Opel Kadett C City
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
The Opel Kadett City
As good as the Opel Kadett was, unfortunately the City version was rather forgettable. It tried to be all things to all people, and in doing so was over-compromised. Too cramped to be a serious four-seater, too rakish to carry practical loads and too sluggish to be truly sporting, the best the City could ever hope for was to corner the youth market seeking a stylish hatchback runabout with good economy.
Introduced in May 1975 as competitor to the Volkswagen Golf, the City was a three door hatchback model with a large load space for such a small car. The City's engineering was predictably conventional - the front-mounted, four-cylinder three-bearing Kadett unit drove the rear wheels through a four speed gearbox.
Suspension, too, was very straight-forward with a coil-spring/wishbone anti-roll bar
set up at the front and a live axle with two link/Panhard rod location with anti-roll bar
at the rear. In practice the system was set up for good handling
rather than a comfortable ride, which was wise in view of the simple rear suspension
really was the City's long suit; the steering
was light but had bags of feel and razor-sharp response. Throw the City into a bend and it tracked through with barely perceptible roll and just a trace of understeer. Roadholding was outstanding in the dry and although it diminished in the wet, any breakaway remained predictable thanks to the City's excellent handling.
It was such a pity the performance didn't enable the driver to exploit these qualities more fully; the chassis could take a lot more power than the little 1196cc unit's 60 bhp. Interior treatment was a characteristically sober synthesis of smooth plastic mouldings and clean details. The instruments contained only the bare essentials but was a paragon of efficient design and Teutonic understatement.
The Kadett City was a likeable car; it was fun to drive and had the versatility of a hatch back, but even in Europe where distance is not such a big issue, most did not take it too seriously as a long-haul workhorse. It was 30 centimeters shorter than the rest of the Kadett C models
. Because of this the car would be much more practical in the large cities.
At the end of 1977
early 1978 the Kadett C City was still on sale in C1 version even though the C2 version (indicators beside headlamps) had been released in August 1977.
Opel Kadett City Quick Specifications:
79mm (3.11 in) bore x 61 mm (2.40 in) stroke 1196cc (76cu in). Maximum power (DIN) 60 bhp at 5400 rpm; maximum torque (DIN) 651b ft at 2600-3400 rpm; cast-iron cylinder block and head. Compression ratio 9:1.3 main bearings. 2 valves
per cylinder operated via push rods and rockers by a single side-mounted camshaft.
Single-dry-plate clutch and four-speed manual gearbox. Ratios 1 st 3.73, 2nd 2.24, 3rd 1.43, 4th 1, rev 3.9. Hypoid-bevel final drive 4.1 :1.
Front-independent by wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar
, telescopic dampers. Rear-live axle (torque tube), longitudinal trailing radius arms, coil spring, transverse linkage, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
Rack and pinion. Turns from lock to lock 3.75.
Front discs, rear drums. Servo assisted. Wheels 5 in x 13.
175SR x 13.
2 door, 4 seats. Integral.
Dimensions and weight:
Wheelbase 94.1 in; track-front 51.2in, rear-51.2 in; length 154.4 in; width 62.2 in; height 54.3 in; .ground clearance 5.9 in; dry weight 17861b; turning circle 32.6 ft: fuel tank capacity 9.5 gal.
Maximum speed 88 mph; acceleration 0-60 mph 17.6 secs; fuel consumption approx 35 mpg.