• Home
  • antique-car
  • Opel Kadett C GT-E and VW Golf I GTI: Hatch me if you can

Opel Kadett C GT-E and VW Golf I GTI: Hatch me if you can

Mutschler, Hardy
Opel Kadett C GT-E and VW Golf I GTI
Subscriptions & booklets

No, there is no such thing as a great deal of reconciliation. The two no longer become friends. For three decades, every traffic light duel, every Wörther See meeting and every Opel gang pageant meeting has deepened the rift between GT /E and GTI. So you can get the idea out of your head to like both of them. That will not do. That would be like drinking like Pepsi and Coke, cheering on both teams at the soccer World Cup final between Germany and Holland or feeling like a part of rockers and popper in the 80s. GT /E and GTI are already technically irreconcilable. While the Golf with its transversely installed engine and front-wheel drive points to the more uniform future, the Kadett C was still anchored in the 1960s with its longitudinally mounted engine and rear-wheel drive.

The Opel Kadett C GT /E and VW Golf I GTI

The strengths of one are the weaknesses of the other. But the Golf and the Kadett justify the class of Hot Hatches - the fast, affordable compact cars. Because they have each other as enemies and push each other to perform at their best, they never have to worry about other competitors. In the fight for the title of the Hottest Hatch, others are only allowed to watch, the victory between the Opel Kadett C GT /E and VW Golf I GTI. Both made their debut in autumn 1975. Opel had the GT /E ready at the start of the Kadett C series, but hesitated to start production of the top model because of the oil crisis. For the same reason, it takes a long time for the GTI to start at Volkswagen. In 1975 he is at the IAA. Two years earlier, BMW had been hit on the nose there because of the aggressive Turbo lettering on 2002. Now the VW board does not dare to hope to be able to sell more than 5,000 Gran Turismo Injection units. The fact that the GTI even exists is due to the initiative of some VW engineers, who secretly stuff the 110 hp engine from the Audi 80 GLE turned 90 degrees into the short engine compartment of the Golf.

A 1.9-liter engine for the Kadett Coupé

But because the management board is grumbling and nagging, it will be autumn 1976 until the first customers use their GTI on motorways, country roads and in freshly furrowed areas Being able to experience fields. The owners of the former GT /E have all this behind them. A certain tendency towards unpaved ground lies in the determination of the Kadett anyway. The sports coupe should be the Ascona asReplace rally base vehicle. It succeeds with such resounding success that there is hardly a GT /E left today that did not suffer a few serious body fractures on tree trunks in its youth. In the GT /E, the Kadett Coupé initially gets the 1.9-liter engine from the Manta, plus the Bosch L-Jetronic. It breathes 15 more hp into the 90 hp engine. But that's no longer enough when the Golf GTI is launched. Opel reacts to the 1978 model year - the C-Kadett is being revised anyway.

But Opel gets a little confused, now calls the homologation model for rallying GT /E, while the production car is called Opel Rallye E. Our photo GT /E with the subtle yellow-black paint comes from the one that was initially limited to 1000 copies Homologation series. With 115 hp, it delivers 5 hp more than the Rallye E, is also 20 millimeters lower, has a five-speed sports transmission from ZF, a rear axle differential with lock and a reinforced stabilizer on the rear axle as standard. In contrast to the GT /E, the GTI has a cautiously sporty dress - inside with the golf ball gear lever and checkered Recaro seats. Mounted high, they allow a sovereign panoramic view of the extremely clear golf body.

The VW also remains simple on the outside. Cover narrow fender flares - as with the GT /E - 175 13-inch model. There is also the radiator grille with a red border and black VW emblem, the two rally stripes on the flank and the black rear window frame. Even as a GTI, the Golf has not gone wild, but above all is still a Golf. The GT /E, on the other hand, is completely different, coarser than its weaker brothers. He trains his driver strictly, gives him nothing, lets him earn everything himself.

Opel superior to the Golf

Inside the Opel is sparsely furnished. Tight bucket seats claw the driver's back. The pedals that protrude far inward push the legs backwards and force a posture that young people have falsely believed since the 1970s to look very sporty and not quite stupid - with outstretched arms on the small steering wheel. This also damages the clarity. The rear of the Kadett's coupé body, which is flowing in comparison to the Golf, crouches out of sight of the driver. On the other hand, the GT /E can be assessed in a barrier-free manner via the fender edges and the crease in the bonnet. The engine can be briefly asked by the starter, then falls into a robust idle.

