Opel Omega

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Opel Omega
Opel Omega front 20080118.jpg
Opel Omega B2 sedan
Manufacturer Opel (General Motors)
Body and chassis
Class Executive car (E-segment)
Layout FR layout
Platform GM V platform
Predecessor Opel Rekord
Opel Senator
Opel Commodore
Vauxhall Carlton

The Opel Omega is an executive car engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel between 1986 and 2003. The first generation, the Omega A (1986–1993), superseded the Opel Rekord. It was voted European Car of the Year for 1987, and was available as a saloon or estate. The second generation, the Omega B, was manufactured from 1993 to 2003.


Rebadged variants of the Omega were marketed worldwide, including in North America as the Cadillac Catera, in Great Britain as the Vauxhall Omega and South America as the Chevrolet Omega. Reengineered versions were manufactured in Australia since 1988 as the Holden Commodore (and its derivatives) since 1999, which were in turn exported to South America as the Chevrolet Omega and the Middle East as the Chevrolet Lumina.

Production of the Omega was discontinued in 2003, with no direct replacement, apart from the Australian reengineered versions that carried on until 2006 as a sedan and 2007 in other guises. After vacating the executive car segment, Opel tried to fill the market void with "expensive" versions of the then existing Vectra and Signum ranges. In the United Kingdom, Vauxhall reentered the market segment in 2007 with the VXR8 .

Omega A (1986–1993)

Omega A
Opel Omega A1 CD sedan, Berlin.jpg
Also called Vauxhall Carlton
Chevrolet Omega/Suprema
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door notchback saloon
5-door estate
Related Holden Commodore (VN)
Holden Commodore (VP)
Holden Commodore (VR)
Holden Commodore (VS)
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual (Lotus Omega)
Wheelbase 2,730 mm (107.5 in)
Length4,687 mm (184.5 in)
4,730 mm (186.2 in) (estate)
Width1,772 mm (69.8 in)
Height1,445 mm (56.9 in)
1,480 mm (58.3 in) (estate)
Curb weight 1,150 kg (2,535 lb)


The original Omega went into production in September 1986, as a replacement for the final version of the Opel Rekord, which had been in production since 1978. Sales began in November. The body was designed as an evolution of the previous Opel design theme engineered more towards aerodynamics in view of higher fuel prices and the general drive towards more fuel efficiency. The result was a remarkable drag coefficient of 0.28 (0.32 for the Caravan). The whole development program cost two billion Deutschmarks. The UK market version of the final generation of Rekord had been marketed as the Vauxhall Carlton, and this nameplate was retained for the new car.

Late in 1986, it was voted European Car of the Year for 1987, ahead of the highly acclaimed new versions of the Audi 80 and BMW 7 Series. [1] Compared to the Rekord, the Omega featured many modern technological advances, which were new to Opel in general, if not to the volume segment European automotive market.

These included electronic engine management, ABS, on board computer (which displayed parameters such as momentary fuel consumption or average speed), air conditioned glove compartment and even the then fashionable LCD instrument cluster (available in CD version from 1987 but dropped in 1991). More importantly, the Omega came with a self diagnose system (which is now a standard feature in present-day cars), whose output could be read by appropriately equipped authorised service stations.


All the Omega models used a longitudinally mounted engine with a rear-wheel drive setup, with a five speed manual transmission or four speed automatic transmission. The engine range consisted of 1.8 L, 2.0 L and 2.4 L four cylinder units (as well as 2.0 L, 2.3 L diesel, and 2.3 L turbodiesel) to 2.6 L, 3.0 L, and 3.0 L-24v six cylinder units. The 1.8 L and 2.0 L four cylinder petrol engines were all based on the Family II design, whilst the six cylinder units and the 2.4 L four cylinder were based on the older Opel cam-in-head engine family.

