Rüsselsheim. The new Opel KARL ROCKS has arrived at dealers and is ready to dazzle showroom visitors with its trendy outdoor look and feel. The KARL ROCKS bears a strong resemblance to a true offroader and shares many virtues connected with this vehicle class such as an elevated seating position that enables better visibility and easier access to the cabin. Furthermore, the youngest member of the Opel ROCKS family maintains the unquestionable practicality of the Opel KARL with five doors, five seats, compact dimensions and a maximum trunk space of more than 1,000 liters making it the ideal vehicle for a broad audience of city dwellers. Like its slightly less extrovert sibling, the Opel KARL, the newcomer is thus big on everything – except size and price with the entry-level KARL ROCKS available for €12,600 (RRP including VAT in Germany).
As it turned out, the Opels were still lacking in this department. Manuel Reuter was fastest of the two with 5th on the grid, while Keke Rosberg clocked a disappointing 9th time. Both managed to be slower than several of the lesser Mercedes. Both races left much to be desired as well, with Rosberg finishing 7th in Race 1. Reuter retired with electronic gremlins after just 6 laps, and was forced to miss Race 2. Rosberg was felled by similar issues in Race 2, and slowed after 10 laps.
The Kadett A (above) finally appeared in 1962, and was a classic GM/Opel effort: highly pragmatic, conventional in every respect, reasonably stylish for its time, and designed to deliver a good bang for the buck. In just about every way possible, it was the antithesis of the VW: front-engine rwd, a rather tinny but roomy body, highly tossable but with a primitive suspension and ride, a very roomy trunk, and excellent visibility as well as economy. Oh, and a proper heater even! Its little 987 cc OHV four made 40 net/46 gross hp, six more than the VW 1200. Its trim fighting weight of 1475 lbs (670 kg), some two hundred pounds less than the VW, showed in both its acceleration and body integrity.