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Opel Looks Back on 25 Years Since the Original Vectra

It was a huge success for Opel and one of its bestselling cars ever

The Vectra introduced an all-wheel drive system to the Opel lineup

OpelOpelOpelGermany, 1863 > present85 models
5151 photos
8 videos
is looking back on the fall of 1988 when it first introduced the VectraVectraOpel VectraGermany, 1988 > 20083 series
103 versions
57 photos
as its new mid-size sedan as a replacement for the AsconaOpel Ascona Gen.3Germany, 1981 > 198820 versions
. In its first generationVectra Gen.1Opel Vectra Gen.1Germany, 1988 > 199517 versions
7 photos
, the Vectra became Opel’s most successful mid-size model until that time.

The Vectra was meant as a smaller version of full-size OmegaOmega Gen.1Opel Omega Gen.1Germany, 1986 > 199318 versions
18 photos
that had been introduced in 1986, and it launched in notchback and hatchback body styles. It also introduced new technologies to Opel: it was the first Opel sedan offered in all-wheel drive. The CalibraCalibraOpel CalibraGermany, 1989 > 19975 versions
4 photos
coupe was added later as a sporty two-door on the Vectra platform.

Even by modern standards, the Vectra was an aerodynamic car. Opel claims that it took 20,000 man-hours to get the body down to its 0.29 drag coefficient.

The top spec car at launch was the Vectra 2000 16VOpel Vectra 2000i 16vGermany, 1988 > present 4x4 with a 150 hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The all-wheel drive system had a center differential that meant that unless the front wheels were slipping, the car was in front-wheel drive most times.

The rest of the engine range included a 75hp 1.6-liter, 88hp 1.8-liter and 115hp 2.0-liter four cylinder engiers. There was also a 57hp 1.7-liter diesel.

The Vectra was also available with a new, optional four-speed automatic with economy, sport and winter driving modes.

Over the first model year alone, Opel sold 364,000 Vectras and VauxhallVauxhallVauxhallUnited Kingdom, 1857 > present31 models
801 photos
6 videos
Cavaliers, as it was known in the UK. They were built in Germany, Belgium, the UK and Turkey.

In 1990, Opel added a 90hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder and upgraded the 1.7-liter diesel to 82hp.

A model refresh came in the summer of 1992 with a new front-end that had body-color bumpers.

For spring 1993, Opel added the top spec Vectra V6 with a 2.5-liter, 170hp engine. In the fall, the Vectra got another top spec model in the Vectra TurboOpel Vectra 2.0i Turbo 4X4Germany, 1992 > present with a six-speed manual and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 204hp.

Production of the first generation Vectra ended for the 1996 model year, and it was a huge success for Opel. It built 2.5 million of them, which made the Vectra its bestselling model in its history up to that time. Even into its seventh year of production, it was Europe’s second most registered car. 





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