In Brazil, the car was sold as the Chevrolet Omega and powered by 2.0 L I4 (C20NE and C20YE) or 3.0 L I6 (C30NE) Opel engines until 1994. Since the discontinuation of the Omega A in Germany, General Motors do Brasil needed new engines to continue production and the 2.0 L I4 was replaced by 2.2 L I4 engine (C22NE) with 116 PS (85 kW; 114 hp) and 197 N⋅m (145 lb⋅ft). The 3.0 L I6 was replaced by the locally produced 4.1 L (250ci) Chevrolet Straight-6 engine (C41GE) with 168 PS (124 kW; 166 hp) and 285 N⋅m (210 lb⋅ft). As fitted to the Omega, this engine was tuned by Lotus and equipped with multi port fuel injection. The Chevrolet Omega was produced until 1998. [2] [3] [4]

EngineCyl.PowerTorqueNotes [5]
18NV 1.8i 8V I4 83 PS (61 kW; 82 hp)135 N⋅m (100 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–87
18SV 1.8I490 PS (66 kW; 89 hp)148 N⋅m (109 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–87
E18NVR 1.8SI488 PS (65 kW; 87 hp)143 N⋅m (105 lb⋅ft)MY 1987–90
18SEH 1.8iI4115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp)160 N⋅m (118 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–92
C20NEJ 2.0iI499 PS (73 kW; 98 hp)170 N⋅m (125 lb⋅ft)MY 1990–93
C20NEF 2.0iI4101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp)158 N⋅m (117 lb⋅ft)
C20NE 2.0iI4115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp)170 N⋅m (125 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–93
20SE 2.0iI4122 PS (90 kW; 120 hp)175 N⋅m (129 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–87
C24NE 2.4iI4125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp)195 N⋅m (144 lb⋅ft)MY 1988–93
C26NE 2.6i I6 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)220 N⋅m (162 lb⋅ft)MY 1990–93
C30LE 3.0iI6156 PS (115 kW; 154 hp)230 N⋅m (170 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–88
30NE 3.0iI6177 PS (130 kW; 175 hp)240 N⋅m (177 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–90
C30NE 3.0SiI6177 PS (130 kW; 175 hp)240 N⋅m (177 lb⋅ft)MY 1990–93
C30SEJ 3.0i 24VI6200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp)265 N⋅m (195 lb⋅ft)MY 1990–93
C30SE 3000 24VI6204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp)270 N⋅m (199 lb⋅ft)MY 1989–93 (Omega 3000)
C30XEI 3.0 Evo 500I6230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp)280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)MY 1991–1993 (Irmscher for Omega Evo 500)
36NE 3.6i 12VI6200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp)(Irmscher)
C36NE 3.6i 12VI6197 PS (145 kW; 194 hp)(Irmscher)
C36NEI 3.6i 12VI6208 PS (153 kW; 205 hp)(Irmscher)
C40SE 4.0i 24VI6272 PS (200 kW; 268 hp)395 N⋅m (291 lb⋅ft)MY 1991–92 (Irmscher)
C36GET 3.6i 24VI6377 PS (277 kW; 372 hp)557 N⋅m (411 lb⋅ft)MY 1991–92 (Omega Lotus)
EngineCyl.PowerTorqueNotes [5]
23YD 2.3 DI473 PS (54 kW; 72 hp)138 N⋅m (102 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–93
23YDT 2.3 TDI490 PS (66 kW; 89 hp)190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft)MY 1986–88
23DTR 2.3 TDI4101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp)218 N⋅m (161 lb⋅ft)MY 1988–93

Notable trim levels and special variants

The four basic trim levels were LS, GL, GLS and CD (from least to most expensive). The base LS was clearly intended for the fleet market, with the sedan unavailable to individual customers in some markets. The LS Caravan was also available as a panel van with rear side windows covered, with body coloured foil rather than replaced by solid panels.

