Opel Vectra

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"Chevrolet Vectra" redirects here. For the version of the car sold in Brazil from 2009-2011, see Opel Astra.
Opel Vectra
Opel Vectra C 2.2 Direkt front.JPG
Opel Vectra C
Overview
Manufacturer Opel
Production 1988–2008
Body and chassis
Class Large family car
Chronology
Predecessor Opel Ascona
Successor Opel Insignia

The Opel Vectra is a large family car that was engineered and produced by the German automaker Opel. In the United Kingdom, the car was sold under the Vauxhall marque as the Vauxhall Cavalier and later as the Vauxhall Vectra, from 1995 onwards. It has also been sold by Holden in Australasia as Holden Vectra, and by Chevrolet in Latin America as the Chevrolet Vectra.

The Vectra was introduced in October 1988 as a replacement to the Opel Ascona, and itself was replaced in 2008 by the Opel Insignia, the nameplate spanning twenty years and three generations of car.

Vectra A (1988–1995)[edit]

Vectra A
Opel Vectra front 20071109.jpg
Overview
Also called Chevrolet Vectra
Holden Vectra
Vauxhall Cavalier
Production 1988–1995
Assembly Luton, England
Eisenach, Germany
Rüsselsheim, Germany
São Caetano do Sul, Brazil
Caracas, Venezuela
6th of October City, Egypt (GM Egypt)[1]
Designer Wayne Cherry
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive
Platform GM2900 platform
Related Opel Calibra
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission 5-speed manual (F10/5, F13/5, F16/5, F20/5)
6-speed Getrag manual
(F28/6)
4-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length 4,430 mm (174.4 in) (saloon)
4,350 mm (171.3 in) (hatch)
Width 1,700 mm (66.9 in)
Height 1,400 mm (55.1 in)
Curb weight 997–1,199 kg (2,198–2,643 lb) (4-cyl petrols)

The first generation Vectra, known as the Vectra A, was introduced in October 1988, as a saloon and hatchback, replacing the Opel Ascona C. A coupé based on the Vectra, called the Calibra, was introduced the following year. Both cars were designed by the Opel design chief at the time, Wayne Cherry. Vauxhall Motors, the British GM subsidiary that shared most of its models with Opel, did not use the "Vectra" model name until Vauxhall introduced the name into the UK in 1995. The 1989 Vectra came in Base, LS, GL, GLS, CD, and GT models, its sister model was the third generation Cavalier.

Engines ranged initially from a 75 PS (55 kW) 1.4 L to a 130 PS (96 kW) 2.0 L Family II. With the introduction of Euro I emissions regulations, the base model was replaced by a 1.6 L with the same output, while the top of the line was given to a 16-valve version of the 2.0 L engine, which powered the GT (GSI) version, and had 150 PS (110 kW). Four-wheel drive versions were added to the lineup in 1990, and in 1993, the car received a limited edition turbocharged version, with 204 PS (150 kW). The 1.4-litre engine was not available in all markets, and even then, it was only available in basic trims (Base/L in United Kingdom, LS/GL in Europe). A 2.5 L V6 engine appeared towards the later stages of the Vectra's life, developing 170 PS (125 kW), turning the car into a relaxed motorway cruiser rather than give it sporty pretensions.

There were a choice of two diesel engines; one was an Isuzu 1.7 L 4EE1 inline-four unit, in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged form (1,686 cc), this one capable of achieving 82 PS (60 kW), and an Opel designed 1.7 "low blow" turbodiesel (1,699 cc), and naturally aspirated diesel unit, delivering up to 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp). Both units have a reputation for longevity, especially Isuzu developed units, which were also regarded as some of the most refined diesels available at the time.[citation needed]

The front suspension was fully independent, with MacPherson struts, pressed steel lower control arms, and an anti-roll bar. The front suspension, together with the major mechanicals (engine and transmission) is remotely mounted on a front subframe. On front wheel drive models, the rear suspension is semi-independent, consisting of a torsion beam axle linked to trailing arms, with double conical coil springs and direct acting telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers, with certain models also having an anti-roll bar. On the four wheel drive GSi, 4x4 and Turbo models, the rear suspension is a subframe-mounted fully independent design, with semi-trailing arms, double conical coil springs, direct acting gas-assisted telescopic shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar. Steering gear is a rack and pinion type (manual or power assisted, depending on model), mounted on the bulkhead (firewall), with a telescopically deformable steering column.

