The late 80s were an ebullient time for General Motor’s German-based design studio, cranking out hot and popular models one after the other. None, however, was as breathtaking as the 1990 Vauxhall Calibra. Built on the Cavalier chassis, it was designed and produced in records, a fact many point to in explaining the car’s pure design: it didn’t have the chance to get ruined by committees! Nevertheless, it made it out the door, and that’s what counts: with a Cd figure of 0.26, it was the most aerodynamic car on the market. This three-door coupe was not only exceptional of design, but also in its use of available space, making it a very convenient and versatile car.
The Calibra wasn’t just about good looks. The standard model was equipped with a inline 16V four-cylinder engine, with a 2-liter displacement that produced 150 horsepower. Performance was adequate, with a 0-60 acceleration time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 139 mph. Another version was produced, with a turbocharged 200 horsepower engine, that was even quicker. It was also possible to order the Calibra with an all-wheel drive system.
Despite its pure line and red-hot good looks, the 1990 Vauxhall Calibra was not a very exciting car to drive. It was certainly fast, but did not have the racing and handling capabilities its lines indicated it should have.