1 Mar 1982
The fourth-generation GJ Sigma ‘Galant’ went to a larger four-door sedan body, although the GJ wagon carried over the old GE-GH body but with the new nose and interior and revised engines.
But by now Australia’s love affair with the Sigma – as well as four-cylinder models as family cars – began to wane, as Ford’s full-sized Falcon took over as Australia’s best-seller for much of the 1980s.
The problem with the Sigma, suddenly, was that it was rear-wheel drive and too derivative of the 1977 GE, just as the medium-sized segment went front-wheel drive with progressive designs like the Holden JB Camira, Ford Telstar and Mazda 626 FWD.
Engines were still ancient Saturn 1.6 (now 66kW and 117Nm), ageing Astron 2.0 (70kW and 152Nm) and hoary 2.6 (now 76kW and 192Nm). Five-speed manuals were frequent, four-speed manual was still the standard gearbox while the auto remained a three-speeder device.
‘Sigma’ was the base stripped out model, followed by XL, GL, evergreen SE and new sporty GSR, with attractive alloy wheels and blackened trim, while an even more salubrious Super Saloon model was introduced. There was no official turbo version for the GJ.