The Vectra also received a refresh in 1992.[2] The range received new front grilles and a black plastic strip above the rear tail lights, along with an upgrade to the structure for improved crashworthiness. Airbags became available from 1993 onward.

The Vectra gave birth to a coupé version, the Opel Calibra, which shared the Vectra's platform, gearbox and several engines.

In New Zealand, the Vectra A was offered initially as an Opel, but it wore Holden badges from 1994. It was not sold in Australia, where Holden instead offered a rebadged Toyota Camry called Apollo until 1997.

In Brazil, the Chevrolet-badged Vectra A was not introduced until 1993, when it replaced the Chevrolet Monza, a restyled version of the Ascona C.

In Egypt, the Opel Vectra A was not introduced until 1994 through GM Egypt Dealerships, and started production in late 1994 by GM Egypt through early 1996 with a range of 1.6 GL, 2.0 GL trim and 2.0 GLS trim and only Saloon body style boosting strong sales during this short run.

This was similar to the Opel Kadett

Engines[edit]

Engine Model Displ. Power Torque Fueling System Valvetrain Top speed
14NV 1389 cc 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp) @ 5600 rpm 108 N·m (80 lb·ft) @ 3000 rpm Carburettor SOHC 176 km/h (109 mph)
16SV 1598 cc 60 kW (82 PS; 80 hp) @ 5200 rpm 130 N·m (96 lb·ft) @ 2600 rpm Carburettor SOHC 178 km/h (111 mph)
C16NZ(2) 1598 cc 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp) @ 5200 rpm 127 N·m (94 lb·ft) @ 2600 rpm SPFI SOHC 176 km/h (109 mph)
E16NZ 1598 cc 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp) @ 5200 rpm 125 N·m (92 lb·ft) @ 2600 rpm SPFI SOHC 176 km/h (109 mph)
X16SZR 1598 cc 52 kW (71 PS; 70 hp) @ 5000 rpm 128 N·m (94 lb·ft) @ 2800 rpm SPFI SOHC 176 km/h (109 mph)
18SV 1796 cc 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) @ 5400 rpm 148 N·m (109 lb·ft) @ 2800 rpm Carburettor SOHC 183 km/h (114 mph)
E18NVR 1796 cc 65 kW (88 PS; 87 hp) @ 5400 rpm 143 N·m (105 lb·ft) @ 2800 rpm Carburettor SOHC 182 km/h (113 mph)
C18NZ 1796 cc 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) @ 5400 rpm 145 N·m (107 lb·ft) @ 3000 rpm SPFI SOHC 183 km/h (114 mph)
C20NEF 1998 cc 74 kW (101 PS; 99 hp) @ 5200 rpm 158 N·m (117 lb·ft) @ 2600 rpm MPFI SOHC  
20NE 1998 cc 85 kW (116 PS; 114 hp) @ 5200 rpm 175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @ 2600 rpm MPFI SOHC 198 km/h (123 mph)
C20NE 1998 cc 85 kW (116 PS; 114 hp) @ 5200 rpm 170 N·m (125 lb·ft) @ 2600 rpm MPFI SOHC 198 km/h (123 mph)
20SEH 1998 cc 95 kW (129 PS; 127 hp) @ 5600 rpm 180 N·m (133 lb·ft) @ 4600 rpm MPFI SOHC 206 km/h (128 mph)
20XEJ 1998 cc 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) @ 6000 rpm 196 N·m (145 lb·ft) @ 4800 rpm MPFI DOHC 217 km/h (135 mph)
C20XE 1998 cc 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) @ 6000 rpm 196 N·m (145 lb·ft) @ 4800 rpm MPFI DOHC 217 km/h (135 mph)
X20XEV 1998 cc 100 kW (136 PS; 134 hp) @ 5600 rpm 185 N·m (136 lb·ft) @ 4000 rpm MPFI DOHC 210 km/h (130 mph)
C20LET 1998 cc 150 kW (204 PS; 201 hp) @ 5600 rpm 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @ 2400 rpm MPFI, Turbo DOHC 245 km/h (152 mph)
C25XE 2498 cc 125 kW (170 PS; 168 hp) @ 6000 rpm 227 N·m (167 lb·ft) @ 4200 rpm MPFI DOHC 233 km/h (145 mph)
17D 1699cc 42 kW (57 PS; 56 hp) @ 4600 rpm 105 N·m (77 lb·ft) @ 2400–2600 rpm Bosch injection pump SOHC 152 km/h (94 mph)
17DR 1699 cc 44 kW (60 PS; 59 hp) @ 4600 rpm 105 N·m (77 lb·ft) @ 2400–2600 rpm Bosch injection pump SOHC 152 km/h (94 mph)
TC4EE1 1686 cc 60 kW (82 PS; 80 hp) @ 4400 rpm 168 N·m (124 lb·ft) @ 2400 rpm Bosch injection pump SOHC 176 km/h (109 mph)

