VAUXHALL V83 - 


CARLTON MK2

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OVERVIEW:

The Carlton MK1 was not a big sales success largely due to the fact it was only available as a Saloon & Estate in one trim level with one engine, unlike the Rekord which was offered with a choice of engines & trim but was a sales flop, largely because it was badged as an Opel. This was a major marketing blunder by GM and the Carlton could have been a much bigger seller. This situation changed in September 1982 when Vauxhall announced a heavily revised Carlton MK2, this time the car would be sold in a multitude of different variations and there would be no duplication with Opel as the German brand was finally being phased out in the UK. In continental Europe the same car was sold as the Opel Rekord E2.

Design wise the new Carlton MK2 was largely an extensive facelift of the MK1. Vauxhall’s Design activities were now merged with Opel in the GM Europe Design Centre in Russelsheim and headed up by Gordon Brown. Gordon sadly died in a flying accident in 1983 and was replaced by Vauxhall’s Design Director Wayne Cherry. The main aims for the Carton MK2 were to improve economy, with both better aerodynamics and some new engines & gearboxes, improved interiors with a new dashboard and sleeker more modern exterior with very attractive alloy wheels, or full wheel covers for the more basic versions. Equipment levels were increased, power steering was standard on all models, whilst pricing was extremely competitive. The slow selling Vauxhall Viceroy was phased out at the same time of the Carlton MK2 launch, and as before the Carlton MK2 was only offered in the UK with two body styles, a 4 door Saloon and 5 door Estate.

DESIGN & ENGINEERING


CHANGES:

Much of the body design changes to the Carlton were as a result of many hours spent by GM Engineers in the Pininfarina wind tunnel in Grugliasco near Turin. Any measures to lower fuel consumption, especially after the second energy crisis towards the end of the 1970s, was useful and became a major selling point for the Carlton MK2.

The smoothed out body and the slightly raised boot provided an improved drag coefficient of 0.36 which for the time

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A VAUXHALL RHD CARLTON MK2 PROTOTYPE IN THE PININFARINA WIND TUNNEL

was excellent especially for a car whose basic design was nearly 6 years old at the time. In addition to a significantly reduced fuel consumption resulted in improved high speed performance, as well as an enlarged luggage compartment, up by 10litres giving a total 490litres using the VDA measuring system. The chart shows how the Carlton MK2 compared to its main competitors, although the new Audi 100 introduced in the summer of 1982, leapt to the top of class with a drag coefficient of 0.30. It would not be until the introduction of the Carlton MK3 that this would be matched by Vauxhall.

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 VS COMPETITION

Compared to its predecessor, the fuel consumption of the old 20S engine was improved by 7% while the new 18S engine offered similar performance but up to 25% better fuel economy. The 2.3D was offered for the first time in a Vauxhall passenger car, although it had been used in the Bedford CF Van for several years. A 5 speed gearbox was standard on all petrol models with a wide ratio 4 speed for the 2.3D models. The optional GM THM180C 3 speed automatic transmission now featured a lock up torque converter which

activated at speed above 37mph and in effect gave the car an extra gear. The optional sunroof was also revised and equipped with a built-in air deflector. The rear-view mirror was glued to the windscreen by means of an adhesive foot which significantly reduced vibration. The fuse box was modified and used the modern standard blade type fuses which compared to the previously used torpedo fuses the use of transition resistors could be minimized. In addition, it became possible to accommodate more fuses in the fuse box and thus could incorporate less secure features which reduced the interference of the electrical system. The light switch, glove box and cigarette lighter were now illuminated on all models. The multi-function switch for indicators, wipers & dim dip lights was redesigned and made larger and more durable and easier to use.

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THE CARLTON MK2 OPTIONAL STEEL SLIDING SUNROOF

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 FUSE BOX

The central locking system, standard on GL models, was revised. A crash sensor unlocked all the doors in an accident, in addition the central locking system could also be operated from the passenger side.

Electric Windows, standard on GL models were also revised with an interlock switch for the two rear windows for parental control as with the Senator, the overload protection was improved through a new relay with thermal protector.

Increasing environmental legislation, as well as the fading appeal of chrome bumpers, meant that the front & rear bumpers were now large plastic mouldings which were more resistant to small

knocks as well as being lighter and cheaper to manufacture. Passive safety was improved with the safety belt buckles were fixed directly on the front seat rail and not as previously attached to the center tunnel. This meant optimal belt routing in the pelvic area could be achieved with each seat adjustment, a side benefit was improved accessibility of the belt buckle. The front seats were completely redesigned with a

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THE VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 MOULDED PLASTIC BUMPERS

built-in ramp, which prevented the "through" diving  under the lap belt and reduced the risk of severe internal injuries in the abdomen. The dashboard was also completely new for the car and included space for the new features that were either standard or optional on the car depending on model.

