The Opel Kadett wis a sma family caur produced bi the German automobile manufacturer Opel atween 1937 an 1940, and then again frae 1962 till 1991, when it wis replaced bi the Opel Astra, (brandit in the UK as the Vauxhall Astra MK3).
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Oreeginal model (1937–1940)
The first Opel caur tae carry the Kadett name wis presentit tae the public in December 1936 bi Opel's Commercial-Technical director, Heinrich Nordhoff, who woud in later decades become kent for his leadership role in buildin up the Volkswagen company.
The new Kadett follaed the innovative Opel Olympia in adoptin a chassis-less monocoque construction, suggestin that like the Vauxhall 10 introduced in 1937 bi Opel's Inglis sister-company, the Opel Kadett wis designed for hie volume low cost production. Competitive pricin led tae commercial success, an Kadetts continued tae be produced durin the early months o the war: bi the time production wis interruptit in 1940 follaein intensification o hostilities, 107,608 o these Opel Kadetts haed come aff the assembly line at Opel's Rüsselsheim plant, which haed been the first major caur plant in Germany tae apply the assembly-line production techniques pioneered bi Henry Ford.
Efter the war, Opel production facilities frae Rüsselsheim (caurs) an Brandenburg an der Havel (trucks) wur cratit up an transportit tae the Soviet Union as pairt o a lairger reparations package agreed upon bi the victorious pouers. Frae 1948 the prewar Kadett wis manufactured as the Moskvitch 400/420: it continued tae be produced on the edge o Moscow as a Moskvitch till 1956.
Kadett A (1962–1965)
The Kadett wis re-introduced in October 1962, 22 years efter the oreeginal model wis discontinued.
In 1957 Opel Product Director Karl Stief wis mandatit bi General Motors headquarters in Detroit tae develop "the perfect Anti-Volkswagen" ("einen perfekten Anti-VW"). The development team wis heidit up bi Stief, supportit bi Hans Mersheimer (caur-body) an Werner K. Strobel (ingine an runnin gear), unner conditions o such secrecy that even nou vera little is known o the development history o the 1962 Kadett. 649,512 o caurs haed been built at the company's new Bochum factory bi the time it wis replaced in Julie 1965.
The caur later became kent as the Kadett A. In addition tae the standard saloon there wis an L (luxury model), a coupé, an an estate (cawed Caravan). The new Opel OHV ingine wis available as 1.0 with 40 hp (30 kW) an as 1.0 S wi 48 hp (36 kW).
The Kadett clearly featured a muckle mair modern design than the Volkswagen Beetle which then dominatit the market for smaw family caurs in Germany an various surroondin kintras. The Kadett affered mair passenger space, massively mair luggage space an a muckle less encumbered view oot. Its water cooled ingine enabled it tae provide a far mair effective heater. Even fuel consumption wis unner maist conditions superior tae that o the Volkswagen, an mony commentators muckle preferred the Opel's handlin an its licht an effective brakes tae those o the market leader.
Housomeivver, bi the mid-1970s the Kadett's greatest relative weakness wis awready painfully apparent, as the caurs disappeared rapidly frae German roads while the Beetles endured. The Kadett's bodywirk wis no well protectit frae corrosion.
On the Breetish motorin show Top Gear, Richard Hammond drove a Kadett A, which he loved so muckle he named Oliver, through the middle o Botswana durin a 2007 challenge. He later haed the caur shipt tae the Unitit Kinrick an restored, an it remains in his possession.
Kadett B (1965–1973)
The Kadett B came in 1966 an endit in 1973, wi twa an fower door saloons (the latter in notchback an, frae 1967, an aa in fastback form), a three-door estate, an twa coupés (regular an fastback, or Coupé F). There wis a sportin Opel Kadett Rallye, wi a 1.9 L ingine. Additionally, the twa-seat Opel GT wis hivily based on Kadett B components, its body made bi a French contractor, Brissonneau & Lotz. Generally, the Kadett B wis significantly lairger than the Kadett A.
