dates : 4th September 2005
10th September 2005
model names for the Tigra give clues to the carís intended
purpose. This is a light-hearted two-seater, with no
aspirations towards the hairy-chested end of the sports car
"Enjoy" is an expression that has become
synonymous with chilling out and letting life take its
As for "Sport", in an automotive context,
this has come to mean fun, rather than a serious competitive
Those big taillights have an obvious safety benefit, and
they harmonise with the rest of the Tigra styling.
As for the luggage area, itís a class-leading 440 litres
Ė 250 litres with the top down Ė and the boot operation
is remote from the cockpit Ė which is unnecessarily
complicated in our view.
The cabin is neat and crisp with trade-mark Opel styling
augmented by a sharp instrument pod and metal trim panels on
the drop-down console, and ahead of the gear lever.
The car offers a pleasing mix of light-heartedness and
affordable quality, both inside and out.
The vertical folding of the rear section of the steel roof
is an excellent piece of design that liberates all that
luggage space with the top down. The folding operation is
quick and commendably free of the "shikka-shikka-groink-clunk"
The short stubby nature of the Tigra Ė itís less than
four-metres long Ė makes it a nimble device in traffic and
out in the country where you can exploit the carís sporty
Despite a short wheelbase, it has notable suspension
The big test of a topless car is in the area of chassis
rigidity when the topís down. So-called skuttle shake or
body flex is at a minimum, thanks in part to a heavy
windscreen frame. But, that sloping screen is a bit
intrusive for taller drivers.
The suspension is classic low-cost McPherson strut at the
front, and torsion beam at the rear. Yet itís equipped
with ESP to make it admirably manageable when cornering
With such a competent chassis, the question arises as to
whether the Tigra deserves more power. Our 1,8 litre Sport
test model is the top engine option at the moment, and
performance is adequate rather than inspiring.
That Ecotec logo indicates the design priorities of
the engine, which are economy and low emissions, rather than
outright punch. The power and torque outputs are merely
middle of the road.
But weíre pleased to note that, like Opel engines of the
past, thereís a certain zest in the way it spins up to the
The wheel and tyre sizes are 205 by 16 with 50 series
profiles. Grip is not quite in the Z4 league, but the
relatively modest sizings add to the carís responsiveness
in the twisties.
The transmission is a five-speeder rather than the more
fashionable six-speed Ďbox. But for the kind of speeds
that are comfortable with the top down, once again this
seems like a sensible choice for the Tigra.
Overall, itís a relaxed ride with an edge of crispness
that adds up to a satisfying driverís package.
Opel Tigra Twin Top 1,8 Sport
Four-cylinder petrol 1 796 cc
- Power: 92 kW @ 5
- Torque: 170 Nm @
3 800 rpm
Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h 9,4
- Top speed: 204
- Fuel consumption:
7,7 litres/100 km (Manufacturerís claimed figures)
- Price: R233 880
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