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THE BASIC VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 STANDARD DASHBOARD

TRIM LEVELS


At launch the range consisted of a very well equipped base Carlton in Saloon or Estate with the option of 1.8, 2.0 or 2.3D engines and an even higher specified GL version with the same body and engine options. In July 1983 a fully loaded CD model was added to the range and included a 2.2i engine which became an option on the GL versions. Standard on the CD and optional on the GL was Vauxhalls first on board computer with 7 functions:

  • Time
  • Current consumption
  • Average fuel consumption
  • Average speed
  • Stopwatch
  • Outside temperature
  • Range of the tank contents


Due to the high cost as an option it was rarely ordered and was not available on the 2.3D.

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CARLTON MK2 CD TRIP COMPUTER

ENGINES

 

At launch the Carlton MK2 was offered with the 2.0 CIH (20S) engine from the previous model and a far more modern 1.8 OHC (18S) which would also feature in the Astra MK1 and Cavalier MK2.This new engine had a 5 bearing crankshaft with 8 counterweights, an alloy cross-flow cylinder head with a belt driven overhead camshaft with hydraulic tappet adjustment. Cooling was by an electronically controlled electric fan. The base 18S produced 90bhp @ 5400rpm & 105.5lb/ft of torque @ 3000rpm. The 20S still produced 100bhp @ 5200rpm & 115lb/ft of torque @ 3800rpm. Both engines were fitted with electronic ignition and used the GMF Varajet II carburettor.

For the 1985 model year, a 1.8i engine (C18NV) was added and was equipped with a catalytic converter & the engine was designed to run on unleaded petrol. The engine produced 100bhp and used recessed pistons to achieve a lower compression ratio to run on unleaded fuel.

In spring 1983 the 20S engine received an electronic idle control and the 20E 110bhp engine was introduced for the new top of the range CD model. The engine used the new Bosch LE Jetronic fuel cut-off with electronic characteristic control. For the 1985 model year, the 20E was replaced by the newly-developed engine 22E.

The 23D engine with 65bhp @ 4200rpm & 93.7lb/ft of torque @ 2500rpm was unchanged from the unit used in the Bedford CF but was the first time it was used in a Vauxhall passenger car. As with the previous Opel Rekord Diesel the engines height meant a rather ugly looking bulge was required for the bonnet. The engine was thoroughly revised in September 1983 and power was increased to 71bhp. The new engine could be identified by the “OHC” stamped on the rocker cover.

The effectiveness of the crankcase ventilation was improved with the new cylinder head cover. The former, induction hardened camshaft replaced with a camshaft hardened using the TIG process. A reinforced control chain and hardened exhaust valves were used as well. Lighter pistons & connecting rods, a reduced shot channel for the swirl chamber completed work on the motor. A new Bosch distributor injection pump VE4 with cold start accelerator and injectors was also fitted.

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THE CARLTON MK2 20S ENGINE

THE CARLTON MK2 18S ENGINE

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THE CARLTON MK2 2.3D ENGINE

THE CARLTON MK2 20E ENGINE

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THE CARLTON MK2 22E ENGINE

PRESS RELEASES:

VAUXHALL CARLTON MK3 LAUNCH PRESS RELEASE 19.10.82

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PRESS PICTURES:

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LAUNCH ARTICLES:

VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 LAUNCH ARTICLE AUTOCAR 04.12.82

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 LAUNCH ARTICLE MOTOR 30.10.82

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 LAUNCH ARTICLE MOTOR 27.11.82

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 CD LAUNCH ARTICLE MOTOR 09.07.83

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BROCHURES:

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ADVERTISING:

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VAUXHALL CARLTON LAUNCH ADVERT 01.83

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 ESTATE ADVERT 02.83

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VAUXHALL CARLTON CD ADVERT 08.83

ROAD TESTS:

VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 1.8GL 1796cc MOTOR WE


12.03.83

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 2.0GL 1979cc AUTOCAR WE


28.05.83

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 1.8 ESTATE 1795cc WHAT CAR


08.83

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 2.0 CD 1979cc WHAT CAR 09.84

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 CD 2.2i 2197cc MOTOR 22.12.84

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 2.2i CD 2179cc AUTOCAR 30.01.85

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VAUXHALL CARLTON MK2 2.0 GL ESTATE 1979cc MOTOR


11.05.85

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