When your oil is cold, the short translated five-speed box denies the existence of a reverse gear and also refuses to cooperate when engaging the forward steps - unlike the precise four-speed gearbox in the Rally E. After all, the pulling power of the saves Two-liter some gear changes. The Kadett undeniably deserves the E for injection, while the GT is for Gran Turismoit takes a lot of goodwill. Because a long journey in the GT /E does not seem to be desirable. The suspension struts respond to bumps as sensitively as table legs. There is also an extensive repertoire of sounds. So that the engine does not drown in the noise of the gearbox and drive, there is no sound insulation under the hood to hinder the rampage of the two-liter.

The clearly oversteer fixated Kadett teaches countersteering - especially on slippery surfaces: Then he almost always hangs his rigid-axle rear end to the outside, but can be caught again with a little practice with the precise and, compared to the GTI, smooth steering . The Kadett is by no means lacking in traction - the differential lock ensures that. Theoretically, the Opel is superior to the Golf in all driving performance - accelerates faster, pulls better, manages a speed of 190 instead of 185. But driving fast in the GTI takes much less effort. Its starter jerks once, then there is a brief silence until the 1.6-liter startles. After a few minutes his nervous idle calmed down.

Soon after, the engine is warm and ready to turn. Because he has to, otherwise he won't keep up with the powerful GT /E. Up to 3000 tours it runs smoothly, then the machine shimmy a bit tough on its torque tip at 5000 tours. But there the GTI grabs the second greed, and it storms towards the red mark at six-five. The four-speed gearbox with a short ratio prevents excessive speed jumps, and lets the engine turn at 4,000 rpm at 120 km /h. In combination with the exhaust gurgling and the surging airstream, this ensures that the GTI does not pass as a quiet car.

But the racket remains bearable, which is why you can still talk about it as sporty. Unlike the Kadett, the Golf does not trade its balance for its dynamism. In quick bends, in which the Opel would throw itself into the green side with roar and tail ahead, the Golf stretches the inside rear wheel a little higher.

Filterless driving experience

But he does it secretly without his driver noticing anything. What drives the rear end is not of great concern with the GTI, at least on a dry track. There is so much grip on the front axle that it just depends on balancing the front around the curve against the resistance of massive steering forces. The slight backside then slaps afterwards. The more peaceful behavior does not reduce the fun, but increases the trust in the GTI, which does not ask stupid questions, but implements every command immediately and without reflection. Much more than the performance, which is not that high with 110 hp, is its lightness. Its more compact dimensions alone make it appear more fixed than the longer, heavier and more disruptive GT /E. Today as wellGolf GTI and Kadett C GT /E are still fast cars.

Even if not on the autobahn - the herd of TDI drivers rolls over them, shooting across the highway in fully turned sixth gear, but with their brains in neutral. On winding country lanes, however, modern compacts hardly have twice the power to follow the two hot hatches. How the GT /E swings its backside, how the GTI plunges from curve to curve: Nobody can match this filterless driving experience - not even any of the GTI /GT /E successors. In the C generation, the GT /E can still be the rebel of the Kadett family and behave as it suits it. That doesn't make it a generally acceptable car, but an equal opponent of the GTI. The Kadett D later tries to imitate the VW. As the first front-wheel drive Opel, it was to beat the Golf with its own weapons from 1980 - and failed. It distinguishes the C-Kadett to be nastier, more difficult and just completely different than the Golf.

Of course this is superior to it in terms of everyday suitability. But what kind of word is that anyway - suitability for everyday use? That doesn't rock. Anyone who says something like this also speaks of 'petting' instead of 'fumbling'. The GTI rebels against it well-behaved and retains the conservative values ​​typical of Golf. If he were a teenager, the GTI would climb over the outdoor pool fence with his friends to take a nude bath in the summer, but would not abuse older women, and he would also stop surfing the S-Bahn. But as different as they are, and as little as they may suffer from each other - the uncouth Kadett C GT /E and the somewhat nerdy Golf GTI - they need each other. As enemies for life.


Leave a reply

Name *