Opel Kadett GT / E. Rare and peppery coupe

Opel Kadett GT / E
ER Classics Desktop 2022

In 1973, Opel introduces the C generation of the popular and successful Kadett. The B-model generation may retire, Opel's classic starting point for launching a new model directly with various body variants is, however, continued unabashedly. Opel also maintains the rear-wheel drive of the C-Kadett. One of the models of the 1973 Cadet is the coupe. Two years later, it gets its peppery top version: the GT / E.

In September 1975, Opel will show the GT / E in Frankfurt, which was developed for rally purposes, among other things. As Ascona A, also used in rallies, goes out of production that year, Opel is forced to work on a sporting successor for the rally circuit. It is also an asset for the market for smaller fast family cars, in which Ford, for example, operates with peppery Escort versions. Volkswagen is showing the Golf GTI at the same IAA. It is clear: in those years there was a need for powerful models in the compact middle class.

Sporting extras

The Opel Kadett GT / E is basically the chassis technology of the Kadett C. On the front means independent front suspension with a double cross guide with coil springs. At the rear there is the construction with the panhard rod and a rigid axle. Opel is expanding that basis at the Opel Kadett GT / E with a variety of distinctive (sporting) things. The car gets massive stabilizer bars, Bilstein gas pressure shock absorbers, a black sports interior with a three-spoke steering wheel, a tachometer and other meters. The 5.5 ″ sports rims complete the Opel Kadett GT / E, which can also be supplied in a color scheme other than the yellow / black at the request of the buyer. A close ratio 5 gearbox and a differential lock are available on the performance Kadett. That shows through that rear-wheel drive characteristic in combination with the power a challenging fray.

No half work

Opel also does not make half an effort from the Opel Kadett GT / E. He gets an 1.9 engine (Camshaft In Head) from the Manta GT / E, which is good for 105 DIN-PK, generates a top of 185 kilometers per hour and ensures 0-100 acceleration of 9.8 seconds. To curb the violence, Opel installs larger disc brakes at the front and also larger drum brakes at the rear. The fuel supply is maintained thanks to BOSCH L-Jetronic. The Kadett GT / E is also used as a homologation model for rally group 1. At the end of 1975, the GT / E meets the lower limit of 5.000 produced cars. It does no harm to Opel when it comes to competition.

Meritorious performance in Rally Championship

The Opel Euro Handler team performed well with the Kadett GT / E in the global rally championships (Group 1) of the following years, with a third place in 1977 as the highlight. The Kadett GT / E is an important factor in this. The most famous drivers are Walter Röhrl, Anders Kulläng, Bror Danielsson and Manuel Queirós Pereira. The last three made it to the podium in a few races with the GT / E, while Röhrl was knocking on the door more and more emphatically in those years. In 1975 he already won the Rally of Greece with the Ascona.

GT / E 2, more than the planned 1000 units

In September 1977 the successor of the first GT / E comes into the picture. Again, Frankfurt is the place where a new sporty Kadett is shown to the public. Although the first GT / E was sold 8.660 times (between 1975 and 1977), Opel initially only plans a series of 1000 units from the second GT / E, and that is again for homologation purposes. The GT / E differs optically from the first, among other things because of the front with modified fenders, larger headlights and integrated direction indicators. Furthermore, a yellow-white color scheme is applied to 2 series.

Technical improvements, close ratio 5 container as standard

Opel now provides the Kadett GT / E with the ZF close ratio gearbox with five gears and an 40% limited differential as standard. The biggest change is under the hood: the High Performance 2.0E CIH engine replaces the 1897 cc engine from the first series. The GT / E engine with Bosch L-Jetronic now delivers 115 horsepower at 5600 revolutions per minute. The top speed is 190 kilometers per hour. In addition, the modified GT / E speeds up within 8.5 seconds 0 to 100. The first 1000 produced models (the 1000 series) also receive special forged alloy wheels in the size 6J x 13 and 175 / 70 HR 13 tires. Ultimately, 2.234 GT / E copies of the second series are sold. Today, the copies from the 1000 series are particularly sought after. In any case, today it is a challenge to find an original GT / E, regardless of series.


In September 1977 an old name returns to the Kadett delivery range, which is more or less related to the GT / E, also in terms of equipment. It is the Rallye, and it is promoted in a yellow livery with black accents. It is available in conjunction with the 1.6S carburettor engine or with the “2.0E” fuel injected engine. This is the slightly tamer version compared to the 2.0 EH from the GT / E. The power ratings of the 1.6 and 2.0 are 75 and 110 HP (55 and 81 kW) respectively. Production of the Rallye ended in 1979 after 8.549 units were built. That year is also the last year that the Kadett C is built. From the autumn it will make way for the Kadett D, the first Opel with front-wheel drive.

All images: © GM Company. These days copyright belongs to Opel Automobile GmbH


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  1. beautiful and wonderful car and, I also drove golf gti, but this kadett GT / e was really not inferior and not at all bothered by that crooked steering wheel, too bad that (some) people always have to complain

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