1966 wis the year that Opel opened their new plant at Bochum, devotit exclusively tae Kadett production. Atween 1965 an 1973 Opel produced 2,691,300 Kadett Bs which makes this model ane o the maist successful Opels tae date in terms o sales volume. The Kadett benefittit on the domestic market frae a progressive slowin o demand for the auld Volkswagen Beetle, while the Ford Escort an Volkswagen Golf which woud compete for sales mair effectively against the Kadett C baith got aff tae a relatively slow stairt respectively in 1968 an 1974.
A "luxury" derivative o the Kadett B wis sauld as the Opel Olympia A.
The Kadett B wis sauld in the Unitit States through Buick dealers frae 1967 till 1972 simply as the Opel. U.S. models wur later grantit the front end an trim o the new Opel Olympia, introduced in 1966 as an upmarket version o the Kadett. The caur teuk pairt in the Trans-Am Series durin its commercial life. Kadett A an B wur technically simple caurs whose task wis tae compete wi the market leader, the Volkswagen Beetle.
This lack o sophistication caused the US caur magazine Car and Driver tae publish a hichtlie critical test o the Kadett in 1968, featurin photos o the caur in a junkyard. Reportedly, GM wi'drew ony ads frae that magazine for several months as a consequence.
Kadett C (1973–1979)
The Kadett C appeared in 1973 an wis Opel's version o General Motors' "T-Car". The T-Car wis an aa built in Japan bi Isuzu an sauld as the Isuzu Gemini an in Australie whaur it wis marketit as the Holden Gemini. In Sooth Korea, Saehan Motor then Daewoo Motor built a version kent as the Daewoo Maepsy an Maepsy-Na.
The Kadett C formed the basis o the Breetish Vauxhall Chevette, which haed a restyled front end an launcht wi a hatchback body, in addition tae uisin a 1256 cc OHV (ower-heid valve) Vauxhall ingine rather than the 1196 cc OHV Opel ingine. The Chevette made the Kadett C notable bi allouin it tae 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 wis niver manufactured as a Chevette housomeivver. Although Kadett C production endit in 1979, the Chevette wis produced till Januar 1984. Unuisually for Vauxhall models, the Chevette wis importit tae Germany startin in 1979 tae satisfy the needs o the rear wheel drive traditionalists an wis quite a success for a year or twa. This import version, housomeivver wis niver offeecially badged as an Opel or a Vauxhall - being named simply as 'Chevette'.
The Kadett C today is a cult caur in Germany, especially in fastback (coupé) form. The maist sought efter versions o the Kadett C Coupé are the Rallye an GT/E models. These models wur built first wi the Bosch fuel injectit 1897 cc OHC (ower-heid cam) Opel ingine, an follaed bi the updatit 1998 cc OHC ingine. Conversions uisin the newer GM Family II ingine are common.
Includit in the range frae 1976 wis vera rare version, the Aero-Kadett, an open-top Kadett wi targa roll bar, detachable roof insert an a separate convertible top aft o the roll bar (like the contemporary Lancia Beta Spider). This caur was built in very limited numbers bi Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart. Ane clue concernin its rarity is the manufacturer's recommendit retail price o DM 15,500 at a time when Volkswagen's trustit (if slower an hivier) 1303 Cabriolet wis affered for DM 12,735.
The Kadett C reacht the Unitit States as the Buick–Opel. In reality, housomeivver, this wis an Isuzu Gemini; an updatit version o this caur wis marketit in the USA as the Isuzu I-Mark in the early 1980s.
In Brazil, the Kadett C wis released sax months afore its European release, as Chevrolet Chevette. It wis available wi a choice o three petrol ingines, in 1.4 L, 1.6 L, an 1.0 L displacements (the latter available ae for the 1992/3 model year); 1.4 L an 1.6 L versions wur an aa available runnin on ethanol.
This Chevette went through several redesigns — first front an rear panels similar tae the Opel version, then a leuk similar tae the Breetish Vauxhall Chevette, an finally a design reminiscent o the updatit USA Chevrolet Chevette version. It wis available in several different bodies: hatchback (1979–87), estate (cawed Chevrolet Marajó, 1980–89), pickup (Chevy 500, 1984–95) an saloon (1973–93). The Chevette sauld ower 1.6 million units in Brazil, being replaced bi the Chevrolet Corsa.
