The Opel Ascona was produced by Opel, the German automaker from the year 1970 through the year 1988. It is a larger family car that was produced in 3 separate generations over the 18 year time span that it was in production. It started out as a rear wheel drive and ended up being a front wheel drive.
The name Ascona comes from a lakeside resort that is located in Ticino, Switzerland. In the 1950s, there was a special edition Opel Rekord P1 that was sold as the Opel Ascona only in Switzerland. The name was used again in the year 1968 for a local version of the Opel Kadett B. An Opel Ascona A was launched officially in the year 1970 and was sold across Europe.
In the fall of the year 1970, Opel released a new vehicle range. The first was the Opel Manta coupe that was launched on the 9th of September and the second was the Opel Ascona which was released on the 28th of October. The Ascona was offered in both a 2 door and a 4 door sedan as well as a 3 door station wagon that was called the voyage or the caravan.
The Ascona was developed to replace the Kadett, but while developing the Ascona Opel decided to also create a new Kadett that was smaller and then positioned the Ascona to be a competitor with the Taunus range offered by Ford. The first version of the Ascona, the A, was produced until the year 1975. In those 5 years there were 692,000 of the first series produced.
From the year 1971 through 1975, the 1.9 liter engine Ascona was exported into the United States. It was sold as the Opel 1900 at Buick/Opel dealerships throughout the states. At first all 3 of the body styles were offered, but after the year 1972 the four door was dropped. In the year 1974 rubber clad bumpers were added to the car in order to meet new federal regulations. Each of the Opel’s that were sold in the United States in the year 1975 had a fuel injection engine. This was not available in the European versions. The reason that the fuel injection was added was because of the emissions requirements that were added during that year. After the year 1975, Opel’s that were still in showrooms were replaced with the Isuzu Gemini model that had an Opel badge.
The Ascona B was the second generation of the Ascona and it was presented in August of 1975. It was offered in either a 2 door or a 4 door saloon style. The B kept the same engine range as the A, but versions that had a higher compression ratio were offered. The first of the changes to the Ascona took place in January of 1976 when a no cost option of laminated glass windows was added. In September of 1977, an S cam in head type engine was replaced by a more modern 2.0 liter. In 1978 all of the models received electric windshield washers. There was also a diesel engine added to the range that year.
The Ascona C was launched during the year 1981 as part of the J-Car project by General Motors. This was the 2nd front wheel drive vehicle to be offered by the company. The range added a new 5 door hatchback body style that was called the CC in several markets. All of the engines become SOHC. The station wagon model of the Ascona was no longer an option.