Why you’d want a Vauxhall Calibra
Just a two-door Cavalier coupé? Clever engineering and styling made the Calibra feel so much more special.
The world’s most aerodynamic production car (an accolade it would hold for 10 years) with a Cd of just 0.26 in 8v form, 0.29 in other forms, its super-clean and handsome body was styled by Wayne Cherry and Erhard Schnell.
Supported by a rev-happy ‘red top’ 16v engine or a lower-powered but torquey 8v, with a slick-shifting close-ratio ’box, it was an appealing package.
Tiny 2.75in-high headlights helped achieve the low drag figures, but do disappoint when it comes to seeing the road at night; it was also very hot inside in summer due to the big glasshouse, without air-con (not even an option at first).
The Calibra’s USP in the marketplace was its full-length GM2900 Cavalier floorpan – this gave it the best rear-seat accommodation in the class, as well as helping achieve its amazing Cd figure.
Electric windows, mirrors and sunroof were standard on all models, as were power steering, ABS, an alarm and central locking.
Four-wheel drive became optional for the 16v in 1990, curing the traction and torque-steer issues, followed by the Turbo, which even blew away the Ford Escort RS Cosworth…