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  • Writer's pictureIshaan Bharadwaj

Opel Vectra - Throwback Thursday

Updated: May 20, 2021

Introduced in 2002, the Vectra was built in Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, and was based on the GM Epsilon platform.

It was also assembled in Egypt, along with the two previous versions. Opel's four-door premium sedan was the staple model, while the five-door hatchback, known as the Vectra GTS, was meant to recall cult models from Opel in the past such as the Commodore GTE of the 1970s.

Engine range was substantially modified to account for the more sporty GTS model (and an increased curb weight). While a 122 PS (90 kW) 1.8 Ecotec engine was the base model, a 2.0 L turbocharged engine with 175 PS (129 kW) and a new 3.2 L V6, with 211 PS (155 kW) was also offered. Diesel power, which was important for commercial success in Europe, was first provided by Isuzu (a 3.0 L V6 was still retained), but the four-cylinder diesel engines were replaced by Fiat-designed units with 1.9 L, capable of 150 PS (110 kW), in 2004.

The Vectra received a facelift near the end of 2005, and the V6 engine was replaced by an Australian-built 2.8 V6 Turbo unit, similar to the one used in the Saab 9-3. More importantly, Holden introduced, for the first time, an OPC (VXR in the UK) version of the Vectra, available only in the hatchback and estate bodies. Power on the Saab V6 Turbo was increased to 255 PS (188 kW)!!!, and maximum speed fell short of 250 km/h (155 mph).

In the UK, the hatchback was not considered a specialty model. In Australasia, the rebadged Holden Vectra ZC was considered more upmarket, though not to the same extent as in Europe. A station wagon version, called the Caravan in Germany, was released in 2003.

Interestingly, the same platform that underpins this Vectra also underpins the Saab 9-3 (Sweden) and the current Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura (North America).

The Opel Vectra however saw small sales figures when it was introduced in India back in 2002, the Astra and Corsa were taking most of the sales cake and people were really apprehensive about General Motor's after sales that was constantly deteriorating. Also, the Ford Mondeo and the newly launched Hyundai Sonata with a big 2.7 V6 engine were looking like hotter deals than this German sedan. What do you think about the Opel Vectra?

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