The compact Opel meet 80 years: the first Kadett to Astra


The compact Opel meet 80 years. The classic Has a modern Astra.

A total of eight decades since I was introduced to the Opel Kadett. All a small sensation that captured the attention quickly of media and buyers back in the year 1936. Since then and after the passage of many generations, a change of name by adopting a new concept has made the Kadett and Astra all about best sellers in its segment. We review the 80-year history of the compact Opel.

With the arrival of the Opel Kadett and their first generation produced between the years 1936 and 1940 in Rüsselsheim (Germany), marked the start of a success story which today continues to. Were manufactured more than 100,000 units of the model of four-seater. Factors such as its monocoque construction and the possibility of setting it up with bodywork sedan or convertible it positioned as a vehicle very versatile.

80 years of success, the Kadett and Astra

One of the keys to the success of the Opel Kadett, in its beginning, was its great price-quality ratio as well as the latest technology of the time that equates. Thanks to this, the Kadett was consolidated as the central pillar of Opel in segment C of the automobile sector. To date, eleven generations of the Kadett and Astra have won numerous achievements for the German brand. Opel has sold more than 24 million units of both models. As a curious fact, if they all got lined up one behind the other, would exceed 100,000 miles and would form a column of vehicles that could give two and a half turns to the earth by the circle of the equator.

Opel Kadett 1936

Opel Kadett 1936. The beginning of a long story. Photo: FavCars

Opel Kadett (1936-1940)

Its roomy interior with capacity for four passengers and the possibility of touching the 100 km/h of top speed were among its major banners. Equates a chassis with independent front suspension and rear leaf spring. In their guts, the first Opel Kadett was a four-cylinder engine in line with 1.073 cm3 and a power of 23 HP. Its design was influenced by the Opel Olympia. In 1938 he received a major “facelift” which introduced new features such as a new grille.

Opel Kadett A (1962-1965)

With new aires, a trunk of large capacity and a cabin is still wider were the elements that made it succeed the “recipe” that gave us the Turning To. The German brand made nearly 650,000 units of this model. In comparison with its predecessor, the waist line had been lowered and the windows had been extended. It was powered by a front-engine, water-cooled. A four-cylinder engine and 993 cm3 that developed 40 HP. This engine was also used by the Opel Kadett Caravan.

Opel Kadett B (1965-1973)

Already in the year 1965, was introduced a new generation of this popular compact. Average a little more than four meters long. In its design, Opel took it as influence the rear “fastback” of some of the vehicles marketed in the united States at that time. Opel engineers were able to increase the diameter of the four-cylinder engine. Now the block had 1.078 cm3 and threw a power of 45 HP. Also it was offered as a more radical and powerful, an engine 1.1 S of 55 HP. During the years in which was in production Opel produced over 2.6 million units of the Kadett B.

Opel Astra F 1991

The arrival of the Opel Astra F in 1991 was a change of name and concept. Photo: the Cars in pictures.

Opel Kadett C (1973-1979)

The Kadett C was the input of numerous options to the range. Now it was like a car with different faces: a small family, a second vehicle is practical for the day-to-day or a competitive sports coupe. In total were manufactured 1.7 million units and was marketed in a rear-drive powertrain configuration. Its design combined elements marked with right angles or a new grill straight. At the Frankfurt motor show of 1975 was introduced Kadett GT/E engine 1.9 liter with Bosch L-Jetronic injection with 105 HP. It was capable of reaching 184 km/h.

Opel Kadett D (1979-1984)

And came the front-wheel-drive with the fourth generation of the Kadett. In addition, it offered a more compact dimensions compared to its predecessor. Only measured 3,99 meters long. However, despite being more compact, offered a cabin more spacious. Along with the front-wheel drive, the chassis also had an axle suspension torsion rear. Equipped with a engine OHC 1.3-liter available in two power ratings: 60 HP and 75 HP. The base model was added to the alternative family under the name “Station Wagon” or the sporty Kadett GT/E. In total, we produced 2.1 million units of the Kadett E.

Opel Kadett E (1984-1991)

The second Kadett front wheel that came on the market was manufactured between the years 1984 and 1991. Were sold in total 3.779.289 units during its life cycle. Has been the Model most sold to date. It had a drag coefficient of 0.39. The best of its kind. In its range was also available the Station Wagon version and a sport version under the label GSi.

Opel Kadett E 1984

Opel Kadett E 1984. Photo: Wikipedia.

Opel Astra F (1991-1997)

In the year 1991 said goodbye to the Kadett and Opel introduced its successor, the Astra. The the first generation of the Astra broke the historical record of the brand becoming Opel sold more. About 4,13 million units were sold during the years in which it was in production. In addition to a design more fresh and modern, the brand opted for to enhance significantly the security section. And for the first time, all engines came equipped with a catalyst.

Opel Astra G (1998-2004)

With a design that resembled a coupe, the new Astra G was marketed with bodywork of three doors, five doors and Station Wagon. Later were introduced the sedan in three volumes, the coupe and the cabrio. Its design was a continuation of the but premiered a new range of engines and a chassis that is more dynamic. On the other hand, his battle is increased by about 10 inches, offering a larger interior space.

Opel Astra H (2004-2009)

Seven versions of bodywork and twelve engines with a power range covering from 90 to 240 HP us revealing the degree of customization offered us the third generation of the Opel Astra. His image was modernized and premiered numerous technical innovations. Some of them were a chassis adaptive IDSPlus with continuous damping control (CDC). Also featured for the first time in the range of the Astra lighting adaptive AFL with dynamic curve light.


New Opel Astra 2016.

Opel Astra J (2009-2015)

The new generation of the Opel Astra came with the arrival of a new design philosophy of the brand. A model that is more modern and elegant with sporty details that convey a greater dynamism. To this we must add a range of modern technologies such as front camera system Opel Eye or the system AFL+ to make this one of the safest vehicles in its segment.

Opel Astra K (2015-Present)

And we current generation of the Opel Astra, the model that we can currently find it at dealers. More lightweight, efficient and technological. The Astra K lost up to 200 kilograms over its predecessor. And although its exterior dimensions are more reduced, its passenger compartment is more spacious. He was awarded as Car of the Year in Europe by 2016. In this generation becomes available as two volumes, and also with the variant Sports Tourer. To date, Opel has received 275.000 orders.