Vectra B (1995–2002)[edit]

Vectra B
Opel Vectra front 20080118.jpg
Overview
Also called Chevrolet Vectra
Holden Vectra
Vauxhall Vectra
Production 1995–2002
Assembly Ellesmere Port, England, UK
Luton, England, UK
Rüsselsheim, Germany
Antwerp, Belgium
6th of October City, Egypt (1998–2002) (GM Egypt)
Elizabeth, S.A., Australia (1998–1999)
São Caetano do Sul (1996-2005), Brazil
İzmir, Turkey (1996-2002)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
5-door hatchback
5-door estate
Platform GM2900 platform
Related Saturn L-Series
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,640 millimetres (104 in)
Length 4,480 millimetres (176 in)
Width 1,710 millimetres (67 in)
Height 1,420 millimetres (56 in)
Curb weight 1,270 kilograms (2,800 lb)–1,325 kilograms (2,921 lb)

The second model, the Vectra B, was introduced in 1995, and the model range included an estate version for the first time. This model replaced the Vauxhall Cavalier in the UK. The Vauxhall badged Vectra B was the last Vauxhall to be produced at the company's Luton plant, where the end of automobile production was announced at Christmas 2000, taking effect just over a year later.[3]

The model was badged as the Holden Vectra in Australia and New Zealand. In 1998, Holden began assembly of the Vectra for export to other RHD markets in the region, although this was adversely affected by the Asian economic crisis, and ended in 2001.

Engines started from the 75 PS (55 kW) 1.6 L, Family 1 but eventually the 8-valve engines were all replaced by 16-valve powerplants. The 2.0 L Family II engine, with 136 PS (100 kW) was developed as a basis for touring car racing (later in Australia, 2.2 L 108 kW), but the top of the line was a 2.5 L V6 with 170 PS (125 kW). Diesel power came once again from Isuzu, with 1.7 L 82 PS, also 2.0 L Ecotec with 82 PS or 101 PS and 2.2 L Ecotec with 125 PS. In 2001 the all new 2.2 L petrol engine, as carried over to the Vectra C, was introduced with the 2.5 L petrol in its last incarnation being upgraded to a 2.6 L to accommodate emissions improvements.

In 1999, the Vectra was updated, receiving a mildly modified body (that can be identified by the single piece headlight units and body-coloured bumpers) together with somewhat improved handling and better equipment.

Sporting limited edition models included the touring car championship inspired i500, Super Touring and GSi. The first model was developed in Germany by Opel Motorsport, with the V6 engine's power increased to 195 PS (143 kW), and the other two were created in Milton Keynes by Motor Sport Developments. Only 3900 2.5 GSi models were ever produced, mostly in saloon and hatchback guise. With only 317 estate versions produced during this time, they became one of the rarest production Vauxhalls ever.

On model years 2001 and 2002, a last of the line 2.6 GSi was made also but these were limited to 500 cars. These were again mostly saloons and hatchbacks however 37 estates were made. These models received a host of extra upgrades including but not limited to Xenon headlights and larger front brakes.

In Egypt, the production of the Opel Vectra B continued in mid-1996 with two models, initially a 1.6l 8v GLS trim with manual transmission and a 2.0l 8v CD trim with automatic transmission. Later in 2000 the revised model was produced with three models 1.6 8v GLS trim with manual transmission (later replaced by the 1.6 16v GLS trim with automatic transmission), 2.0 16v CD trim with automatic transmission, and a 2.0 CDX trim automatic transmission and all with saloon body style. In 2002 local production of the Opel Vectra ceased in favour of the Opel Corsa Sedan and Opel Astra Sedan.

A related model sold in North America was the Saturn L-Series, introduced in 2000, but dropped from the lineup in 2005. It was replaced by the 2007 Saturn Aura, which was built around GM's Epsilon architecture, as the Vectra C is.

