Opel Kadett
Overview
 
The Opel Kadett is a small family car produced by the German automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 manufacturer Opel between 1937 and 1940, and then again from 1962 until 1991 (Cabrio 1993), when it was replaced by the Opel Astra
Opel Astra
The Opel Astra is a small family car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel since 1991.It is branded as Vauxhall Astra in the United Kingdom, the Buick Excelle XT in China and the Chevrolet Astra/Vectra in Latin America...

.
The first Opel car to carry the Kadett name was presented to the public in December 1936 by Opel's Commercial-Technical director, Heinrich Nordhoff
Heinrich Nordhoff
Heinz Heinrich Nordhoff was a German engineer famous for his leadership of the Volkswagen company as it was rebuilt after World War II....

, who would in later decades become known for his leadership role in building up the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

 company.

The new Kadett followed the innovative Opel Olympia
Opel Olympia
The Opel Olympia is a small family car produced by the German automaker Opel from 1935 to 1940, from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1967 to 1970.The 1935 Olympia was Germany's first mass-produced car with an all-steel unitized body . This revolutionary technology reduced the weight of the car by 180...

 in adopting a chassis-less monocoque
Monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 construction, suggesting that like the Vauxhall 10
Vauxhall 10-4
The Vauxhall 10 is a small British built four door saloon first shown in public in October 1937. A striking structural innovation, following the pattern set in 1935 by GM's German subsidiary, was the Ten's integral construction which suggests that it was designed by Vauxhall to enjoy a long life...

 introduced in 1937 by Opel's English sister-company, the Opel Kadett was designed for high volume low cost production.
Encyclopedia
The Opel Kadett is a small family car produced by the German automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 manufacturer Opel between 1937 and 1940, and then again from 1962 until 1991 (Cabrio 1993), when it was replaced by the Opel Astra
Opel Astra
The Opel Astra is a small family car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel since 1991.It is branded as Vauxhall Astra in the United Kingdom, the Buick Excelle XT in China and the Chevrolet Astra/Vectra in Latin America...

.

Original model (1937–1940)

The first Opel car to carry the Kadett name was presented to the public in December 1936 by Opel's Commercial-Technical director, Heinrich Nordhoff
Heinrich Nordhoff
Heinz Heinrich Nordhoff was a German engineer famous for his leadership of the Volkswagen company as it was rebuilt after World War II....

, who would in later decades become known for his leadership role in building up the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

 company.

The new Kadett followed the innovative Opel Olympia
Opel Olympia
The Opel Olympia is a small family car produced by the German automaker Opel from 1935 to 1940, from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1967 to 1970.The 1935 Olympia was Germany's first mass-produced car with an all-steel unitized body . This revolutionary technology reduced the weight of the car by 180...

 in adopting a chassis-less monocoque
Monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 construction, suggesting that like the Vauxhall 10
Vauxhall 10-4
The Vauxhall 10 is a small British built four door saloon first shown in public in October 1937. A striking structural innovation, following the pattern set in 1935 by GM's German subsidiary, was the Ten's integral construction which suggests that it was designed by Vauxhall to enjoy a long life...

 introduced in 1937 by Opel's English sister-company, the Opel Kadett was designed for high volume low cost production. Competitive pricing led to commercial success, and Kadetts continued to be produced during the early months of the war: by the time production was interrupted in 1940 following intensification of hostilities
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, 107,608 of these Opel Kadetts had come off the assembly line at Opel's Rüsselsheim plant, which had been the first major car plant in Germany to apply the assembly-line production techniques pioneered by Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

.

After the war, Opel production facilities from Brandenburg an der Havel (trucks
Opel Blitz
Opel Blitz was the name given to various German light and middle-weight trucks built by Opel between 1930 and 1975.During the years preceding the Second World War Opel was Germany's largest truck producer...

) were crated up and transported to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 as part of a larger reparations package agreed upon by the victorious powers. From 1948 the prewar Kadett was manufactured as the Moskvitch 400/420
Moskvitch 400/420
The Moskvitch 400-420 was a car from Soviet manufacturer Moskvitch introduced in 1947.People in Rüsselsheim remember dismanteling the Kadett production tooling after World War II, to go into a large number of freight cars on their way to Moscow...

: it continued to be produced on the edge of Moscow as a Moskvitch until 1956.

Kadett A (1962–1965)

The Kadett was re-introduced in October 1962, 22 years after the original model was discontinued.

