Opel, a German automaker produced the Opel Calibra from the year 1989 through the year 1997. It was sold until the year 1999 in the United Kingdom. It is a sports car and in the United Kingdom it was also sold as a Vauxhall Calibra and in South America it was marketed as the Chevrolet Calibra.
The introduction of the Calibra was in response to the sports coupes produced by Japanese automakers in the late part of the 1980s through the early part of the 1990s. the Calibra was based on the running gears for the first generation of the Opel Vectra that was launched in the year 1988.
Production of the Calibra was based in Russelsheim, Germany at the Opel Factor and in an Automotive Factory that was located in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Production was consolidated to the plant in Finland in the year 1995.
Erhard Schnell, a German designer styled the Opel Calibra. The Calibra was based using the Vectra Chassis. It is front wheel drive coupe and the handling and ride are not a significant improvement on the large family of cars from which it came. When it was launched in the year 1989, it was the most aerodynamic auto in production of the world. This fact was glorified in advertisements that were shown on British television around the year 1990.
The most aerodynamic model that was offered by Opel was the 8 valve that had a drag coefficient of just 0.26. This vehicle was the most aerodynamic on the market for 10 years until the Audi A2 and the Honda Insight were launched in the year 1999.
During the lifetime of the Opel Calibra, it was more popular throughout Europe than anywhere else. It outsold the Ford Probe, which was its closest rival. The Probe was thought to have little power and for most Europeans it was too American.
Throughout its production run there were several special editions offered. This started with the SE1 in the year 1993 and ran through the SE9 that was offered in the year 1997. The limited editions typically would have unique aspects about them. For example, the SE2 had solar yellow paint and the SE6 was offered in Icelandic Blue. These colors were not offered on any of the other Calibras.
The production of the Calibra continued until the year 1997. The Tigra, which was a smaller coupe was made available at this time as well. There was no mid-sized coupe available from the company until they released the Astra Coupe in the year 2000 and the Opel Speedster that was released in the year 2001. This was 4 years after the end of production for the Calibra.
Transmissions and Engines
The power for the Calibra initially came from a 2.0 liter 8 valve and a 16 valve fuel injection 4 cylinder petrol engines. In the year 1992, a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine was added. Combined with 4 wheel drive, a 6 speed manual transmission and a top speed claimed to be 152 miles per hour, the flagship model finally had the dynamics that would match its looks. In the middle of 1993 a 167 horsepower 2.5 liter V6 engine was introduced and it was available with both an automatic and a manual transmission. This V6 was not as quick as the turbo, but was a bit more civilized. It also proved to be a bit more reliable than the more complex 4 wheel drive model.