In October 2013, Top Gear magazine placed the 1995 Vectra on its list of "The 13 worst cars of the last 20 years", describing the car as "so mediocre that JC refused to drive it. The resulting six minutes of telly is classic, both cementing his status as a broadcasting deity and ensuring that he would never again be able to buy a kebab in Luton."[4]

Vectra C (2002–2008)[edit]

Vectra C
Opel Vectra C front 20080331.jpg
Overview
Also called Chevrolet Vectra
Holden Vectra
Vauxhall Vectra
Production 2002–2008
Assembly Ellesmere Port, England
Rüsselsheim, Germany
6th of October City, Egypt (GM Egypt)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
5-door hatchback
5-door estate
Platform Epsilon platform
Related Opel Signum
Saturn Aura
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission 6-speed automatic
6-speed manual
5-speed manual
Easytronic
CVTronic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in) (saloon/hatch)
2,830 millimetres (111 in) (estate)
Length 4,611 mm (181.5 in) (saloon/hatch)[5]
4,839 mm (190.5 in) (estate)
"OPC" versions 31 mm (1.2 in) longer
Width 1,798 mm (70.8 in)
Height 1,460 mm (57.5 in) (saloon/hatch)
1,500 mm (59.1 in) (estate)
Curb weight 1,393 kg (3,071 lb)

Built on the Epsilon platform, the Opel Vectra C of 2002 was initially available as a four-door sedan (saloon) and a five-door hatchback, known as the GTS.[6] A five-door station wagon (estate) was added in 2003.[7] The estate version has a slightly longer wheelbase than the hatchback and sedan versions.

Sharing the 2,830 millimetres (111 in) wheelbase of the estate, an "executive hatchback" sold under the Opel/Vauxhall Signum nameplate. The Signum, which was based partly on the Vectra C, featured a completely different layout in the rear.[8]

The engine range was substantially modified to account for the increased curb weight of the Vectra C. The 90 kW (121 hp) 1.8 litre Family 1 Ecotec engine was reserved for the base model, with the main petrol engine for the Vectra C, making up the vast bulk of production, being the Ecotec 2.2 litre chain driven unit producing 108 Kw (145 bhp); along with a new range topping 3.2 litre 54-Degree V6, with 155 kW (208 hp).[9] In 2003 a 2.0 litre turbocharged Ecotec engine with 129 kW (173 hp) was also notionally offered but was only produced in tiny numbers, rather it being a main engine for another GM brand, Saab.[10] The 2.2 litre was upgraded in 2004 with the 'Direct' name added to the model line indicating the new high pressure direct injection update that increased power output to 115Kw (152 BHP) with improved emissions.

Diesel power, which had become important for commercial success in Europe,[11] is provided by an Isuzu-sourced 3.0 litre DMAX V6 outputting 132 kW (177 hp).[12] The four-cylinder diesel engine was replaced in 2004 by a Fiat-designed 1.9 litre Ecotec CDTI engine capable of producing 89 kW (119 hp) in 8v form and 110 kW (148 hp) in 16v form.[13]

Handling was reported to be much better than the previous Vectra, but reviews still criticise the overlight feel of the steering, fussy one touch indicator switches, and the ungainly styling of the sedan version.[citation needed]

The Vectra received a facelift at the end of 2005, retaining a similar line of engines. However, the power of the 3.0 diesel was increased to 137 kW (184 hp) and the petrol 3.2 litre V6 engine was replaced by an Australian-built turbocharged 2.8 litre High Feature V6 unit. This Saab co-developed motor could produce 170 kW (228 hp). Opel installed the twin scroll turbo engine in its Signum productline with 185 kW (248 hp) output. The 185 kW (248 hp) version was available for the Vectra later in 2006. Opel also introduced - for the first time - an OPC version of the Vectra, using the VXR name in the United Kingdom. These high-performance variants were only available as hatchbacks and station wagons.

In the United Kingdom the power of the High Feature V6 engine was increased to 188 kW (252 hp), giving a maximum speed approaching 250 km/h (155 mph). In Australia and New Zealand, the Holden Vectra ZC series was dropped and replaced by the Holden Epica, a badge-engineered Daewoo Tosca in 2007.[14] Due to stockpiling of 2005 model Vectras for the Australasian market, there was enough supply of the car for deliveries to last through to 2007. As a result facelifted Vectra Cs were not sold in those markets.[15] In 2008, Vectra OPC was available with either 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic transmission (Previous Vectra OPC had manual gearbox only). The 2.8L DOHC V6 turbo engine could generate 206 kW (276 hp).

