Opel Tigra 1.6i
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Year: 1999
Host: GT5

Class: Sports Car/Compact
Type: 2+2 coupe
Country of Origin: Germany

Price: $24,580

GT5 Mileage: 19,561.2

Construction: unibody

Length: 154.4" // Width: 63.15" // Height: 52.75"
Track: 54.8" [F] 54.9" [R]
Ground Clearance:
Weight: 2,274 pounds

Steering: pwr. assisted rack & pinion
Radius: 34.8 feet

Layout: Front Engine / Front-Drive
Tires: 185/55R-15 v
F. Suspension: Macpherson struts, coils, wishbones,  anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: trailing arms, coils, shocks, anti-roll bar
Brakes: vented discs [F], Drums [R]

* GT5 Tigra was given oil change but no engine rebuild

1.6 liter DOHC inline-4
Aspiration: natural
Fuel system: mpfi
Valves / Cyl: 4
Bore x Stroke: 3.11 x 3.21"
Compression: 10.5:1

Final HP:     104 @ 5,900 rpm
Fnl. Torque: 108 @ 4,000 rpm

Credits per HP: $263.35
Pounds per HP: 21.86
Pnds per Torq: 21.05
HP per Liter: 65.1

Idle Speed: 625 // Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 7,250

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Differential: open type

0-60 mph: 11.232 seconds
0-100 mph: 31.114 seconds

400 Meters: 18.511 @ 80 mph
1/4 Mile:      18.563 @ 80 mph
1 Kilometer: 25.954 @ 102 mph
1 Mile:         45.744 @ 110 mph

100-zero mph: 5.633

Top Gear RPM @ 60 mph: 2,900

Top Speed at Redline
1st: NA
2nd: 59.1 mph
3rd: 89.4 mph
4th: 112.4 mph
5th: 127.2 mph @ 6,300 rpm

----------EXTERIOR / HISTORY-------------

During the opening text for this website, something was mentioned about cars which "look cool" but are really lemons. The Opel Tigra 1.6i, as cool-looking as it is, is certainly one of such rides. Not to start off on a bad note or anything...

Besides Opel, the Tigra can be found in many countries around the world, rebadged for three other car-makes: Holden, Vauxhall, and Chevrolet. Asia might also have Tigras made under a different make, too. As far as I can tell, all of these Tigras are probably similar enough under the skin. General Motors' small car division at its finest.  

Reading off info from several websites, it's obvious the Tigra can be found in just about any country outside of the United States, though it does resemble a Saturn SC coupe. It seems to be the perfect ride for someone looking for a small, nimble machine which has a sporty look and gets great mileage. How's that?  Is that on-track, or am I way off?  

Since I've never seen a Tigra in person, I can only speculate. It seems there's a certain type who goes for a Tigra: probably someone younger; and I'm guessing females would tend to buy them more often then males. It's definitely got that "chick car" thing going on, kinda like a Honda del Sol or a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Right?  Yet, the Tigra is not totally estrogenic. Its sleek, sharky wedge shape could possibly cater to just about anybody who's wowed by sleek, sharky wedges-shaped vehicles, guys or females.

Though I haven't driven this car in earlier GT games, I did get kinda psyched to try it in GT5, just because I've not driven very many Opels. The ones I have driven, tested, raced, and reviewed (the Astra and Corsa) unfortunately got a lot of bad or mediocre marks, but they can't all be bad, right? The Tigra, with its slippery coupe-shape, is obviously not a Corsa or an Astra. The Corsa is a true European "city car", while the Astra?....I've only driven an Astra in GT2. We really can't compare the Tigra to these two others, then, not in an assumptive way.   

The Tigra must offer something different than these others. It must! When I look at a Tigra, my first instinct (since it's a Eurocar) is "Fiat Coupe" or "Honda Integra", not some lesser front drive. Even the name "Tigra" sounds kinda firey and catchy.  Tigra! ...Tiiiiigrraaaaa!!!  

....Like some exciting new body spray that'll attract the opposite sex with ease, right? "Is your sex life dull and boring? Want to spice it up with some passion? .... Mennen presents new ** TIGRA!!! **  Tigra body spray! For men and women! Use with care!!! If you dare!!!  

2,274 pounds? That's all? Wow. Really, really impressive figure right there. That's lighter than some of my favorite FF benchmarks: Honda's Civics. With its aerodynamic shape and bubbly visage, looks like we're off to a good start. Um....but hold on...what's this?

