Saturday 05 April 2014
The Ascona C was launched in August 1981 as part of General Motors' J-car project. This was Opel's second front-wheel drive car since the introduction of the Kadett D in 1979. This car was manufactured in Rüsselsheim, Germany, Antwerp, Belgium and Luton, England, and was sold in the UK under the name Vauxhall Cavalier and Chevrolet Monza in Latin America. The Cavalier Coupé was phased out, but the Opel Manta was retained in the UK (the last car to be badged as an Opel in the UK before the brand was phased out there in 1988). There were no longer sheet metal differences between Opel and Vauxhall models after 1982. The Ascona C won the "Golden Lenkrad" at the end of 1981 and was West Germany's biggest selling car.
It was narrowly beaten to the European Car of the Year award by the Renault 9. The Ascona C underwent two notable facelifts during its term of production.
The range added an option of a five-door hatchback bodystyle, named CC in a few markets. All engines were now SOHC. The base model was the 1.3 L introduced in 1978 in the Ascona B, with 60 PS (44 kW), followed by a 1.6 L with 75 PS (55 kW). "S" versions with higher compression ratio had power increased by as much as twenty percent. The top of the line was the sporty GTE model, with electronic fuel injection, pushing power to 130 PS (96 kW) in the last two model years. Diesel power came from an Isuzu-developed block, with 1.6 litres. Catalytic converters were optional in the larger petrol units starting from 1986.
As before, there was no station wagon version of the Ascona, although Vauxhall in the UK brought in the rear ends of the Holden Camira wagon and adapted them to the Cavalier. Opel continued to use the Ascona nameplate until the Vectra was launched in 1988, while the Cavalier name was retained by Vauxhall until 1995.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1796 cc
- horsepower: 83 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 168 km/h