Kadett D (1979–1984)
The Kadett D wis introduced in November 1979, goin on sale in the UK some five months afore the Breetish version, the Vauxhall Astra Mark 1, wis launcht in Aprile 1980. Aw models wur designed as three- or five-door hatchbacks an estates or station wagons. There wur an aa twa- an fower-door sedans, which uised the same bodyshells as the hatchbacks, but these wur suin dropped. An aa dropt, in comparison tae the C Modell wis the Coupé.
Technologically, the Kadett D wis a major departure, as it wis Opel an Vauxhall's first front wheel drive caur. It an aa introduced the Family II ingine design wi an single owerheid camshaft, aluminium alloy cylinder heid, hydraulic valve lifters, wi capacities o 1300 an 1600 cc, an haed a unique transaxle design which alloued the clutch tae be replaced athoot removin the transmission unit.
Later, an 1800 cc version wis introduced for the Kadett/Astra GTE model. This range o ingines wis an aa uised for later models o the Corsa/Nova, an the mid-sized Cavalier/Ascona. The Kadett D wis an' a' equipped wi a 1600 cc diesel ingine that wis possible tae drive as cheap as 5.0 L/100 km, an a carry-ower 1196cc OHV ingine. It wis an aa produced as IDA Kadett in Kikinda, Yugoslavie.
Kadett E (1984–1991)
The Kadett E (Vauxhall Astra Mark 2 in the UK) wis introduced in 1984, an wis votit 1985 European Caur o the Year, lairgely due tae its advanced aerodynamic body stylin. The 1984 model wis an aa developt intae a mair conventional three-box design wi a buit (trunk), badged as the Vauxhall Belmont in the UK an the Opel Monza in Sooth Africae, launcht in Januar 1986. This wis awardit 1985 Semperit Erse Caur o the Year in Ireland.
A convertible version wis an aa available, for the first time in 1987, built bi Bertone o Torino/Italy, bringin it tae line wi key competitors such as the Ford Escort an Volkswagen Golf which wur available as cabrios afore. For the 1988 model, capacities wur raised tae 1400, 1800 an a new 2000 cc ingine, again uised on the GSi an Vauxhall Astra GTE. In 1988, a 16-valve twin-cam version wis developed for a hie performance GSi/GTE model, yieldin 156 hp (115 kW) in manufactured form.
The Kadett E haes been seen as a grey import in the UK, but it is no as popular as the Vauxhall Astra Mark 2. It wis niver offeecially sauld in Breetain, an bi 1989 General Motors wis ae marketin the Vauxhall brand in the UK.
In the late 1980s an early 1990s, Sooth African Kadett GSi's wur upgradit for tourin caur competitions an aroond 500 wur built for homoligation purposes. They featured mair aggressive cams, a locally developt limitit slip differential an special 15" wheels, they wur nicknamed the Superboss, produced 125 kW (168 hp).
The Kadett E wis introduced in Brazil as the Chevrolet Kadett, but the three-door station wagon wis cawed the Chevrolet Ipanema.
It formed the basis o the Daewoo LeMans (later kent as the Daewoo Cielo, Racer an Nexia) in Sooth Korea, an an' a' as Heaven in Chile (Nexia being the HB version), which wis sauld in the Unitit States an New Zealand as the Pontiac LeMans, an in Canadae (initially) as the Passport Optima. LeMans sales endit in 1993. The Nexia is still being produced at UzDaewoo plant in Asaka, Uzbekistan. The Cielo wis last being produced at Automobile Craiova, a semi-independent (frae GM) plant in Craiova, Romanie (the license expired in Hairst 2006).
In 1992, GM Europe decidit tae standardise model names athort its twa brands, an Opel adoptit Vauxhall's name for the Kadett, Astra, for the replacement caur for Europe which debuted that year. Anerlie in Sooth Africae, the Kadett name continued on the first Opel Astra hatchback till 1999, when aw models teuk the Astra name.
Housomeivver, unner Opel's internal namin convention, successive generations o the Astra platform are treatit as a logical continuation o the Kadett lineage - hence the oreeginal 1992 Astra wis designatit Astra F in relation tae the previous Kadett E - this convention haes continued through tae the current (2009) Astra J.
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