For the year of 1991, the Omega A was afforded a facelift, which encompassed slight alterations to front and rear fascias, as well as interior materials and additional sound dampening. The until then base 1.8 L engine was dropped. The LS and GLS trim levels were also dropped, while the CD was joined by Club and CD Diamant.

Omega Diamant

This options package was introduced in 1988, and could be added onto the GLS, LS and CD trim version. It included alloy wheels, metallic paint, tinted windows, stereo with cassette player, various leather trim in the interior, as well as a painted grille and door mirrors. It sold well and the package was kept after the facelift and a similar system with the same name was used for the Omega B. [6]

Omega 3000

Opel Omega 3000 (1989) Opel Omega 3000.jpg
Opel Omega 3000 (1989)

The Omega 3000 was the sports version of the Omega A model range. It featured a straight-6, 3.0 litre, twelve valve engine, which produced 177 PS (130 kW). Other modifications from the base model included a lowered suspension and limited slip differential, as well as different fascias and a rear spoiler. The car had a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph), and accelerated from 0–100 km/h in 8.8 seconds. The catalyzed version of the engine originally only had 156 PS (115 kW). The uncatalyzed model was discontinued in August 1988. In countries where the Omega 3000 was sold as a Vauxhall, it was called the Carlton GSi 3000.

In October 1989, the Omega 3000 received an optional new engine with 24 valves, two overhead camshafts, and a variable intake manifold (Opel Dual Ram system). It also used a more advanced engine control unit. Power increased to 204 PS (150 kW), which increased top speed to 240 km/h (149 mph), and 0–100 km/h time dropped to 7.6 seconds. At the same time, output of the catalyzed two-valve version increased to 177 PS (130 kW), the same as the uncatalyzed original.

Omega Evolution 500

Omega Evolution 500 Opel Omega Evolution 500.JPG
Omega Evolution 500

This was a limited series model produced together with Irmscher. It was built so Opel could compete in the DTM. The car had a three-litre straight-6 producing 230 bhp (172 kW; 233 PS). The car accelerated from 0–100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and had a top speed of 249 km/h (155 mph).

The racing version used on the track had 380 bhp (283 kW; 385 PS), accelerated to 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 5 seconds, and could reach nearly 300 km/h (186 mph). It did not, however, achieve great success. [6]

Lotus Omega

Lotus Omega Lotus Omega Nr.460.JPG
Lotus Omega

In 1989, Opel sanctioned a high performance version of the Omega built in cooperation with Lotus. This version was named the Lotus Omega or Lotus Carlton depending on whether the base car was sold as an Opel Omega or Vauxhall Carlton in their respective European markets. The car was built using a variety of parts from other GM suppliers and manufacturers. The engine was based on Opel's standard 3.0 litre 24 valve, which was handed to Lotus to modify.

As a result, engine capacity rose to 3.6 litres; in addition, two Garrett T25 turbochargers were installed along with a water cooled intercooler. The engine management was also modified and the ignition changed to an AC Delco type (same system as the Lotus Esprit uses). The result was a 377 bhp (281 kW; 382 PS) high performance engine.

This Omega also inherited a larger differential from Holden's Commodore with a 45% LSD, whereas the gearbox was a six speed manual ZF gearbox fitted to the Corvette ZR1. The tyres were custom made by Goodyear, and can be recognised by the small Greek letter Ω (Omega) on the side. These were required as this car could reach 280 to 300 km/h (186 mph), which made this Omega the world's fastest production sedan at the time.