In 1957 Opel Product Director Karl Stief was mandated by General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 headquarters in Detroit to develop "the perfect Anti-Volkswagen" ("einen perfekten Anti-VW"). The development team was headed up by Stief, supported by Hans Mersheimer (car-body) and Werner K. Strobel (engine and running gear), under conditions of such secrecy that even now very little is known of the development history of the 1962 Kadett. 649,512 of cars had been built at the company's new Bochum
Bochum
Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area and is surrounded by the cities of Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten and Hattingen.-History:...

 factory by the time it was replaced in July 1965.

The car later became known as the Kadett A. In addition to the standard saloon there was an L (luxury model), a coupé
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

, and an estate
Station wagon
A station wagon is a body style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door , instead of a trunk lid...

 (called Caravan). The new Opel OHV engine
Opel OHV engine
The Opel OHV family is a pushrod straight-4 engine. It was developed by Opel of Germany and released in 1962. Versions were in use through 1993.-1.0:...

 was available as 1.0 with 40 hp (30 kW) and as 1.0 S with 48 hp (36 kW).

The Kadett clearly featured a much more modern design than the Volkswagen Beetle which then dominated the market for small family cars in Germany and various surrounding countries. The Kadett offered more passenger space, massively more luggage space and a much less encumbered view out. Its water cooled engine enabled it to provide a far more effective heater. Even fuel consumption was under most conditions superior to that of the Volkswagen, and many commentators much preferred the Opel's handling and its light and effective brakes to those of the market leader.

However, by the mid-1970s the Kadett's greatest relative weakness was already painfully apparent, as the cars disappeared rapidly from German roads while the Beetles endured. The Kadett's bodywork was not well protected from corrosion.

On the British motoring show Top Gear, Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond
Richard Mark Hammond is an English broadcaster, writer, and journalist most noted for co-hosting car programme Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, as well as presenting Brainiac: Science Abuse on Sky 1.-Early life:...

 drove a 1963 Kadett A through the middle of Botswana
Top Gear: Botswana Special
Top Gear: Botswana Special was an episode of the popular British television series Top Gear, first broadcast on 4 November 2007 on BBC Two, as part of series 10...

 during a 2007 challenge. During the challenge, Richard Hammond successfully drove the Opel Kadett across the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan
Makgadikgadi Pan
The Makgadikgadi Pan is a large salt pan in the middle of the dry savanna of northeastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world...

, making the Kadett A one of the first ever cars to cross the whole pan. He loved the car so much that he named it Oliver and later had the car shipped to the United Kingdom and restored, and it remains in his possession. It appeared on Richard Hammond's Blast Lab with the personalised number plate 'OLIV3R'.

Kadett B (1965–1973)

The Kadett B came in 1966 and ended in 1973, with two and four door saloons (the latter in notchback
Notchback
Notchback is a styling term describing a car body style, a variation of three-box styling where the third distinct volume or "box" is less pronounced — especially where the rear deck is short or where the rear window is upright...

 and, from 1967, also in fastback
Fastback
A fastback is a car body style whose roofline slopes continuously down at the back. The word can also designate the car itself. The style is seen on two-door coupés as well as four-door sedans.-History:...

 form), a three-door estate, and two coupés (regular and fastback, or Coupé F). There was a sporting Opel Kadett Rallye, with a 1.9 L engine. Additionally, the two-seat Opel GT
Opel GT
The Opel GT is a two-seat sports car first presented as a styling exercise in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows, and introduced as a production model late in 1968 by Opel, a German subsidiary of General Motors...

 was heavily based on Kadett B components, its body made by a French contractor, Brissonneau & Lotz. Generally, the Kadett B was significantly larger than the Kadett A.

1966 was the year that Opel opened their new plant at Bochum
Bochum
Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area and is surrounded by the cities of Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten and Hattingen.-History:...

, devoted exclusively to Kadett production. Between 1965 and 1973 Opel produced 2,691,300 Kadett Bs which makes this model one of the most successful Opels to date in terms of sales volume. The Kadett benefitted on the domestic market from a progressive slowing of demand for the old Volkswagen Beetle, while the Ford Escort and Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf is a small family car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1974 and marketed worldwide across six generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada , and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico .The...

 which would compete for sales more effectively against the Kadett C both got off to a relatively slow start respectively in 1968 and 1974.

A "luxury" derivative of the Kadett B was sold as the Opel Olympia A
Opel Olympia
The Opel Olympia is a small family car produced by the German automaker Opel from 1935 to 1940, from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1967 to 1970.The 1935 Olympia was Germany's first mass-produced car with an all-steel unitized body . This revolutionary technology reduced the weight of the car by 180...

