Opel Ascona (1975 – 1981) Review

Opel Ascona (1975 – 1981) At A Glance


+Smart and somehow classier than the equivalent Vauxhall, excellent to drive, quick in 2.0-litre form

-Rust, rarity

The Opel Ascona B was launched at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show, and was designed to fight the Ford Taunus (Cortina) head-to-head, and did so by offering a similar package, but to a higher level of quality. Unlike the Ascona A, the B was available as a saloon only - there was no estate version. As before, the Ascona came in 1.2-, 1.6- and 1.9-litre form, although the smallest version never made it to the UK.

But the Ascona was sold alongside its Anglicised counterpart, the Vauxhall Cavalier, effectively as a rival albeit at a premium price. In 1978, the 1.9-litre version was replaced by a 2.0-litre 100bhp version, and that gave the range-topping Ascona a 110mph maximum speed and 0-60mph time of 10.0 seconds. Replaced by the front-wheel drive Ascona C in August 1981, at which point, the range ceased to be sold in the UK. A quality saloon that was admired more than loved by enthusiasts, although with rear-wheel drive, the Ascona has picked up a young following, especially in Germany.