This was a controversial fact given that the other major German manufacturers producing high performance cars had been fitting speed limiters to not allow maximum speeds higher than 250 km/h (155 mph). The 1,663 kg (3,666 lb) car accelerated from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.3 seconds, 0–160 km/h (99 mph) in 11.5 seconds. [7] [8]

Omega B1 (1994–1999)

Omega B1
Opel Omega front 20071109.jpg
Also calledVauxhall Omega
Cadillac Catera
ProductionApril 1994–1999
Designer Wayne Cherry
Herbert Killmer
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door notchback saloon
5-door estate
Layout Longitudinal engine FR layout
Platform GM V platform
Related Holden Commodore VT/VX/VY/VZ
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,730 mm (107.5 in)
Length4,790 mm (188.6 in),
4,820 mm (189.8 in) (estate)
Width1,785 mm (70.3 in)
Height1,455 mm (57.3 in),
1,500 mm (59.1 in) (estate)
Curb weight 1,400–1,560 kg (3,090–3,440 lb)

The 1994 Omega B was an all new car with a modern exterior design, but a traditional rear wheel drive chassis. The engine range was all new. Its MV6 model was rebadged and sold in the United States as Cadillac Catera between 1997 and 2001. The Omega B's platform was also modified to form the basis of the Australian third generation Holden Commodore up to 2006, commencing with the 1997 VT series.

This was 1995 Semperit Irish Car of the Year in Ireland, and 1995 RJC Car of the Year for Import Car of the Year in Japan.

Leaked images of a design studio mockup, featuring Opel badges and "D" plates, emerged in Europe in February 1990. The media at the time described the new saloon as coupé like, speculating a release in 1992 or 1993. [9] Meanwhile, the Cadillac Aurora presented by General Motors at the 1990 Chicago Auto Show in February, was the concept car that bore close resemblance to the Omega B's eventual design style. [10]


EngineCyl.PowerTorqueNotes [5]
X20SE 2.0i 8V I4 116 PS (85 kW; 114 hp)172 N⋅m (127 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–99
X20XEV 2.0i 16VI4136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp)185 N⋅m (136 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–99
X25XE 2.5i 24V V6 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp)227 N⋅m (167 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–2000
X30XE 3.0i 24VV6211 PS (155 kW; 208 hp)270 N⋅m (199 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–2000
EngineCyl.PowerTorqueNotes [5]
X20DTH 2.0 DTI 16VI4101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp)205 N⋅m (151 lb⋅ft)MY 1998–2000
U25TD 2.5 TD I6 132 PS (97 kW; 130 hp)250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–2000
X25TD 2.5 TDI6133 PS (98 kW; 131 hp)250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft)MY 1996–2000

Omega B2 (1999–2003)

Omega B2
Opel Omega II 2.2i Facelift front 20100509.jpg
Also calledVauxhall Omega
Cadillac Catera
AssemblyGermany: Rüsselsheim
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door notchback saloon
5-door estate
Engine Petrol
2.0i L X20XEV
2.2i L Y22XE
2.2i L Z22XE
2.5i L X25XE
2.6i L Y26SE
3.0 L X30XE
3.2 L Y32SE
2.0 L DTI X20DTH
2.2 L DTI Y22DTH
2.5 L TD X25DT
2.5 L DTI Y25DT
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,730 mm (107.5 in)
Length4,898 mm (192.8 in)
Width1,776 mm (69.9 in)
Height1,455 mm (57.3 in),
1,540 mm (60.6 in) (estate)
Curb weight 1,530 kg (3,373 lb)

The Omega B2 was launched in autumn 1999 as a facelift of the B. It was distinguished by relatively minor revisions to the front and rear styling, centre console and the introduction of electronic stability program (ESP).

Major changes:


In the end of 1999, the Omega received a facelift and a 2.2 L 16 valve engine was added to the range as an eventual replacement for the 2.0 L.

The following year, a 3.2 L V6 engine replaced the 3.0 L V6 unit, and a 2.6 L V6 engine replaced the 2.5 L V6 unit. Year 2001 brought also brand new diesel 2.5 DTI engine from BMW, with "Common Rail" system.

