What we have here, then, is a three-door, four-seat coupe, its wide-opening tailgate neatly disguised within the flowing lines down to the rear bumper. Launched in 1989, the Calibra was sold in the UK for the best part of 10 years, although it’s rare to see one now – especially anything as nice as this extremely low mileage example from Vauxhall’s heritage fleet.
The Corsa OPC features a sports chassis with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) technology, which enables the damping forces to adapt to the frequency of the car to balance sportiness with comfort. The suspension is lowered by 10mm (0.39 in) compared to standard Corsa models, and the car also gets an optimised steering system with more direct and precise reactions. OPC also worked on the brakes, adding 308mm discs on the front axle.
In 1992 a potent turbocharged four-wheel-drive version joined the range. The 204bhp Calibra had a six-speed gearbox and an independent rear end borrowed from the Omega. Unlike the regular car, this Calibra Turbo struggled to find a following as it was complex and expensive, and the lack of a motorsport pedigree didn't help. The following year saw the introduction of perhaps the most sought after Calibra model. Dropping a 168bhp 2.5 V6 engine into the Calibra made for a refined and highly enjoyable grand tourer, a role that suited the spacious and comfortable car well.
On 29 February 2012, Opel announced the creation of a major alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen resulting in GM taking a 7% share of PSA, becoming PSA's second-largest shareholder after the Peugeot family. The alliance was intended to enable $2 billion per year of cost savings through platform sharing, common purchasing, and other economies of scale. In December 2013, GM sold its 7% interest in PSA for £250 million, after plans of cost savings were not as successful. Opel was said to be among Europe's most aggressive discounters in mass-market. GM reported a 2016 loss of US$257 million from its European operations. It is reported that GM has lost about US$20 billion in Europe since 1999.
In the US, some 500 Buick dealers started carrying the Kadett in 1964, after their previous sole product, the larger Rekord, was knocked out of the ring by GM’s own 1960/1961 compacts. I strongly suspect the Buick dealers (and their ad agency) who hadn’t yet taken down their Opel signs were not really very committed or motivated, and all of 17k ’64s and 14k ’65 Kadett A were sold. Meanwhile, VW was moving some 400k Beetles in America.
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.
In 1982 Opel once again accomplished a great feat with a small car: the Corsa A joined the range below the Kadett, which by now was becoming a compact model. Designed by Chief Designer Erhard Schnell, who also penned the legendary Opel GT, the only 3.62m-long Corsa was notable for its prominent rally-car wheel arches and a drag coefficient of 0.36. Offered initially as a two-door hatchback and sedan, and a five-door as of 1985, the Corsa again demonstrated how masterfully Opel can generate space on a small platform. The 100hp GSi also combined frugality with fun. Originally conceived as an entry-level model for those on a tight budget, the Corsa A had become a bestseller by 1993 with a total of 3.1 million units sold.
Chevrolet has only released a teaser photo of the redesigned 2016 Spark minicar so far, but the final product has been hiding in plain sight as the Opel Karl that debuted at the Geneva auto show. The Chevrolet version will have a slightly different look with its brand-specific fascias, but the European-market Karl otherwise provides a good preview of the U.S.-market Spark we’ll see at the New York auto show in a few weeks.
The 114bhp 1.0-litre engine fires to a near-silent idle, and in general it’s responsive and keen. It revs willingly, and such is the quietness and consistency of output that there are times while cruising when you could be in any of, say, three gears and you wouldn’t notice much difference in either noise or throttle response. It drives as standard through a six-speed gearbox that is occasionally notchy but otherwise positive.
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).
The next step for Opel was the resumption of passenger car production. It might have seemed easiest to bring back the Kapitän first since its engine was already in production for the truck, but occupation regulations restricted German civilians to cars of 1.5 L or less, which made the Olympia the obvious candidate. Under Dr Ing e.h. Karl Stief, who had been chief engineer at Opel since 1934, useful changes were made to this tough little car. The Dubonnet front suspension was replaced by a conventional coil-and-wishbone layout and the steering was correspondingly rearranged.
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.
* = Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures shown are determined according to the NEDC homologation regulations (R (EC) No. 715/2007 and R (EC) No. 692/2008, applicable version), which allows comparison with other vehicles. From September 1, 2017, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data for certain new vehicles are determined using the new World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). For easy comparison between new and older vehicles the relevant figures are re-calculated into NEDC. Please contact your Opel dealer for the latest information.
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Other events which would powerfully affect Opel's future were taking place in 1948. In February and March, a GM study group came to Germany to investigate every aspect of Europe's economic situation and Opel's special problems. On their return, they submitted a report on 26 March recommending that General Motors resume control of Opel. On 5 April, however, GM's financial policy committee concluded, "in view of the many uncertainties surrounding the operation of this property, the Corporation is not justified in resuming the responsibility for its operation at this time..." GM, it seemed, did not want Opel.
Both the Opel Karl and its Vauxhall Viva twin will be built alongside the new Spark in South Korea. Looking at the Opel’s measurements, we can see that the new 2016 Chevrolet Spark’s footprint will grow ever so slightly, with a 0.4-inch longer wheelbase and a 0.2-inch longer overall length. The new car’s roof is 3 inch lower overall, and the car could also weigh around 200 lb less than today’s model if the Karl’s 2070 lb curb weight is indicative of the U.S.-spec 2016 Spark’s specification.
This 1968 Opel Kadett is a refurbished station wagon finished in red over black and powered by an overhead-valve 1.1-liter inline-four with dual carburetors and a 4-speed manual transmission. The car car previously spent time in a collection whose owner showed it in events with the Opel Motorsports Club, with awards including Best in Show, First in Class, and People’s Choice at the Opel Nationals and a number of other venues. This Kadett was acquired by the selling dealer in early 2019 and is offered with a collection of trophies and a clean Nebraska title.
All Mexican previous versions were known as the Chevy, with the names Monza used on the saloon, and Swing (five-door) and Joy (three-door) for the hatchbacks, all with a 1.6-liter 78 PS (57 kW) four-cylinder. There was also a low-end three-door model called the Chevy Popular, which was equipped with a 52 PS (38 kW) 1.4-liter engine. The latter 2004 and 2008 redesigns were simply named Chevy and Chevy Sedán. The Chevy was a favourite among taxicab drivers and one of the best selling cars in the country.
Speaking of which, our speculative render of the next Corsa builds upon the styling langue implemented by the Rüsselsheim-based marque for the pair of crossovers, but adapted to better suit a supermini. It’s unclear at this point whether the styling direction will change now that Opel is underneath PSA’s umbrella, but it could happen considering the underpinnings are significantly being modified.
In March 2017, Groupe PSA agreed to buy Opel, its British sister brand Vauxhall and their European auto lending business from General Motors for US$2.2 billion. In return, General Motors will pay PSA US$3.2 billion for future European pension obligations and keep managing US$9.8 billion worth of plans for existing retirees. Furthermore, GM is responsible for paying about US$400 million annually for 15 years to fund the existing Great Britain and Germany pension plans.
The case of the Saab Calibra is one I'm glad didn't pan out, but I wish the car had made it here somehow. Even weirder than this was a plan to sell the Opel Senator through Porsche dealers in the late '80s, after GM's dealers were uninterested because their lots were full of Park Avenues and didn't need another luxo-barge competing. Strange, too, since the company was willing to sell that car as an Opel until the cost of importing became too strong. That likely killed the math for sending the Calibra here, too.
In 2014, Opel revealed the fifth generation Corsa model, which almost looks like its Adam smaller brother minus the funkiness. The major design changes can be seen especially at the front, where the smiling grille sits more higher, encompassing a chrome ornament and the Opel badge, new headlights and foglights surroundings as well as a new hood. Te side profile is more accentuated by two sharp l...
The Rally’s 1100 cc SR engine was hardly a drag-strip terror: the little 1100cc buzz-bomb got higher compression and a second carburetor, as well as possibly some other changes. The result was 67 gross/60 DIN-net hp. And what little torque there was, now moved even higher into the rpm range. I can hear their raspy and nervous exhaust in my ears still, as common as they were now in the Towson area. Undoubtedly, they improved on the regular Kadett’s 21 second 0-60 dash by maybe a couple of seconds. But they looked good doing it, as well as sounding good.
