters in Detroit tae develop "the perfect Anti-Volkswagen" ("einen perfekten Anti-VW"). The development team wis heidit up bi Stief, supportit bi Hans Mersheimer (caur-body) an Werner K. Strobel (ingine an runnin gear), unner conditions o sic secrecy that even nou vera little is kent o the development history o the 1962 Kadett. 649,512 o caurs haed been biggit at the company's new Bochum factory bi the time it wis replaced in Julie 1965.
The Kadett E has been seen as a grey import in the United Kingdom, but it is quite rare compared to its badge engineered sister, the Vauxhall Astra Mk II. It was never officially sold in Britain, and by 1989, General Motors was only marketing the Vauxhall brand in the United Kingdom, although Astras assembled at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant were exported to the rest of Europe badged as Opel Kadetts. There was also a van version with a raised roof, called the Opel Kadett Combo.
The GSi's engine mapping had been carried out by Opel tuning specialists Irmscher. A model with the 82 PS (60 kW) 1.4 L multi point fuel injected engine, which was otherwise mechanically identical to the GSi, also became available as the Nova SRi in the United Kingdom. In January 1988, a turbocharged version of the Isuzu diesel engine was introduced, with power increased to 67 PS (49 kW).