EngineCyl.PowerTorqueNotes [5]
X20XEV 2.0i 16V I4 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp)185 N⋅m (136 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–1999
Y22XE 2.2i 16VI4145 PS (107 kW; 143 hp)205 N⋅m (151 lb⋅ft)Until MY 2000
Z22XE 2.2i 16VI4145 PS (107 kW; 143 hp)205 N⋅m (151 lb⋅ft)MY 2001–2003
X25XE 2.5 24V V6 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp)227 N⋅m (167 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–2000
Y26SE 2.6 24VV6180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp)240 N⋅m (177 lb⋅ft)MY 2001–2003
X30XE 3.0 24VV6211 PS (155 kW; 208 hp)270 N⋅m (199 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–2000
Y32SE 3.2 24VV6218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp)290 N⋅m (214 lb⋅ft)MY 2001–2003
EngineCyl.PowerTorqueNotes [5]
X20DTH 2.0 DTI 16VI4101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp)205 N⋅m (151 lb⋅ft)MY 1998–2000
Y22DTH 2.2 DTI 16VI4120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp)280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)MY 2000–2003
X25DT 2.5 TD I6 131 PS (96 kW; 129 hp)250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft)MY 1994–2000
Y25DT 2.5 DTII6150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp)300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft)MY 2001–2003

Omega V8 (prototypes)

Omega V8 (prototypes)
Manufacturer Opel
Production1999–2001 (prototypes only)
AssemblyGermany: Rüsselsheim
Engine 5.7 L LS1 V8
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,730 mm (107.5 in)
Length4,898 mm (192.8 in)
Width1,775 mm (69.9 in)
Height1,455 mm (57.3 in),
1,540 mm (60.6 in) (estate)
Curb weight 2,195 kg (4,839 lb)

Opel was aiming to compete with the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, deciding to put the V8 engine into what was at the time, the flagship model Opel Omega. There were prototypes of sedan and station wagon version (equipped with multimedia systems, and named V8.com).

Omega V8.com

The V8.com concept car project was meant to be a "mobile office" it was built on Omega station wagon which was elongated by 130mm, to provide more space for the passengers and additional equipment; containing separate 9.5 inch LCD screens for all passengers, Internet access and integrated video conference mobile phone system with separate cameras and microphones providing passengers hands free operation – hence the name.

The car was also equipped with Xenon headlights, and Advanced Frontlighting System (AFS), automatically adjustable to the road conditions. It was powered by a GM LS1 V8 engine 4wd

The car debuted at Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1999. [11] [12]

Omega V8

Opel was planning to upgrade its flagship Omega model with a powerful GM LS1 V8 engine used in the Chevrolet Corvette. Unlike the V8.com which was a concept car, this model was intended to go into the serial production. The Omega V8 was shown publicly for the first time at the 70th Geneva Motor Show ( 2–12 March 2000). The V8 engined version was to be put on sale autumn 2000 but it was cancelled after 32 pre-series cars had been completed. [13]

The reasons for cancelling production plans were concerns about whether the engine was vollgasfest (German, "Full throttle resistant"). There was fear the engine might overheat and be damaged if driven flat out on the Autobahn for long periods of time. [14] Holden did equip its Commodore (which was a re-engineered Omega for Australian market) with the same engine. A version of this platform was used for the Holden Monaro which was marketed in the United States as the fourth generation Pontiac GTO, and in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Monaro.

Worldwide markets

These Australian sedans are larger in all body dimensions have featured less sophisticated suspension designs, different interior styling and powertrains ranging from a Buick derived 3.8 litre V6 between 1988 and 2004 or 5.0 litre V8 between 1988 and 1999 both manufactured by Holden, to a new 3.6 litre V6 from 2004 also built and exported by Holden and fully imported Chevrolet V8 engines, beginning with a 5.7 litre version in 1999, upgraded to a 260 kW 6.0 litre version in 2006. These vehicles were equally available in New Zealand.

