Opel, one of General Motor’s most legendary divisions, decided to move into BMW territory with the introduction of the 1980 Opel Monza. The two-door coupe was designed to seat comfortably four adults, with enough room for a large, cargo-holding trunk. Designed by automotive stylist Henry Haga, it was configured in the same way as the Porsche 928, and targeted the same market segment. It’s modern, angular look was well-appreciated, and in fact wasn’t modified over the car’s 6-year production run. Looks, however, weren’t the only thing it had going for it: it was based on a very stiff, high performance chassis that provided both a very comfortable ride and excellent handling.
The Monza was powered by a straight-six, 3-liter engine that produce 180 horsepower; it was enough to propel this steel-monocoque, three-door coupe down the autobahn at a top speed of 132 miles per hour, and to accelerate to 60 in only 8.5 seconds. The engine was paired to a five-speed manual transmission, and the Monza featured all-wheel disc brakes and an all-around independent suspension, with struts at the front and semi-trailing arms at the rear.
The 1980 Opel Monza remained in production until 1986 with only minor changes, most of them on the interior of the car as well as to the running gear. It was cancelled without being replaced, which was a great shame, as this car showed that Opel could play in the same league as its more famous German cousins.