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German vehicles have been always associated with high quality, durability and unseen performance. Who else but Opel can boast a huge inventory of the cars with the abovementioned characteristics?! Take along its Ascona series which had been a common name in Europe from 1970 to 1988. Due to this, it would be a big neglect not to review Opel Ascona in more details.
The 1st generation: Ascona A
The first Ascona was introduced in 1970. Initially it was meant to replace the Kadett. However, later on the designer decided to position it as a rival to the then-popular Ford Taunus. An attempt turned to be a success: for over 5 years of production Opel has sold about 700.000 A items.
The model was a large family car available in three body types: 4-door sedan, 2-door sedan and estate. It came with rear-wheel drive and four different gasoline engines. The entry-level 1.2 S powertrain could demonstrate up to 60 horsepower; the 1.6 N solution provided for 68 hp; the 1.6-liter S motor was rated at 75-80 hp, while the senior engine, 1.9 S, ensured 90 hp. All powertrains featured a single-barrel carburetor.
The 1.9-liter models were exported to the USA, branded Opel 1900. In order to address the local regulations, Opel has made a tiny facelift, adding rubber-clad impact bumpers to the chassis. Besides, as of 1975 all USA-oriented Asconas were equipped with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection.
The 2nd generation: Ascona B
In 1975 Opel introduced the second generation of Ascona, badged ‘B’. This vehicle was available in two body types: 4-door or 2-door saloon. Erstwhile the model employed the range of engines used in A versions. Nonetheless, in the course of time designers were gradually adding 2.0-liter configurations, including 20S, 20N as well as 2.0-liter diesel item. The first two solutions offered up to 100-110 horsepower, whereas the diesel one could offer 58 hp only.
Opel Ascona B models boasted laminated window glass, electric windshield washers, plastic bumpers, and a modified gray griller. With the introduction of 2.0-liter E sedans (110 horsepower), featuring Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, Asconas received a front spoiler, as well as new radiator, transmission, clutch, and differential. Moreover, the manufacturer launched modifications with a 2.4-liter engine that could perform at 144 horsepower.
The 3rd generation: Ascona C
In continuation with Opel Ascona review it must be said that in 1981 the maker released the third generation of the model within the framework of General Motors J-car project. The new-comer immediately enslaved the hearts of the customers and won a prestigious Golden Lenkrad award.
The ‘C’ was transferred to the front-wheel drive and got a totally new bodywork. It turned to a 2-/4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback with more sophisticated lines. There was no estate version of the chassis. The model housed traditional front McPherson suspension with anti-roll bar and rear semi-independent suspension with east-west levers.
In addition to the new exterior, the car has got a range of new powertrains. All of them were SOHC-based and provided for a higher performance.
The list included:
- 1.6-liter diesel engine, rated 55 horsepower and paired with a 5-speed manual transmission;
- 1.8E with LE-Jetronic, rated 115 horsepower. Models with this powertrain could have optional electric windows & mirrors, power steering and a trip computer;
- base 1.3-liter engine, rated 60 horsepower and equipped with start-stop system. Cars with such underhood boasted also a modified clutch damping, new wheels, upgraded central console;
- 1.8i, rated 100 horsepower. These modifications accommodated door seals and upgraded clutch as well as a 3-way catalyst;
- 1.6i, rated 75 horsepower and equipped with Multec-central injection system;
- 2.0i, rated 115 horsepower, based on Bosch Motronic injection system.
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