The care taken over the detailed design of the new engine was rewarded with a power unit which earned widespread respect in the industry and, at least with the Kadett A, tended to outlive the rest of the car in which it was fitted. In later incarnations both the 1.0 litre unit and an enlarged 1.2 litre version were still used in small Opels, including the first Opel Corsa (and Vauxhall Nova) well into the 1990s.
Rüsselsheim. In 2019 Opel celebrates 120 years of automobile production – and thereby 120 years full of innovations for everyone. The German brand has a tradition of pioneering high-tech advancements and quickly bringing them to series production. This makes mobility affordable for many and the cars safer, cleaner, more comfortable and more practical. The 120 years advertising campaign, “Opel. Born in Germany. Made for everyone.” is based on this philosophy. It was as true of the first Opel – the Patentmotorwagen “System Lutzmann” of 1899 – as of all the other models that followed, from the “Doktorwagen” to “Laubfrosch” (Tree Frog), P4 and Kadett. Today the philosophy matches the Opel Corsa more than any other model.
What I love about this series of videos is their diversity. According to the literature, this Kadett was produced for three years, so obtaining parts for the restoration must have been very challenging. Production of the 1 liter, OHV, I4 engine starts with this car, and continues for 30 years, with minor variations. From the beginning the engine had advanced features for the period such as aluminum pistons; a hydraulically tensioned, chain driven cam shaft; hollow push rods; and an aluminum intake manifold. The fact that this engine has never been apart says a thing or two about their longevity.
This time it was from simply wearing them out, but my 18 year old mother had no idea that tires were something you had to replace. “You don’t have to replace the doors or the wheels or the windshield, why would you have to replace the tires, it’s just part of the car,” she had reasoned. She’s a whip-smart lady but somehow had missed that one. Her father had hilariously taught her how to change a tire (by making her figure it out on the street downtown while everyone they knew drove by and offered to help, as he turned them away one by one while the 5’2″, 90 lb teenager did it herself) but I guess kids think they know everything.
This new category, Group A, featured very stringent homologation requirements. In order to qualify for competition, the competing model needed to be produced at least 25,000 times. Furthermore, the FIA required ten percent of these cars to be a specialty model, with another 500 allowed as “Evolution” models. If the 25,000 car limit had not yet been met, the new model had to attain a production number of at least 5000 units a year.
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All of this was a product of corporate leverage and synergies and all of these corporate-sounding words that sound so much better when Jack Donaghy says them. The cynical say that the idea to badge Opels as Saabs happened a few years later with the second-generation 900, which shares a lot of pieces with the Calibra, but in reality they're very different cars. As a Saab, I say the Calibra would've been derided from the start and its reputation ruined that way. Listen to Chris Goffey and his beard go on about its styling and merits when he drove it as the Vauxhall Calibra on old Top Gear.
You may remember the beloved Opel Kadett A named “Oliver” that Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame slogged through the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan of Botswana. He became so attached to the little car that he had it restored and owns it to this day. Hammond’s love of this classic comes with good cause as it was a secret weapon of Opel developed specifically to invade the dominance of Volkswagen during the 1960s. Even though it delivered similar levels of horsepower (around 40 hp) it did offer better heating as well as more interior and luggage space. The Kadett’s popularity and engine reliability provided a resurgence for Opel and the car was exported to many countries including the United States. Whether you punish yours in the muck and mud or reserve your driving strictly to the road is entirely up to you.
The 1.0 L and 1.2 L Ecotec Family 0 engines are carry overs from the Corsa B; the 1.4 L Family 1 engine was replaced with a new 1.4 L Family 0 model. The 1.8 L Family 1 engine is an upgrade for the previous 1.6 L 16 valve engine and produces 125 PS (92 kW) and 165 N⋅m (122 lb⋅ft) of torque. The edition with the 1.8 L engine was named Corsa GSi and was the predecessor of the new Corsa OPC.