End of the Omega

In the United Kingdom, the Vauxhall Omega proved to be a successful saloon [15] despite being slated in many reviews for heavy depreciation [16] and unreliability. [17] [18] Omegas and Carltons were a regular sight on United Kingdom roads, sporting police livery and as covert traffic surveillance cars. [19] However, just four years after the introduction of its latest incarnation, Omega B2, and seventeen years since introduction of Omega A, production of this model ended without a successor. On 25 June 2003, the last Omega rolled out of the factory in Rüsselsheim – it was a silver 3.2 L V6 Omega B2, number 797,011.[ citation needed ]

Following the demise of its direct rivals, the Ford Scorpio and Rover 800, the former due to its controversial styling, Opel/Vauxhall found themselves competing against BMW's 5 Series, with minimal sales success. Apart from the Australian reengineered Holden Commodore models that carried on until 2006 for the sedan (wagons and utilities until 2007), production of the Omega ended in 2003 with no direct replacement. In Europe, the gap in the range was indirectly filled by more "expensive" versions of the then existing Vectra and Signum. Remaining stocks of the car were sold into 2004.

Stories and photographs of a "new" successor appeared in the motoring press one year later. However, in the case of Auto Express , its October 2004 article simply featured the Holden Torana TT36 concept car, which itself previewed the 2006 Holden Commodore. [20] Nevertheless, Holden contributed in the Omega badge remaining alive by it, for the entry level model of its new Commodore. Unlike prior models since 1978, this new Holden was no longer based on an Omega platform.

As of July 2020, there are only 3297 Vauxhall Omegas and 306 Carltons (including some rebadged Rekords) left on the road in the United Kingdom. [21]

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Opel Insignia Mid-size/large family car manufactured by Opel

The Opel Insignia is a mid-size/large family car engineered and produced by the German car manufacturer Opel, currently in its second generation. Production of the Insignia started in August 2008, replacing the Vectra and Signum. The vehicle is sold under the Vauxhall marque in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Insignia. It has also been sold by Holden in Australia as the Holden Insignia and later as the Holden Commodore, from 2018 onwards. In 2011, the Buick marque in North America launched a derivative version of the Opel Insignia known as the Buick Regal.

Opel Corsa Supermini car manufactured by Opel

The Opel Corsa is a supermini car engineered and produced by the German automobile manufacturer Opel since 1982. It has been sold under a variety of other brands and also spawned various other derivatives.

Opel Rekord Series D Motor vehicle

The Opel Rekord D series is an executive car that replaced the Rekord C on Opel's Rüsselsheim production lines during the closing weeks of 1971 and launched on the West German market at the start of 1972. It shared its wheelbase and inherited most of its engines from its predecessor, but the bodies were completely new. Also new, announced in September 1972, was the option of a diesel powered Opel Rekord. Early advertising and press material called the new car the "Opel Rekord II" but in due course, the "Rekord II" appellation was quietly dropped and the Rekord D was replaced at the end of the 1977 summer holiday shut down by the Opel Rekord E.

Opel Rekord Series E Motor vehicle

The Opel Rekord Series E is an executive car that replaced the Rekord D on Opel's Rüsselsheim production lines in August 1977, following the end of the summer vacation plant shut-down. It shared its wheelbase and inherited most of its engines from its predecessor, but the bodies were completely new.

Opel cam-in-head engine Motor vehicle engine

The Opel cam-in-head engine (CIH) is a family of automobile engines built by former General Motors subsidiary Opel from 1965 until 1998. Both four- and six-cylinder inline configurations were produced. The name derives from the location of the camshaft, which was neither cam-in-block nor a true overhead camshaft. In the CIH engine the camshaft is located in the cylinder head but sits alongside the valves rather than above them. The overhead valves are actuated through very short tappets and rocker arms. The four-cylinder CIH was largely supplanted by the Family II unit as Opel/Vauxhall's core mid-size engine in the 1980s. A four-cylinder version of the CIH remained in limited production until 1998, and six-cylinder versions of the CIH until 1995.


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