The Opel Omega was an executive car produced by the German automaker Opel between 1986 and 2003. Replacing the Opel Rekord, it was voted European Car of the Year for 1987. Like the Rekord, the Omega was produced at Rüsselsheim in Germany. There were two generations of the model, the latter (Omega B) debuted in 1993. The Omega was available as saloon or estate (Caravan).
In the United Kingdom, the Omega A was marketed as the second generation Vauxhall Carlton (the first generation Vauxhall Carlton having been a rebadged Opel Rekord) E2, and the Omega B generation as Vauxhall Omega. The Omega was also built and sold in Brazil badged as a Chevrolet Omega and Suprema (Caravan), but this name is now used for imported Holden Commodores. A badge engineered version of the Omega B MV6 was also sold in North America under the name of Cadillac Catera.
In the United Kingdom, the Benelux countries, Germany and Italy, the Omega was widely used as a police car and was once commonly used as a security vehicle to transport politicians etc. Following the cessation of production in 2003, the closest Vauxhall equivalent now used by police forces is the Opel Vectra. The car has also been converted into limousines and hearses.
Production of the Omega ceased in 2003. There was no direct replacement for it, as executive models from "non-prestige" manufacturers were proving less popular by the early 2000s; rival manufacturer Ford had pulled out of this sector in 1998 on the demise of its Scorpio.
The Omega A was available in saloon and estate (Caravan) bodystyles as a competitor for the likes of the Ford Scorpio and Rover 800. Like the late Rekord, the Omega A adopted the Vauxhall Carlton nameplate for the British market. The Rekord-based Opel Senator A was also superseded by the Senator B, based on a similar concept - a stretched Omega platform and body along with some unique sheetmetal modifications.
The four basic trim levels were LS, GL, GLS and CD (from least to most expensive). The base LS was clearly intended for the fleet market, with the sedan not available to individual customers in some markets. The LS Caravan was also available as a panel van with rear side windows covered with body-colored foil rather than replaced by solid panels.
For the 1991 year, the Omega A was afforded a facelift, which encompassed slight alterations to front and rear fascias, as well as interior materials and additional sound dampening. The until-then base 1.8 L engine was dropped. The LS and GLS trim levels were also dropped, while the CD was joined by Club and CD Diamant.
In 1989, the Omega 3000 was upgraded. The engine now had 24 valves, two overhead camshafts, and a variable intake manifold (Opel Dual Ram system). It also used a more advanced engine control unit. Power increased to 204 bhp, which increased top speed to 240 km/h, and 0-100 km/h time dropped to 7.6 seconds.
In countries where the car was sold as a Vauxhall, the 3000 was called the Carlton GSi.
This options package was introduced in 1988 and could be added onto the GLS, LS and CD trim version. It included alloy wheels, metallic paint, tinted windows, stereo with cassette player, various leather trim in the interior, as well as a painted grille and door mirrors. It sold well and the package was kept after the facelift and a similar system with the same name was used for the Omega B.
This was limited series model produced together with Irmscher. It was built so Opel could compete in the DTM. The car had a 3 litre straight-6 producing 230 BHP. The car accelerated from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and had a top speed of 249 km/h. The racing version used on the track had 380 BHP, accelerated to 100 km/h in about 5 seconds, and could reach nearly 300 km/h. It did not achieve great success however.
Four cylinder engines were:
X20SE 2.0 L petrol 8V with
X20XEV 2.0 L petrol 16V with (replaced in 1999 by Y22XE 2.2 L 16V with )
X20DTH 2.0 L turbodiesel with (replaced in 2000 by Y22DTH 2.2 L turbodiesel with 1)
Six cylinder engines were:
X25XE 2.5 L V6 with (replaced in 2000 by Y26XE 2.6 L V6 with )
X30XE 3.0 L V6 with (replaced in 2001 with Y32SE 3.2 L V6 with )
X25TD 2.5 L straight six with (replaced in 2001 by Y25DT 2.5 L I6 with )
The BMW-sourced X25TD turbodiesel was refined and gave acceptable performance and the V6 power plants were a far better bet than the acceptable, but slightly underpowered 4-cylinder engines. But after re-mapping Y25DT owners easly can make and above of tourque from this diesel engine from Munich.
The top of the range Omega, with the 3.0 L V6, was the most expensive Vauxhall/Opel on the market at £30,000. Transmission options were a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic (AR35) GM 4L30-E transmission.
From 1997 to 2001, the top 3.0L saloon was sold in the US as a captive import badged as the Cadillac Catera. This version of car featured a re-styled interior, modified damper ratings and external trim, in addition, the 3.0 power plant was modifed to reduce the compression ratio and a different ECU setup used which supported OBDII ISO protocols and coil per plug ignition system. The engine changes resulted in a loss of around from the unit.
The Omega platform was also heavily modified and enlarged as the basis of the Australian Holden Commodore (VT-VX) and Monaro.
Late in 1999, the Omega received a facelift and a 2.2 L 16-valve engine was added to the range as an eventual replacement for the 2.0 L. The following year, a 3.2 L V6 engine replaced the 3.0 L V6 unit, and a 2.6 L V6 engine replaced the 2.5 L V6 unit.
A V8 engined version was to be introduced in 2001 labeled the V8.com but was cancelled weeks before the official introduction. The reason was concerns about whether the engine was vollgasfest (German, "Full throttle resistant") - the engine might overheat and be damaged if driven flat out on the Autobahn for long periods of time. The power plant used was the quad over head cam GM USA Northstar V8.
The V6 engine is prone to cambelt failure, the initial service interval for toothed belt replacement was revised down to early in the model's life. Due to the fact that the engine is an interference design, failure of this component can result in serious engine damage.
Photographs of a new Vauxhall/Opel executive car appeared in the motoring press a year after the Omega's demise but the concept has been merged into the Vectra replacement, Insignia.