|Kadett 200t S/ Astra 200t S|
by Deon Venter (Opel Zone):
The Kadett / Astra 200ts was developed in conjunction with Adam Opel AG, with some of their engineers here to oversee the development phase. The drivetrain was taken from the Calibra turbo and shoehorned into the Kadett and Astra nose. Although the Calibra is a 4-wheel drive car, the local model was frontwheel driven. Local development of the drive system was done. The Kadett and Astra 200ts (turbo 6 speed) models were initially launched during 1994, but were withdrawn shortly afterwards. The car apparently suffered heating problems.
An interesting note from the consumer's point of view was the fact that a test drive was almost out of the question as dealers wanted to see a solid deal first. The salespeople mainly gave the enormous power of 160kw for the car as an excuse as they might suffer at the hands of inexperienced drivers. The buy also included a free driver training course. Interestingly Delta all so offered the driving course for buyers of the previous generation Superboss.
It rejoined in 1995 for the year. I think both the 200is and 200ts models received the larger aluminium radiator. The turbo Kadett was the car most Opel drivers at the time aspired to, but it proved to be quite expensive. List prices at the time was very close to the Golf VR6, which many people rated as a bechmark in this class. The 200ts proved them wrong. The VR6's only virtue is the longer model lifecycle.
The 200ts proved to be a fragile car as the gearbox is prone to a 6th gear breakage when was constantly driven hard. Rumour has it that these gearboxes are quite scarce and expensive nowadays. Care has to be taken when looking for used version of the ultimate Kadett and Astra, because of their performance credentials. At all speed events these cars prove to be extremely fast. With a little modification speeds up to 250 km/h is possible. Incidentally the standard car easily sees off the M3 over the quatermile.
This is only one of the real performance Opels we enjoyed in this country over the past decade.
Owning the Kadett 200ts: Mark Jones (December 98)
I have a late 95 model and thank goodness by then most of the bugs from the initial car had been ironed out. The later model has full leather and the over heating problem has been sorted out, my car does not go over 1/4 on the temp. gauge even if I am driving like a loony. I believe the biggest reason the car in general was refined from 160 kW to 150 kW and then eventually stopped was because it was not allowed to compete in Group N where it would have gone up against the M3. Delta saw no reason in continuing in building a high maintenance car that would give them no advertising mileage on the race track ( BMW withdrew their M3 from Group N because they saw no reason in running a car without competition ).
The Ts will give you many miles of trouble free pleasure, provided it is properly maintained. I change oil (Castrol fully synthetic), filter and plugs every 5000 km and then still have the car serviced at the agents at the recommended 15000 km intervals. I also run the car on the dyna every couple of months, just to make sure everything is in order. Another little thing I do religiously is whenever I drive the car I allow it to idle for at least 30 seconds before switching it off.
One of the biggest problems with the Ts is not the car itself but the people who butcher them. I have spoken directly to one of the fundis at Bosch , the Ts as it comes out the factory is pretty much on the limit when it comes to set-up. The car runs 0,7 bar boost with a 9:1 compression ratio, which they reckon is just about as good as you will get on pump fuel. The standard car should run all day without breaking, it is only when you chip or modify the car and start loading the components more than you should, that's when gearboxes and motors start breaking .
A modified Ts is a good weekend car , that is capable of seeing off almost any other car. Sure you will blow that M3 into the reeds initially and maybe even after the M3 hits limiter but the M3 will run all day on the limiter and I have yet to see a modified (increased boost) Ts run for 20 km`s flat out. The bottom line is, out the factory the Ts is fast and reliable, modify it and it will break.
As an everyday car the Ts is the most rewarding Opel I have ever owned (previous Opels, 87 1,8 Gsi, 89 2,0 Gsi , 91 Superboss, 94 160is). You can trundle along at idle or fly along at pace it makes no difference. Fuel consumption is directly linked to your right foot, my first auto card is currently on a 10,8 km / litre average, not bad considering that when you run top end you get about 7 km / litre. Handling is superb provided the road is dry and smooth but even on a good road the limited slip diff can be quite vicious.
The level of grip is amazing but because of this, if it lets go you will be far beyond bringing it back. Braking is also out of the top draw mainly because of the ABS but it does tend to go through disks and pads rather quickly. A tip to improve the feel of the car and blunt some of its unpredictability is fit a set of coil springs and a set of 17" mags and tyres, the difference is chalk and cheese.
The main reason I will not part with my Ts for love or money is because I have the best of both worlds, one moment I have a mild, torquey and conservative road car and the next a wild, turbo charged race car.