Here’s A Big, Fat 80th Happy Birthday To The Opel Astra

Before the first Astra debuted in 1991, Opel used the term Kadett to refer to its compact car, which has been around for the last 80 years.

Described as “a minor sensation, both technically and in terms of price”, the first Opel Kadett saw the light of day in 1936, and it was referred to as “not an ordinary vehicle in this price range”, by a German newspaper of that era.

The car used the chassis with Dubonnet independent front suspension and leaf-sprint rear axle from the Opel Olympia, and power came from a four-cylinder gray cast-iron engine, taken from the Opel P 4, which allowed the four-seater to reach a top speed of almost 100 km/h (62 mph). Two years after production started, the Kadett has been given a mid-cycle facelift, during which a new radiator mask was added, in the art-deco style.

The second generation Kadett received the ‘A’ suffix and came in 1962, 22 years after the original model left the assembly lines, and Opel built almost 650,000 of them up until 1965, when the Kadett B was introduced, and it became so successful that the automaker sold over 2.6 million units. The Kadett C was introduced in 1973 and it remained in production until 1979. It was topped by the GT/E, which debuted at the 1975 IAA, with 105 horsepower and the ability to reach a top speed of 184 km/h (114 mph).

In 1979, at the same IAA, Opel debuted its first front-wheel drive model – the Kadett D. It came with enhanced interior space, an updated exterior design and a 1.3-liter OHC engine, in two outputs: 60 HP or 75 HP. In 1983, the range-topping GTE followed it, with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 115 HP, which allowed it to reach 187 km/h (116 mph). 2.1 million units of this generation Kadett were produced until 1984.

The sixth and final Kadett was produced in 3,779,289 units between 1984 and 1991, and upon its introduction, it was named ‘Car of the Year’. The ‘E’ was the most aerodynamic hatch in the world, and besides this body style, it was also launched in station wagon and notchback versions. The most appealing model, however, was the GSi, which came in 1987, with its 16-valve engine.

From 1991 and 1997, the Opel Astra F became the brand’s best-selling model ever, with 4.13 million units delivered, and it was replaced by the Astra G in 1998, and the Astra H, six years later. In 2009, the J was introduced, which remained in production until last year, when the modern Astra K came to steal the ‘Car of the Year’ title.


2020 Mitsubishi L200 Arrives In The UK With £21,515 Base Price

The updated L200 remains a true workhorse, but it now looks more modern and is much improved in all aspects.

Renault Triber Is Bound To Be Full Of Compromises – So, Is It?

Renault’s budget SUV for the Indian market is built to a price, but this doesn’t mean that customers must pass on it.

The UK Now Has More EV Charging Locations Than Gas Stations

Compared to the 8,400 fuel stations, there are currently 9,300 locations for EV car charging in Britain.

Is The e-Legend Concept The Best Looking Peugeot Ever Not Made?

Aside from great design, the e-Legend also boasts a 456 HP electric powertrain and Level 4 autonomy .

Opel To Show “Most Fuel Efficient” Astra Ever, New Corsa, Hybrid Grandland X In Frankfurt

Opel is playing on its home ground on this one, so it’s only natural to go with all guns blazing as it’s making its comeback.

Family Matters: 2019 Audi TTS Takes On First-Gen R8 4.2 FSI

A used, V8-powered R8 costs about as much as a brand new 2019 TTS Coupe, but which one is faster?.

One-Off Pagani Zonda Aether Is The First Zonda Auctioned In Seven Years

Like others, it has its V12 upgraded to 760 spec, but unlike most, it features a manual transmission instead of a semi-auto.

New Mercedes-AMG GT R Black Series Spied With Even Larger Rear Wing

As befitting an AMG bearing the Black Series moniker, the top GT R will feature some extreme aerodynamics components.

Could The Next Nissan GT-R Morph Into A Mid-Engined Supercar?

GM did it with the C8 Corvette – so what if the Japanese decided to follow suit with the Godzilla?.

Rolls-Royce Puts A New Spin On Automotive Easter Eggs With Pastel Colored Pebble Beach Collection

Pastel Collection will be available exclusively to people attending Monterey Car Week.