.

The Kadett B was sold in the United States through Buick
Buick
Buick is a premium brand of General Motors . Buick models are sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, and Israel, with China being its largest market. Buick holds the distinction as the oldest active American make...

 dealers from 1967 until 1972 simply as the Opel. U.S. models were later granted the front end and trim of the new Opel Olympia
Opel Olympia
The Opel Olympia is a small family car produced by the German automaker Opel from 1935 to 1940, from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1967 to 1970.The 1935 Olympia was Germany's first mass-produced car with an all-steel unitized body . This revolutionary technology reduced the weight of the car by 180...

, introduced in 1966 as an upmarket version of the Kadett. The car took part in the Trans-Am Series
Trans-Am Series
The Trans-Am Series is an automobile racing series which was created in 1966 by Sports Car Club of America President John Bishop. Originally known as the Trans-American Sedan Championship it has evolved over time from its original format as a manufacturers championship for modified racing sedans...

 during its commercial life. Kadett A and B were technically simple cars whose task was to compete with the market leader, the Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Beetle
The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Volkswagen Bug, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003...

.

This lack of sophistication caused the US car magazine Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Car and Driver is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.31 million. It is owned by Hearst Magazines, who purchased prior owner Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2011...

to publish a highly critical test of the Kadett in 1968, describing it as the "worst car in the world" and featuring photos of the car in a junkyard. Reportedly, GM withdrew ads from that magazine for several months as a consequence.

Variations

Model Type Body Style Engine Transmission Production
Kadett 2-door Saloon 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett 4-door Saloon 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett 3-door Estate 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett 5-door Estate 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett L 2-door Saloon 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett L 4-door Saloon 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett L 3-door Estate 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett L 5-door Estate 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett Fastback LS 2-door Fastback 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett Fastback LS 4-door Fastback 1100 Manual 1965–1973
Automatic 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
Automatic 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973
Kadett Rallye 2-door Coupé 1100 Manual 1965–1973
1500 Manual 1967–1973
1700 Manual 1967–1973
1900 Manual 1967–1973

Kadett C (1973–1979)

The Kadett C appeared in 1973 and was Opel's version of General Motors' "T-Car". The T-Car was also built in Japan by Isuzu
Isuzu
, is a Japanese car, commercial vehicle and heavy truck manufacturing company, headquartered in Tokyo. In 2005, Isuzu became the world's largest manufacturer of medium to heavy duty trucks. It has assembly and manufacturing plants in the Japanese city of Fujisawa, as well as in the prefectures...

 and sold as the Isuzu Gemini
Isuzu Gemini
General Motors sought a replacement for their world car T-body Kadett / Gemini, and this time, instead of building one design on several continents, they decided to build a world car in one location and export it to several continents...

 and in Australia where it was marketed as the Holden Gemini
Holden Gemini
The Holden Gemini is a compact car that was built and sold by General Motors-Holden's from 1975 to 1986. It was derived from the Japanese Isuzu Gemini, one of the many cars based on the GM T-car platform.- TX :...

. In South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, Saehan Motor
Saehan Motor
The Saehan Motor Company was a South-Korean car maker founded in 1976, part of the Saehan Corporations, which was born on the collaboration of Shinjin Industrial Company and the will of General Motors to introduce their products on the South Korean market...

 then Daewoo Motor
GM Daewoo
GM Korea Company is South Korea's second largest automobile manufacturer and is a division of the General Motors Company. GM Korea's roots go back to the former Daewoo which was split from its parent company, Daewoo Group, in 2001...

 built a version of the Gemini originally known as the Saehan Gemini, later becoming the Daewoo Maepsy
Daewoo Maepsy
The Daewoo Maepsy is a compact car that was manufactured by Daewoo Motor in South Korea from 1973 to 1989. The Maepsy was a badge engineered version of the Opel Kadett C, or to be more precise, of the PF50 Isuzu Gemini...

and Maepsy-Na after a final facelift.

The Kadett C formed the basis of the British Vauxhall Chevette
Vauxhall Chevette
The Chevette was a supermini model of car manufactured by Vauxhall in the UK from 1975 to 1984. It was Vauxhall's version of the family of small "T-Cars" from Vauxhall's parent General Motors ; the family included the Opel Kadett in Germany, the Isuzu Gemini in Japan, the Holden Gemini in...

