Oldsmobile Omega

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the vehicle of the same name sold in Germany, see Opel Omega.
Oldsmobile Omega
'80 Oldsmobile Omega Sedan.jpg
1982 Oldsmobile Omega
Overview
Manufacturer Oldsmobile (General Motors)
Model years 1973–1984
Assembly Lansing, Michigan, United States
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Platform X-body
Chronology
Successor Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais

The Oldsmobile Omega is a compact car that was manufactured and sold from 1973 through 1984 by Oldsmobile. The name omega was used to imply the last, the end, or the ultimate limit of a set, in contrast to alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet. There were two generations of Omegas, both badge-engineered Chevrolet models, and both using the GM X platform architecture:

First generation (1973–1974)[edit]

First generation
1973 Olds Omega.jpg
1973 Oldsmobile Omega coupe
Overview
Model years 1973–1974
Body and chassis
Body style
Layout FR layout
Platform X-body
Related
Dimensions
Wheelbase 111 in (2,819.4 mm)
1973 Oldsmobile Omega Brougham coupe

The Omega was one of 3 X-body Chevrolet Nova clones introduced in 1973 (the Buick Apollo being the other one; the Pontiac Ventura was introduced in 1971). Naturally it shared the Nova's body and many of its mechanicals, but it had its own unique nose and tail, and, being an Oldsmobile, it had a little fancier trim than the Nova. It even borrowed the Nova's dashboard, but Olds added woodgrain trim to it for a more upscale look.

The front grille sported Oldsmobile's trademark split "waterfall" grille design, round headlights set into square recesses, and parking lights directly below in the bumper. Body styles mirrored that of the Nova, starting with a 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan.

Engine choices were the standard Chevy-built 4.1L (250 cid) I6 with a 3-speed manual transmission standard, with a 4-speed manual or a 2- or 3-speed automatic optional. The lone V8 option was Oldsmobile's 5.7L (350 cid) "Rocket" V8, which had a 4-speed manual as standard with the 3-speed automatic optional. V8 models with the eight VIN digit being the letter "K" received a 4-barrel Rochester carburetor. All other V8 engines received the standard 2-barrel version. There were also 53 Doctor Oldsmobile Omega's built in 73 all with vin code KL3 All were built in Van Nuys California and were sold at Century Oldsmobile in Van Nuys California. This option was canceled in 1974 and Oldsmobile redesigned the Omega and added the S option and also a base and upper-level Brougham. Not many changes at all in 1974 other than the 2-speed Powerglide transmission being dumped, the parking lights being relocated inboard below the grille instead of the headlights and a new rear bumper design which met the federal government's new 5-mph impact standards. There would be an all-new Omega in 1975.

Second generation (1975–1979)[edit]

Second generation
1977 Oldsmobile Omega.jpg
1977 Oldsmobile Omega sedan
Overview
Model years 1975–1979
Body and chassis
Body style
Layout FR layout
Platform X-body
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Dimensions
Wheelbase 111 in (2,819.4 mm)

This car was the top of the X-body line along with Buick's Apollo and Skylark, having more luxury trimming, more noise insulation, rear anti-roll bars, and other features not found on the Chevrolet Nova. There were four basic Oldsmobile X bodied cars, the F-85( the base car), the Omega, Omega SX, and the Omega Brougham. During the 1975-76 model years, the top engine choice was a 350 cu. in. (5.7 Liter) V8 from GM's Buick division. During that time, the base engine was the 115 hp (86 kW) 250 cu. in. (4.1 Liter) inline-6 from Chevrolet, until 1977 when it was dropped in favor of the lighter 110 hp (82 kW) Buick 231 V6. It saw few changes through its life being limited mostly to the front end (3 different grilles) and to the rear lights, changing the number of lenses through the years. The Oldsmobile 260 (4.3-liter) V8 was available as an option from 1975-79.

1977 Oldsmobile Omega coupe

Third generation (1980–1984)[edit]

Third generation
Oldsmobile Omega sedan 1 -- 09-03-2010.jpg
1984 Oldsmobile Omega sedan
Overview
Production 1979–1984
Model years 1980–1984
Body and chassis
Body style
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Platform X-body
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 105 in (2,667.0 mm)
Length 181.8 in (4,617.7 mm)
Width 69.8 in (1,772.9 mm)
Height 53.7 in (1,364.0 mm)
1981 Oldsmobile Omega ES 2800 performance variant
1983 Oldsmobile Omega coupe

The X-bodies were all-new front-wheel drive cars for 1980. Engine choices were now limited to Pontiac's Iron Duke inline-four engine and the new corporate 2.8 L LE2 V6 designed specifically for this platform.

Unlike the Chevrolet Citation, which the car was based upon, the Omega range consisted of a 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan, with upright styling and a distinctive split grille.

Aside from the standard and brougham models produced in all five years, sportier models were also built. These included the SX coupe (replaced by the ES in 1982), ES sedan, and pioneering plastic-fendered SportOmega, which came with wild red-and-orange striping, white-over-gray paint, and a sloping front grille assembly shared with the SX and ES.

Beginning in 1982, the Chevrolet high-output (130 horsepower) 2.8L V6 became available on ES models.

The X-body Omega, like its sister vehicles (the Chevrolet Citation, Pontiac Phoenix and Buick Skylark, proved fairly trouble-prone early on, necessitating an astounding number of government-mandated recalls for braking problems, fluid leaks and suspension issues. While Omega was the only one of the four X-cars to sell better in 1981 than in 1980 (147,918 versus 134,323), starting in 1982, production fell dramatically. Only 77,469 Omegas were built in '82, with 53,926 in 1983 and 52,986 in swan-song 1984.

For 1985, the Omega was replaced by the N-body Calais.

References[edit]