Sales of the Vectra C in the United Kingdom were not as strong as those of its predecessors. For much of its production life, the original Vectra was the fourth best selling car in the country, but the Vectra C never came higher than tenth in the country's car sales charts, though within its own market-sector it held on to second place, behind the Ford Mondeo. In 2007, it finally made the top 10 of Britain's car sales charts, being the nation's tenth most popular new car with over 50,000 sales, outselling the Ford Mondeo for the first time since 1999.[16] Also, the station wagon variant was awarded Estate Car of the Year 2007, by What Car? magazine.[17]

While the Vectra C has been sold in Mexico and Chile as the Chevrolet Vectra, it is not marketed in Brazil, where Chevrolet opted to sell the Astra H under the Vectra brand from 2006 to 2011. Both local-spec cars are powered by the FlexPower SOHC engine originally introduced in 1982 in the Chevrolet Monza.

Motorsport[edit]

Opel Vectra C, built to the DTM rules

The Vectra was used in several touring car racing series. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Vectra B Super Touring took part in the British Touring Car Championship, the Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship, the German Super Tourenwagen Cup, the Australian Super Touring Championship, the Japanese Touring Car Championship, the Italian Superturismo Championship, the French Supertouring Championship and the Swedish Touring Car Championship. Uwe Alzen was third in Super Tourenwagen Cup in 1997 and 1998 and second in 1999; John Henderson was runner-up in the 2000/2001 Australian Super Touring Championship; John Cleland was British Touring Car Champion in 1995 and finished third in 1992 and fourth in 1993 and 1994; Yvan Muller was sixth in the 1999 British Touring Car Championship and fourth in 2000; and Nicklas Karlsson was third in the 2002 Swedish Touring Car Championship.

A prototype Vectra B was built to the BTC Touring specifications in 2003 by Triple Eight Race Engineering, with the view to using it in the 2004 BTCC, but it was never raced, despite being shown publicly at the 2004 Birmingham Motor Show as the 'Vectra Diesel Concept'.[18]

After being replaced by the Astra H in the British Touring Car Championship, the Vauxhall Vectra was introduced in 2007. Fabrizio Giovanardi was champion in 2007 and 2008. VX Racing competed in the 2009 season with three Vectras, driven by Giovanardi, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan.

The Vectra has been used as a silhouette racing car: in the Stock Car Brasil in 2000 to 2003 (it was the champion for four seasons) and 2009, in the Argentine Top Race V6 since 2005 (Guillermo Ortelli was 2005 champion), and in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters in 2004 and 2005 with little success.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Satyam. "Welcome to GMArabia.com". Gmegypt.com. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Aucock, Richard (August 2006). "Vauxhall Vectra". Auto Express. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "The loss of Luton". Car Magazine: page 13. February 2001. 
  4. ^ "The 13 Worst Cars of the Last 20 Years". Top Gear magazine. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2014-10-12. 
  5. ^ Vauxhall Vectra owners' Manual July 2007 ref TS 1557-A-08
  6. ^ "New Holden Vectra goes up-market". WebWombat. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Vauxhall Vectra Estate (2003 - To Date)". Yahoo!. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Opel Vectra and Signum Facelifts". Automotriz. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  9. ^ "Opel Vectra GTS". Babez.de. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "New Opel Signum: Versatile, Innovative, Unique". Black Falcon Media Group Oy. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  11. ^ Christine, Tierney; Weich, David (3 May 2003). "The Smell of Diesel Is Back in the Air". McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 7 January 2008. 
  12. ^ Wan, Mark (24 May 2003). "Opel Vectra". AutoZine. Archived from the original on 6 January 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  13. ^ "Vauxhall Vectra CDTI 150". Khoo Systems. 17 October 2004. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  14. ^ Newton, Bruce (June 2007). "Sneer Miss". Wheels: 104–108. 
  15. ^ Yan, Jack (26 May 2007). "Holden Epica arrives in New Zealand (God help us)". Jack Yan & Associates. Retrieved 29 April 2008. 
  16. ^ Finlay, David (8 January 2008). "UK Motor Industry 2007". PDRonline. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  17. ^ "Car of the Year 2007 - Estate car". What Car?. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2008. 
  18. ^ Autosport magazine feature 25 January 2007 'Tin-Tops That Never Raced'

External links[edit]