, which had a restyled front end and launched with a hatchback
Hatchback
A Hatchback is a car body style incorporating a shared passenger and cargo volume, with rearmost accessibility via a rear third or fifth door, typically a top-hinged liftgate—and features such as fold-down rear seats to enable flexibility within the shared passenger/cargo volume. As a two-box...

 body, in addition to using a 1256 cc OHV (over-head valve) Vauxhall engine rather than the 1196 cc OHV Opel engine. The Chevette made the Kadett C notable by allowing it to become Opel's first hatchback — a version named Kadett City appeared in August 1975, based on the Chevette's hatchback body. The Kadett's coupé body style was never manufactured as a Chevette however. Although Kadett C production ended in 1979, the Chevette was produced until January 1984. Unusually for Vauxhall models, the Chevette was imported to Germany starting in 1979 to satisfy the need for a cheaper car than the Kadett D, and was quite a success for a year or two before being replaced by the Corsa A. This import version, however was never officially badged as an Opel or a Vauxhall - being named simply as 'Chevette'.

The Kadett C today is a cult car in Germany, especially in fastback
Fastback
A fastback is a car body style whose roofline slopes continuously down at the back. The word can also designate the car itself. The style is seen on two-door coupés as well as four-door sedans.-History:...

 (coupé) form. The most sought after versions of the Kadett C Coupé are the Rallye and GT/E models. These models were built first with the Bosch
Robert Bosch GmbH
Robert Bosch GmbH is a multinational engineering and electronics company headquartered in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. It is the world's largest supplier of automotive components...

 fuel injected 1897 cc CIH (Cam In Head) Opel engine, and followed by the updated 1979 cc CIH engine. Conversions using the newer GM Family II engine are common.

Included in the range from 1976 was very rare version, the Aero-Kadett, an open-top Kadett with targa roll bar, detachable roof insert and a separate convertible top aft of the roll bar (like the contemporary Lancia Beta Spider
Lancia Beta
The Lancia Beta is a car produced by Lancia. It was the first new model introduced by Lancia after it had been taken over by Fiat in 1969.-Berlina:...

). This car was built in very limited numbers by Karosserie Baur
Karosserie Baur
Baur is a Karosserie or coachbuilder in Stuttgart, Germany, which has been building BMW convertibles since the 1930s. Currently, they are the body and assembly works for IVM Automotive, a member the Ed Group...

 in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

. One clue concerning its rarity is the manufacturer's recommended retail price of DM 15,500 at a time when Volkswagen's trusted (if slower and heavier) 1303 Cabriolet was offered for DM 12,735.

The Kadett C reached the United States as the Buick–Opel. In reality, however, this was an Isuzu Gemini; an updated version of this car was marketed in the USA as the Isuzu I-Mark in the early 1980s.

In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, the Kadett C was released six months before its European release, as the Chevrolet Chevette
Chevrolet Chevette
The Chevrolet Chevette was introduced in September, 1975 and manufactured for model years 1976-1987 based on GM's worldwide T platform and superseding the Vega as Chevrolet's entry-level subcompact...

. It was available with a choice of three petrol engine
Petrol engine
A petrol engine is an internal combustion engine with spark-ignition, designed to run on petrol and similar volatile fuels....

s, in 1.4 L, 1.6 L, and 1.0 L displacements (the latter available only for the 1992/3 model year); 1.4 L and 1.6 L versions were also available running on ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

.

In Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 GM manufactured a modified version with a locally developed 1.8 L 4-cylinder OHV motor -based on the 6-cylinder 194 engine- as the Opel K-180
Opel K-180
The Opel K-180 was manufactured by GM Argentina from 1974–1979, and is a variation on General Motors' first World Car based on the General Motors T-car platform which includes Opel Kadett, Chevrolet Chevette and Isuzu Gemini, made and/or sold globally is several versions. This model of the...

in three versions "Base", "Rally" and "LX" from 1974–1979, when GM Argentina closed its doors.

This Chevette went through several redesigns — first front and rear panels similar to the Opel version, then a look similar to the British Vauxhall Chevette, and finally a design reminiscent of the updated USA Chevrolet Chevette
Chevrolet Chevette
The Chevrolet Chevette was introduced in September, 1975 and manufactured for model years 1976-1987 based on GM's worldwide T platform and superseding the Vega as Chevrolet's entry-level subcompact...

 version. It was available in several different bodies: hatchback (1979–87), estate (called Chevrolet Marajó
Chevrolet Marajó
The Chevrolet Marajó was the station wagon version of the Chevrolet Chevette, launched in Brazil. It was produced from 1980 to 1989 with 1.4- and 1.6-liter engines and gasoline and alcohol versions....

