|Opel Kadett E History|
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The Opel Kadett was a compact-sized automobile from the German Opel company, which is part of General Motors European division, offered between 1937 and 1940, then from 1962 to 1990. GM South Africa extended the Opel Kadett name until 1999.
The Kadett E was introduced in 1984, and was voted Car of the Year in 1985, largely due to its advanced aerodynamic body styling. The 1984 model was also developed into a more conventional "three box" design with a boot (trunk), badged as the Vauxhall Belmont in the UK and the Opel Monza in South Africa. A convertible version was also available, for the first time in 1987. For the 1984 model, capacities were raised to 1400, 1800 and a new 2000 cm³ engine, again used on the GSi and Vauxhall Astra GTE. In 1988, a 16-valve twin-cam version was developed for a high performance GSi/GTE model, yielding 156 bhp (115 kW) in manufactured form.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, South African Kadett GSis were nicknamed the Superboss, equipped with a more powerful two-litre engine developing 125 kW, and were successful in touring car competitions in that country.
The Kadett E was introduced in Brazil as the Chevrolet Kadett, but the three-door station wagon was called the Chevrolet Ipanema.
It formed the basis of the Daewoo Le Mans (later known as the Daewoo Cielo, Racer and Nexia) in South Korea, which was sold in the United States as the Pontiac LeMans, and in Canada (initially) as the Passport Optima. The Nexia is still being produced at UzDaewoo plant in Asaka, Uzbekistan. The Cielo is still being produced at a semi-independent (from GM) plant in Craiova, Romania (the license will however expire in fall 2005).