Opel operates 10 vehicle, powertrain, and component plants and four development and test centres in six countries, and employs around 30,000 people in Europe. The brand sells vehicles in more than 60 markets worldwide. Other plants are in Eisenach and Kaiserslautern, Germany; Szentgotthárd, Hungary; Zaragoza, Spain; Gliwice, and Tychy, Poland; Aspern, Austria; Ellesmere Port, and Luton, Great Britain. The Dudenhofen Test Center is located near the company's headquarters and is responsible for all technical testing and vehicle validations.
Under the stubby bonnet, Opel has borrowed engines as well as chassis from PSA, so the EcoTec 1.6-litre diesel is actually the French 1.6-litre BlueHDI engine wearing lederhosen and a false moustache. It’s a very good engine, in fairness. Not as refined, overall, as Opel’s home-grown 1.6, nor as powerful (120hp plays 136hp) but quieter at low rpm when cold, and with very good economy. Sadly, the six-speed manual gearbox is also brought in from France and its sloppy, loose-limbed action does not bespeak of German precision. The engine, to be honest, doesn’t seem to suit the car, surging and growling with rather too much enthusiasm and basically making a nuisance of itself. I suspect the Crossland would be better-suited to the revvy, lightweight 1.2-litre petrol engine.
Power will come exclusively from a three-cylinder 1.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine developing 75 HP (55 kW) delivered to the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. Opel and Vauxhall say the chassis has been tweaked to provide "exceptional safety and comfort" and both cars come with traction control, hill start assist and electronic stability control.
Under the hood, the ROCKS shares the 1.0-liter, three cylinder gasoline engine (NEDC fuel consumption: urban 5.6-5.2 l/100 km, extra-urban 4.2-4.0 l/100 km, combined 4.7-4.4 l/100 km; 106-101 g/km CO2) of its KARL sibling The unit delivers 55 kW/75 hp and is paired to a five-speed manual gearbox as standard. Alternatively, KARL ROCKS buyers can choose the optional Easytronic® 3.0 gearbox. The five-speed automated transmission combines the comfort advantages of an automatic transmission with the efficiency of a manual gearbox. It automatically selects the appropriate gear for best possible fuel consumption, but is based on a manual transmission optimized for smaller engines which enables ultra-economical driving. The driver can take manual control of Easytronic 3.0 at any time by pulling or pushing the gear selector lever.
The Kadett featured a more modern design than the Volkswagen Beetle that then dominated the market for small family cars in West Germany and various surrounding countries. The Kadett offered more passenger space, more luggage capacity, and better visibility for the driver. Its water-cooled engine provided effective heating for the passenger compartment. However, by the mid-1970s the Kadett's weakness was already apparent as the car's bodywork was not well protected from corrosion.
The outdoor character created by the exterior design continues on the inside of the car with front door sill plates and the high gloss frame for the infotainment system The optional Radio R 4.0 IntelliLink system brings the world of smartphones to the KARL ROCKS via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. As of this summer, buyers in search of an integrated navigation system can order the urban rocker with the Navi 4.0 IntelliLink system. The connectivity offering of the KARL ROCKS is rounded off by the availability of the Opel OnStar personal connectivity and service assistant including the new Personal Assistant service. It allows OnStar subscribers to book hotel rooms and search for suitable parking spots via an OnStar Advisor.
It had some crazy mechanical issues. At one point it stumbled and stalled because the carburetor had come loose from the intake manifold and I had to tighten it back down! Another time, my brother was driving it and the brakes failed. Somehow the end of the brake shoe that meets the brake cylinder piston had become worn on one side, causing the piston to slip off the end of the shoe when the brakes were applied, losing braking and squirting fluid all over.