The Opel Calibra is a coupé, which was engineered and produced by the German automaker Opel between 1989 and 1997, but sold until 1999 in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Calibra by Vauxhall. It was also marketed as the Chevrolet Calibra in South America by Chevrolet, and the Holden Calibra in Australia and New Zealand by Holden.
The Calibra was introduced to counter the Japanese sports coupés, of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It employs the running gear of the first generation Opel Vectra, which had been launched in 1988. Calibra production was based in the Opel factory in Rüsselsheim, Germany, and the Valmet Automotive factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland, where production was consolidated in November 1995.
The Calibra was initially only available with front-wheel drive, but from November 1990, four-wheel-drive became available.
The Opel Calibra was styled by GM's designer Wayne Cherry, and German designer Erhard Schnell. As a front-wheel drive 3 door hatchback coupé based on the Vectra A chassis, its ride and handling are not significantly better than that of the large family car from which it grew. Though it had a stiffer chassis as a whole (better torsional rigidity in NM/Deg). The 4WD turbo version of the car, which had independent rear suspension, featured the rear axle of the Opel Omega A with some minor alterations to it.
When launched on 10 June 1989, the Calibra was the most aerodynamic production car in the world, with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26. It remained the most aerodynamic mass production car for the next ten years, until the Honda Insight, along with the Audi A2, were launched both in 1999, with a Cd of 0.25. All later 16V, V6, 4x4 and turbo models had a worse Cd of 0.29, due to changes in cooling system, underbody, use of spoked wheels and glass detail.