Thursday, August 27, 2009

Opel Kadett GTE

The Kadett D (and equivalent Mk1 Vauxhall Astra) was a major shift from GM Europe's previous small family car, the Kadett C/Chevette. Front wheel drive and angular styling echoed that of Giugiaro's Mk1 Golf 5 years earlier.

Opel dipped a toe into the lucrative image-making "Hot Hatch" market with the SR model but although well received and sharply styled it didn't really have the power and performance to compete with the rival Escort XR3i and the Golf GTI or offerings from many other manufacturers.

That changed with the introduction of the GTE model. The 1800cc engine finally gave the Kadett/Astra the power it needed (0-60 in 8.5 seconds, almost equal to the 1800cc Mk1 Golf GTI), and the aggressive body kit consisting of spoilers and side skirts looked the part (especially in white with colour-keyed alloy wheels and bumpers) and gave massive road presence.

Vauxhall Mk1 Astra GTE Advert (by retromotoring)

The GTE didn't last long, it was introduced towards the end of the production run for the car, shortly replaced by the radical aero-shape of the Kadett E/Mk2 Astra.

I spotted this one near to Imst, Austria. The extra stripes and bodykit really complete the back-to-the-1980s look!

Opel Kadett GTE (by retromotoring)

Opel Kadett GTE (by retromotoring)

Opel Kadett GTE (by retromotoring)

Opel Kadett GTE (by retromotoring)

Opel Kadett GTE (by retromotoring)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi , I'm from South Africa, and I am currently restoring my Dad's GTE which has been handed down to me...

As you know, Parts are EXTREMLY scarce and over here in Cape Town I can count on my one hand the amount of GTE's I have seen.
If you have any tips, or anything concerning the Opel, please email me.