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Car reviews - Holden - Calibra - 2-dr hatch


25 Jul 2003

WHEN Opel in Germany displayed the Calibra at a late 1980s European motor show, it caused a sensation, with its extreme aerodynamics coupled with breathtakingly beautiful lines - the work of now-retired General Motors designer Wayne Cherry. The Calibra was too-good an opportunity for Holden not to import it, but by the time it arrived locally in October 1991 the worldwide recession was well-and-truly affecting sales of sports and luxury cars in particular. The swoopy Holden found it hard to find buyers, despite it offering considerable space, comfort and practicality advantages over its Toyota Celica, Honda Prelude and Nissan NX rivals. Keen drivers, however, are likely to be disappointed in the Calibra's vague steering, uninspiring handling, firm ride and awful gearchange - the upshot of its second-generation GM J-car (Camira) underpinnings. By the mid-'90s the range rose to include a V6, turbo and all-wheel drive variants, but the personal coupe market is a fickle thing and nobody much seemed interested anymore, least of all Holden, who withdrew the Calibra from sale here quietly during 1998.
Model release date: 1 October 1991 to 1 July 1995

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