1993 OPEL Calibra Review

1993 OPEL Calibra
The Opel Calibra also known as the Chevrolet Calibra in South America, the Holden Calibra in Australia and New Zealand, and the Vauxhall Calibra in the United Kingdom is a sports car produced by German automaker Opel between 1989 and 1997.

The Calibra was introduced to counter the Japanese sports coupes of the late-1980s and early-1990s, and is based around the running gear of the first-generation Opel Vectra, which had been launched in 1988. Calibra production was based in two Opel factories, Rüsselsheim in Germany and Uusikaupunki in Finland, where production was consolidated in November 1995.[2]

The Opel Calibra was styled by the US head of General Motors design Europe, Wayne Cherry. It is a front-wheel drive coupé, but because it is based on the Vectra chassis, its ride and handling are not significantly better than that of the large family car from which it grew. On its launch in 1989, the Calibra was the most aerodynamic production car in the world.[citation needed] This was glorified in an advert on British television during 1990.

The eight valve model was, however, the most aerodynamically efficient Opel ever,[citation needed] with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26.[3] It remained the most aerodynamic mass production car for the next 10 years, until the Honda Insight and Audi A2 were launched in 1999 with a Cd of 0.25.[citation needed] All later 16V, V6, 4x4, turbo models had a worse Cd of 0.29 due to changes in cooling system, underbody, use of spoked wheels and glass detail.[4]
Commercial life

During its lifetime, the Calibra was much more popular in Europe than its nearest rival, the Ford Probe, which was considered to be underpowered and too American for most European drivers. However in the UK, it failed to outsell the Rover 200 Coupe which offered comparable performance at a lower cost and at the time Rover had a better image.[citation needed]

In 1995, the Vectra A was replaced, but Calibra production proceeded until it was discontinued at the end of 1997. Although a smaller coupe (the Tigra) was available, the marque was left without a mid-sized coupé until the Astra Coupé was launched in 2000, and with the introduction of the Vauxhall VX220 in 2001, four years after the Calibra was discontinued, Opel finally offered a sports car again.

Power was initially from 2.0 L 8-valve (85kW/115bhp C20NE) and 16-valve fuel-injected (110kW/150bhp C20XE) four-cylinder petrol engines. In 1992 a turbocharged 2.0 L engine (150kW/204bhp)(a C20LET, the turbocharged version of the C20XE) was added to the range. With four-wheel drive, a six-speed Getrag manual transmission (F28/6) and a claimed top speed of 240km/h (149mph), this flagship model finally gave the Calibra the dynamics to match its looks.

In mid-1993 a 125kW/167hp 2.5 L V6 (C25XE) was introduced, thus creating what many considered to be the finest Calibra to date[citation needed]. Available with both manual and automatic transmissions, the V6 was not as fast as the Turbo, but was rather more civilised, and proved to be more reliable than the complex four-wheel drive model with its notorious transfer box issues[citation needed]. 1995 saw the introduction of the X20XEV Ecotec engine, a cheaper less reliable derivative of the classic C20XE 16-valve or "red top" engine. This marked a reduction in power from 150bhp (112kW) to 136bhp (101kW) for the 16-valve version, although the Turbo continued with the C20LET.

* 2.0 L 8-valve SOHC I4 - 115PS (85kW) (all years) (C20NE)
* 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC I4 - 150PS (110kW) (1990-1995) (C20XE)
* 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC 'Ecotec' I4 - 136PS (100kW) (1995-1997) (X20XEV)
* 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I4 - 204PS (150kW) (1992-1997) (C20LET)
* 2.5 L 24-valve DOHC 'Ecotec' V6 - 170PS (125kW) (1993-1997) (C25XE) '94-'96; (X25XE) '97

No 1.5 diesel version of the Calibra was ever produced despite the engine being listed on www.wisebuyers.com

The last Calibra Turbos were produced in early 1997 before a final run of Calibra Turbo Limited Editions were rolled out. These were all finished in jet black paintwork with Irmscher spoiler, BBS RX 16" alloys and colour coded body fittings. This final incarnation was also lowered by 35mm on Irmscher springs and dampers. The interior was heated cream leather, with a steering wheel trimmed in grey leather and a plaque showing the build number mounted on the centre console.

In addition to a four-speed automatic transmissions that was available on all models except the C20LET (although some countries such as Australia did not sell the C20XE with the four-speed auto), there were five manual gearboxes for the Calibra (all of which were 5-speed gearboxes, except the 6-speed F28/6).

* F16CR-5 - Fitted to early 2.0L SOHC NA (ie C20NE)
* F18CR-5 - Fitted to late 2.0L SOHC NA and late 2.0L DOHC NA (ie C20NE, X20XEV)
* F20 - Fitted to early 2.0L DOHC NA (ie C20XE)
* F25 - Fitted to 2.5L NA (ie C25XE, X25XE)
* F28/6 - Fitted to 2.0L Turbo (ie C20LET)

1993 OPEL Calibra

1993 OPEL Calibra

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