During the second half of 1980s, the work of the German based General Motors styling studio was some of the best in the world. After the advanced Astra and slickly aerodynamics Carlton, the Cavalier range arrived in 1988 to widespread praise. This was as much for the excellent detailed industrial design as for its efficient and extremely tidy overall shape. Even so, few excited the next big surprise, a two door coupe based on the Cavalier chassis. The stunning Calibra was a serious wake up call for the mass market motor industry. In base model, 2.0 liter, 8 valve form, the Calibra recorded a Cd figure of just 0.26, making it the most aerodynamics car on sale, an extraordinary achievement, when it was based on the running gear of an ordinary family hatch back, and one of that was exemplary in its space utilization. Overseen by design boss Wayne Cherry, the Calibra project was completed quickly. According to GM designers who worked on the car, the speed at which it went into production was the real reason why those in the design department managed to preserve the radical styling, which was rarely the case with mainstream car design of the late 1980s.
The Calibra range included two four wheel drive models. One was powered by the well regarded 16 valve engine and another by a turbocharged engine, good for over 200 bhp. The Calibra was never a great car to drive, even if was very quick in Turbo from. Try as it did, it was never convincing in any of the department that make for a pleasurable drive. It was, though, probably one of the best styled mass produced cars ever seen.