, 1980–89), pickup
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

 (Chevy 500, 1984–95) and saloon (1973–93). The Chevette sold over 1.6 million units in Brazil, being replaced by the Chevrolet Corsa.

Kadett D (1979–1984)

The Kadett D was introduced in November 1979, going on sale in the UK some five months before the British version, the Vauxhall Astra
Vauxhall Astra
Astra is a model name which has been used by Vauxhall, the British subsidiary of General Motors , on their small family car ranges since 1979. Astras are technically essentially identical with similar vehicles offered by GM's German subsidiary Opel in most other European countries...

 Mark 1, was launched in April 1980. All models were designed as three- or five-door hatchbacks and estates or station wagon
Station wagon
A station wagon is a body style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door , instead of a trunk lid...

s. There were also two- and four-door sedans, which used the same bodyshells as the hatchbacks, but these were soon dropped. The previous Kadett C coupe was indirectly replaced by the three-door 1.3 SR sports model.

Technologically, the Kadett D was a major departure, as it was Opel and Vauxhall's first front wheel drive car. It also introduced the Family II
GM Family II engine
The Family II is a straight-4 piston engine that was originally developed by Opel in the early 1970s. It was used in the Opel Ascona and Opel Kadett and their corresponding sister models the Vauxhall Cavalier and Vauxhall Astra...

 engine
Engine
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion...

 design with an single overhead camshaft, aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 alloy
Alloy
An alloy is a mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements. Complete solid solution alloys give single solid phase microstructure, while partial solutions give two or more phases that may or may not be homogeneous in distribution, depending on thermal history...

 cylinder head
Cylinder head
In an internal combustion engine, the cylinder head sits above the cylinders on top of the cylinder block. It closes in the top of the cylinder, forming the combustion chamber. This joint is sealed by a head gasket...

, hydraulic valve lifters, with capacities of 1297 cc (producing 60 bhp and 75bhp) and had a unique transaxle design which allowed the clutch to be replaced without removing the transmission unit. A carry-over 1196 cc overhead valve
Overhead valve
An overhead valve engine, also informally called pushrod engine or I-head engine, is a type of piston engine that places the camshaft within the cylinder block , and uses pushrods or rods to actuate rocker arms above the cylinder...

 engine producing 53bhp and a top speed of 87mph was also offered from launch, and a new 1600 cc, engine was offered later, followed by an 1800 cc version introduced for the Kadett/Astra GTE model. The Kadett D was also equipped with a 1600 cc diesel engine that was possible to drive as cheap as 5.0 L/100 km.

This range of engines was also used for later models of the Corsa/Nova, and the mid-sized Cavalier/Ascona
Vauxhall Cavalier
The Vauxhall Cavalier is a large family car sold primarily in the UK by Vauxhall Motors, the British division of General Motors , from 1975 to 1995...

.

It was also produced as IDA Kadett in Kikinda
Kikinda
Kikinda is a town and a municipality located in Serbia, in the autonomous province of Vojvodina. It is the administrative centre of the North Banat District. The town has 42,000 inhabitants, while the municipality has approximately 67,000 inhabitants.The modern city was founded in 18th century...

, Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

. In Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 these are still common, 31 years later, their reliability
Reliability
In general, reliability is the ability of a person or system to perform and maintain its functions in routine circumstances, as well as hostile or unexpected circumstances.Reliability may refer to:...

 being a factor.

Kadett E (1984–1991)

The Kadett E (Vauxhall Astra Mark 2 in the UK) was introduced in 1984, and was voted 1985 European Car of the Year
European Car of the Year
The European Car of the Year award was established in 1964 by a collective of automobile magazines from different countries in Europe. The current organisers of the award are Auto , Autocar , Autopista , Autovisie , L'Automobile Magazine , Stern and Vi Bilägare .The voting jury consists of motoring...

, largely due to its advanced aerodynamic body styling. The 1984 model was also developed into a more conventional three-box design
Three-box styling
Three-box design is a broad automotive styling term describing a coupé, sedan, notchback or hatchback where — when viewed in profile — principal volumes are articulated into three separate compartments or boxes: engine, passenger and cargo....

 with a boot (trunk), badged as the Vauxhall Belmont in the UK and the Opel Monza in South Africa, launched in January 1986. This was awarded 1985 Semperit Irish Car of the Year
Semperit Irish Car of the Year
The Semperit Irish Car of the Year award was established in 1978. It is organised and judged by the Irish Motoring Writers Association . It is sponsored by tyre manufactuer Semperit and specifically by their brand - 'Semperit'....

 in Ireland. As usual, there was a station wagon called the "Caravan" available, with either three or five doors.

