Opel Calibra – classic or symbol of kitsch?
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Opel Calibra – classic or symbol of kitsch?

It is not easy to clearly classify the Opel Calibra. For some it is a classic, for others an icon of kitsch. Let’s analyze all the pros and cons.

Not an easy classification

On the one hand, it is accepted that the Opel Calibra is ideal for fans of low-budget tuning. On the other – in this low budget you get a relatively good car. In the nineties we would have easily described this model as kitsch, dedicated to young and wanting to make a stunning impression drivers. Today the answer is not at all obvious. Mainly because today we meet more serial copies than tuned models

A lot of advantages

What can certainly be said about the Opel Calibra, it has a fairly modern appearance and light lines, without unnecessary embellishments. Such a term is influenced by the use of simple and small headlights, large rear lamps and a low and wide grill. The trailing roof line, gently descending to the trunk line is also responsible for the car’s fairly modern look. On the plus side, this model also has a long wheelbase (2.6 meters) and a roomy 300-liter trunk. With the rear seats folded down, a generous 980 liters of space remains available. The frameless doors, characteristic of coupes, also add an interesting look. The Calibra’s body uses the extremely good aerodynamic drag coefficient Cx=0.26, which is responsible for the fact that the interior is quiet even at high speeds and the car consumes less fuel. Especially in the 1990s, such a coefficient distinguished the Calibra from other solutions. Fans of tuning were certainly also impressed by the sport seats

Parameters of the first models

The first Calibra model with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and 115 hp guaranteed acceleration to 100 km/h in ten seconds. The top speed was then 204 km/h. The debut of the Opel Calibra took place in 1990, and in the following years the car was modified, increasing its parameters. Already a year later the car accelerated to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds. The year 1992 brought the Turbo version for Opel Calibra fans. It featured a sixteen-valve 2.0-liter engine, 204 horsepower, six-speed transmission, and two-wheel drive. The top speed increased to 245 km/h in this model, and the car accelerated to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds

High sales

All the parameters of the Opel Calibra, and above all its low and competitive price, made it necessary for Opel to have a new order to produce additional models in the early 1990s. Market demand continued to grow. The model continued to be produced until 1997 – 239,118 Opel Calibra units were delivered to drivers, and about 100,000 were sold in Germany alone

There will also be downsides

The Opel Calibra takes a lot from the mechanics of the Opel Vectra – including the not-so-sophisticated dashboard, which contrasts sharply with the impressive exterior. Poorer Calibra models come with only ABS and a single airbag. However, in the more expensive ones – V6 and Turbo – you will also find alloy wheels, central locking, electrically operated mirrors and windows, two airbags, air conditioning and a trip computer. Some models also have a sunroof and leather upholstery. Poorer variants featured automatic transmissions with four gears. The downsides of the Opel Calibra include a suspension with pins and bushings with poor durability. It is also worth improving the operation of the braking system

Opel Calibra today

Today it is difficult to find a Calibra model in factory condition. Primarily because they had poor corrosion protection. In addition, their owners were usually young drivers, focused on cheap tuning rather than training skills behind the wheel. Today, it is hard to find an Opel Calibra that is worth your attention. However, it’s good to take a little extra time to find a gem. All indications are that the Calibra has the makings of a classic. High performance and interesting body lines encourage you to buy one.

(Photo: user:mod1337/ wikipedia)

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