8 Reasons Why We Love the Opel/Vauxhall Calibra (Two Reasons Not to Buy One)

The ’90s truly were the decade of the front-wheel-drive sports car, and it seems like every manufacturer has at least one model in their books.
to GM In Europe, the Calibra was the contender, and they came out swinging by giving the car the lowest drag coefficient ever in a production car. She was going to keep that record until the end of the decade, but that wasn’t the party’s only stunt. It was also too roomy for a sports car, had a great engine selection and also got a special DTM version.
So far, the Calibra is still affordable, although it has two coveted models, it has not yet reached the status of a assembled car. There’s a good reason for that, well, several good reasons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy one.

10 Love: reliable 8V

Although they tend to suffer from a bit of oil leakage from the hood, OHC 8 valve engines are incredibly solid.

The power isn’t necessarily that great, though, and 115 horsepower isn’t much in a car this size, so if performance is on your list of requirements, it won’t suffice.

9 Love: a fun turbo car

If you’re after performance at all costs, the Cosworth-designed red 16-valve turbocharged engine is the model to look at.

Not only did the horsepower increase over 200 marks, but it also got an all-wheel drive system and a six-speed manual transmission. 0-60 times were in and around the 6-second mark, numbers for cars of decent performance, even by modern standards.
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8 Love: Aerodynamics

Calibra really made waves when it came out with a 0.26 drag coefficient. That’s better than most modern sports cars, and in the late ’80s it was an incredible feat of engineering.

It was a simple and contemporary design, yet it managed to make an incredible statement. It made the car more fuel efficient than most of its competitors, but performance was hampered a bit by the car’s overall weight.

7 Love: 4WD Edition

All-wheel drive in its day was very expensive, and for this reason, it did not set any sales records, most buyers opted for the affordable Ecotec V6 engine.

As a result, this is the only model that will really get a premium on the used market, but it’s arguably worth it, with an all-wheel drive system that alleviates the usual handling issues that plague heavy front-wheel drive cars.
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6 Love: Special Editions

Only a limited number of DTM collectibles were made (about 250), and all the changes were aesthetic in nature, the most notable being the BBS rims.

They also made the Keke Rosberg Edition (above) that came with an all-white color scheme, this being more popular with nearly 1,000 being produced.

5 Love: Affordable

Aside from those special collectible editions, all Calibras remain affordable even though they are now technically considered classic cars.

These cars were never desired, even turbo cars were seen as disposable sports cars that could be crushed and smashed. It’s a shame, because they actually have a lot more to do and deserve more attention than they get.
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4 Love: a practical sports car

Unlike most coupes, the Calibra is 5-seater, with ample rear legs and headroom. It also has the trunk of a regular sedan, so there’s enough room for luggage, too.

All models, even the V6s, were very economical thanks to their low drag coefficient, and were still cheap to own as parts were shared by many other models.

3 Love: ahead of its time

It was a truly futuristic car in many ways, and under the lighter look it was a really cool piece of engineering.

It’s still an underrated sports car, but it’s not without flaws, and there are several very good reasons why it will remain affordable for the foreseeable future.
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2 Won’t Buy: Getrag Transmission Prone to Failure

This awesome 6-speed manual in its turbocharged four-wheel drive struggled to keep up with the performance it needed to handle it.

With only a few thousand of these models built and a limited parts network, replacing these transmissions is a nightmare and will cost more than the car itself.

1 Won’t Buy: Front Drive Sports Car

If you’re going to rule out the turbo because of this fail-prone transmission, all that’s left is a selection of front-wheel drive options.

The V6 is decent, but the heavy front end limits handling, the 8V is guaranteed but a bit slow, the naturally aspirated Ecotec 16-valve suffers from electric gremlins, and Cosworth 16-valve cars have been known to fail head gaskets.


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