Vega appears to have been the first GM vehicle designed by committee – the corporate engineering staff – and imposed upon one of its divisions like a turd to be polished. Chevrolet engineering had in fact developed its own subcompact but when presented to corporate it was rejected “out of hand” by Ed Cole, who told them to develop Vega instead, then code-named “XP-887”.
Just a year later, a new Soviet car, the Moskvitch 400, rolled off a Moscow assembly line. It seemed to be the Opel Kadett in every detail, with only the name changed (various sources provide contradictory information; see the respective article). By late 1950, the Russians were exporting these Kremlin Kadetts to Belgium, stressing in their promotion that spare parts could easily be obtained from Germany. A Moskvitch model that bore no trace of Opel engineering was not introduced until 1959, and by that time, Opel was just about ready to introduce a new Kadett of its own.
Within Opel the Calibra was a car with potential but sadly much of it was unrealised. Valmet Automotive in Finland, who had a manufacturing facility that build Calibras alongside the German plant, produced two handsome convertible prototypes that never saw production. A Saab coupe based on the Calibra was also rumoured but, again, never saw the light of day.
The German company based in Rüsselsheim, which now belongs to the PSA group, made a profit in 2018 for the first time since 1999. According to Lohscheller, this enabled them to make the necessary investments in electric mobility. Opel intends to electrify its entire product range by 2024. “The smaller vehicles, in particular, are especially suitable for electric propulsion,” said the company boss, who also explained that Opel, also known as Vauxhall, is switching from nine to just two platforms: “One small and one large, which can be used throughout the group. In addition to diesel and gasoline engines, each has an electrified drive system – either purely electric or as a plug-in hybrid.”
Things are a little better up front, where we find driver and passenger seats approved by the Aktion Gesunder Rucken, or German Bad Back Association. They are truly, properly comfortable, and even long journeys fail to induce numb-bum, nor thigh-tremble. It does go a bit downhill from there though. The fascia and instrument panel are pulled, more or less directly, from the Corsa hatch, which means everything’s reasonably well made, but a bit dour and glum in appearance. That contrasts sharply to the quirkier, more welcoming interiors of the Crossland’s French cousins. There are good things – the seven-inch IntelliLink touchscreen is clear and good to use, albeit it has a slightly messy menu system, but the main dials look drab, and items such as the column stalks actually feel quite fragile and cheap.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Styling was kept very close to that of the 2000 released model with just the face having been altered through the introduction of a chrome horizontal beam that encompassed the Opel logo. Headlight shapes remained unchanged while the bottom part of the front-end panel was diagonally cut at the sides, somewhat mimicking the lines of the V-shaped bonnet. Engine range remained virtually the same wit...
In 1957 Opel Product Director Karl Stief was mandated by General Motors headquarters in Detroit to develop "the perfect Anti-Volkswagen" ("einen perfekten Anti-VW"). The development team was headed up by Stief, supported by Hans Mersheimer (car-body) and Werner K. Strobel (engine and running gear), under conditions of such secrecy that even now very little is known of the development history of the 1962 Kadett. It has been alleged that GM was trying to conceal a new technique of platform and design sharing between Opel and its British sister company Vauxhall, which released the strikingly similar Viva HA in 1963, a year after Opel introduced the Kadett. Over the subsequent two decades Opel and Vauxhall's ranges would rapidly converge as Vauxhall's design independence from Opel was eroded to the point where by 1985, Vauxhall's car range entirely consisted of rebadged Opel models.
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.
Historically, Opel vehicles have also been sold at various times in the North American market as either heavily modified, or "badge-engineered" models under the Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, and Cadillac brands - for instance the J-body platform, which was largely developed by Opel - was the basis of North American models such as the Chevrolet Cavalier and Cadillac Cimarron. Below is a list of current or recent Opel models which are sold under GM's North American brands.
Rüsselsheim/Veneto. Crisp and compact on the outside, very spacious and versatile on the inside with trendy two-tone paintwork and cool SUV look – that is the all-new Opel Crossland X. Following its premiere at the beginning of February, this versatile urban crossover model is the second member of the Opel X family in the B-segment where it joins the sporty bestseller, the Mokka X. The third member, the larger Grandland X, will be launched in the compact class (C-segment) later this year.
Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection works automatically at speeds between 5 and 140km/h. For speeds between 5 and 30km/h a 0.9g deceleration is applied to reduce the impact speed of the collision. For speeds of 30 to 140km/h the system reduces the speed by up to 50km/h. To reduce speed by over 50km/h the driver needs to provide additional braking. The operational speed range depends on the type of obstacle detected: