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Tuning the Vauxhall Calibra

"Super Calibra Fabulistic Power is Precotious."

 Released back in the 1990 the Calibra  was a revolutionary shape, and Vauxhalls answer to the Ford Puma, and rumours that Ford were going to relaunch the Capri.

It had one of the lowest drag coefficients in its class and even the slowest model got to 60 miles per hour in 9.7 seconds.

Engine choices were the 2 litre a 16 valve version of the 2 litre engine or 2.5 litre V6 engine and the superpower full 2 litre turbo.

The turbo had a 6 speed gearbox mated to a 4x4 drivetrain as did one of the 2 litre 16 valve variants.

The two most popular engine choices for the tuner are the 2.5 V6 and a 2 litre turbo as both can be heavily modified and produce satisfyingly large power gains. As with many cars in the Vauxhall range, the engines are relatively straightforward to swap. We have TorqueCars members replacing the 2 litre engine with a 2.5 V6 or using the 2 litre turbo engine is a transplant.

A fun coupe with plenty of scope for tuning including engine swaps.

Some owners who want to keep the NASP engine's low down torque characteristics and would be best advised to go for a set of Twin 48 Webber Carbs, Uprated Pistons, Rods and bolts from Courtenat Sport. Saab Red Injectors, Uprated fuel pump and a higher bar Fuel Pressure Regulator. Then maybe a nice F28 6 speed box with uprated linkages from a Calibra or Cavalier Turbo, Uprated Clutch and a nice billet steel flywheel to suit. And to top it all off get a nice stand alone management system. This should see you around the 190-200bhp mark, which isn't bad for a NASP engine.

Red top or Ecotech? The Red Top Turbo is probably the best proposition at the moment. There are hardly any that haven't been rebuilt. So the majority of Red Top Turbo engines have probably done less miles than most of the Eco Tec Turbo's (of course unless you are lucky enough to get hold of a 2 year old engine.)

And as far as the price of an engine goes, it would be easier to try and get hold of a full car. You will pay slightly less or the same and you can sell the parts you don't need and make your engine very cheap indeed. Plus should you need any other parts you have a donor on hand.

The Red Top Turbo goes into pretty much most Vauxhalls with ease but if you want to put a Z20LET (Eco Tec Turbo) into anything other than turbo'd car, you will most likely need a stand alone management system which could set you back another £1500-2000 easy. I have no idea why this is, but most of the TorqueCars members I speak with who have done the Eco-Tec conversion have nearly all had to have a stand alone engine management fitted.

The gear box will also need to be a rated had to cope with the extra power and one of the best boxes is the F23 uprated gearbox from a Vectra 2.6 GSi which should be good for over 300+bhp.  

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