The Kadett E was voted European Car of the Year
European Car of the Year
The European Car of the Year award was established in 1964 by a collective of automobile magazines from different countries in Europe. The current organisers of the award are Auto , Autocar , Autopista , Autovisie , L'Automobile Magazine , Stern and Vi Bilägare .The voting jury consists of motoring...

 for 1985.

A convertible version was also available, for the first time in 1987, built by Bertone of Torino/Italy, bringing it to line with key competitors such as the Ford Escort and Volkswagen Golf which were available as cabrios before. For the 1988 model, capacities were raised to 1400, 1800 and a new 2000 cc engine, again used on the GSi and Vauxhall Astra GTE. In 1988, a 16-valve twin-cam version was developed for a high performance GSi/GTE model, yielding 156 hp (115 kW) in manufactured form.

The Kadett E has been seen as a grey import in the UK, but it is not as popular as the Vauxhall Astra Mark 2. It was never officially sold in Britain, and by 1989 General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 was only marketing the Vauxhall brand in the UK.

In the early 1990s, South African Kadett GSi's were upgraded for production car racing and around 500 were built for homologation purposes. They featured more aggressive camshafts developed by Shrick, revised intake and exhaust mods, sports suspension, a locally developed limited slip differential and special Aluett 15" wheels, they were nicknamed the Superboss, produced 125 kW.

The Kadett E was introduced in Brazil as the Chevrolet Kadett
Chevrolet Kadett
The Chevrolet Kadett is a small family car produced by Chevrolet and originally designed by German company Opel.-Kadett D:The Vauxhall Astra and Opel Kadett were known as the Chevrolet Kadett in South America...

, but the three-door station wagon (later also five door) was called the Chevrolet Ipanema. Brazilian production commenced in April 1989, with the Ipanema being added in October of the same year. From 1992 Brazilian Kadetts/Ipanemas received fuel injection. Brazilian cars received either 1.8 or 2.0-litre petrol fours.

It formed the basis of the Daewoo LeMans (later known as the Daewoo Cielo, Racer and Nexia
Daewoo Nexia
The Daewoo LeMans/Racer is a subcompact car, first manufactured by Daewoo Motors in South Korea between 1986 and 1994. It was replaced by the facelifted Daewoo Cielo—a car mechanically identical to the LeMans, differentiated only by its modified styling cues...

) in South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, and also as Heaven in Chile (Nexia being the HB version), which was sold in the United States and New Zealand as the Pontiac LeMans
Pontiac LeMans
The Pontiac LeMans was a model name applied to compact and intermediate-sized automobiles offered by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1962 to 1981. The LeMans was replaced by the downsized Pontiac Bonneville for the 1982 model year...

, and in Canada (initially) as the Passport Optima. LeMans sales ended in 1993. The Nexia is still being produced at UzDaewoo plant in Asaka, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. The Cielo was last being produced at Automobile Craiova
Automobile Craiova
Automobile Craiova is a Romanian car manufacturer located in Craiova, Romania. It is owned by Ford Motor Company.-The beginnings:Automobile Craiova was founded in 1976 as OLTCIT joint venture company between the Romanian government and Citroën...

, a semi-independent (from GM) plant in Craiova
Craiova
Craiova , Romania's 6th largest city and capital of Dolj County, is situated near the east bank of the river Jiu in central Oltenia. It is a longstanding political center, and is located at approximately equal distances from the Southern Carpathians and the River Danube . Craiova is the chief...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. Their license expired in the fall of 2006.

Kadett name

In 1992, GM Europe decided to standardise model names across its two brands, and Opel adopted Vauxhall's name for the Kadett, Astra
Opel Astra
The Opel Astra is a small family car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel since 1991.It is branded as Vauxhall Astra in the United Kingdom, the Buick Excelle XT in China and the Chevrolet Astra/Vectra in Latin America...

, for the replacement car for Europe which debuted that year. Only in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, the Kadett name continued on the first Opel Astra hatchback until 1999, when all models took the Astra name.

However, under Opel's internal naming convention, successive generations of the Astra platform are treated as a logical continuation of the Kadett lineage - hence the original 1992 Astra was designated Astra F in relation to the previous Kadett E - this convention has continued through to the current (2009) Astra J.

External links

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