...Gran Turismo 5 provides a decent write-up for the Tigra, actually, during which we learn it was based on Opel's Corsa. The Tigra is based on the Corsa's chassis or something. Both cars apparently share similar parts, possibly brakes and suspension.

Hmm...Corsa, eh? 


----------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN----------

The Tigra could be had with a couple different engine sizes, both of them GM's famous Ecotech designs. We get a 1.6 liter dual overhead cam, but we don't get the weaker 1.4 liter, not that anybody's complaining. This smaller one was obviously offered for those who are looking for more extreme fuel control. Anyways, so as you read these next few words, try and imagine the voice of "Bill Lundbergh", the boss in that movie Office Space.


And so begins this lovely chapter. Lovely, because with just 104 horses after oil change, it's obvious this car is not out to please in the power department. This is not one of Germany's Autobahn extrodinaires, and we are not about to get anywhere anytime soon. Ummmmm yeaaaaaahhhhh. That's not gonna work, Opel. Ahhhh..

Kinda scary, in case you showed up to a 400 pp race and forgot to tune. But of course, it's not the end of the world, either. There are always upgrades to help us out. And (of course) at 2,274 pounds, at least we've got a fairly light car to start with. NA tunes and turbos are available in GT5, not sure about GT2 or 4, yet.

According to Pupik's website , the Tigra can make 236 hp at best and will accept a racing kit. I haven't fully tuned up a Tigra yet in GT5, but it seems 236 could be where the baby 1.6 liter will wind up.   

The 5-speed manual transmission is neither too tall nor too short while power is low. During this car's Top Speed run at GT5's brand-new Special Stage X track, the Tigra struggled with power, but did make it into 5th gear with a few hundred RPMs left over before redline.



---------CHASSIS / HANDLING-----------

We're back in Office Space again. We've just returned from lunch where Jennifer Aniston took our order, but didn't have the required amount of "flair" decoring her outfit. When we get back from lunch, we're late, and we don't care. Our Tigra handled the drive from lunch with Jennifer and back to the Office as it usually does: nice and slow. Step on that gas, it almost seems as if it laughs at us and our petty demands!

We may not care that we're late, of course, but boss Lundbergh does. He doesn't care about whatever excuse we drum up, but then, neither do we. Guess you'd have to watch the movie to understand what I'm talking about...

It's not just a lack of speed that hurts, though. Like I said earlier, I really really tried to get psyched about Tigra, thinking I'd finally get to write a more positive Opel review. But today is not that day! As I drove my Tigra in GT5's World Compact Car Cup, it's obvious (quickly obvious) that the Tigra 1.6i is not trying its best in the Handling department, either.

Entry-turn braking is usually one of a front-drive's stronger points. Remember the Civic? CR-X? The Golf GTI? VW Lupo? Peugeot 106? 206?  There's just a few faces on the long, long list of front-drives which can kick ass into turns while fully braking. Also, while power is amateurish and low, the front-drive car can actually wind up as a superior choice in comparison to some rear-drives, simply because FFs have got the grip and the traction necessary to survive and blow some doors off some Miatas and Silvias. As long as this traction & grip don't get sacrificed with too much power, the FF can wind up being King for awhile.  

Well, get ready to leave all that behind. Seriously, the Tigra is simply bad when it shows up (late) to compare. Braking into turns? A hefty plate-full of understeer is always a gobble away, as the Tigra plows up some chow like a hungry, ill-mannered boy nearly knocking over a dinner table. Tires overheat with ease as the car struggles to turn-in. It really is astonishing. A Corsa undercarriage this car definitely does have!

So braking is below-par, but traction and exiting is also nothing to get excited about. On exit, those front tires easily smoke up if the gas gets planted with the steering wheel turned more than 25%. And lest any of you think I'm driving this car with upgrades, it's important to know that all of this is happening with stock power, too. Other than an oil change, the Tigra is STOCK. 104 horses. And it's smoking up its tires!!

Tires are also stock: medium "comfort" radials or whatever, but there are other cars, other front-drive cars, which can handle the pressure without smoking or overheating these crappy tires. Sigh. And I held such confidence that the Tigra would somehow be different. I believed in this little car! But let's be honest. It really is sub-par. The Tigra 1.6i really is flawed. Sure, it's a great city car, much more stylish, much more efficient than some others, but it's flawed.             

But the thing is, I like flaws! That's one of my flaws I guess. As a driver, I rarely demand perfection, especially from weaker automobiles, rising up amongst Gran Turismo's slower racing events. The Tigra, as much as I've criticized it during this review, is not the absolute worst ever, and there's something about this one which keeps me coming back to it. The fact that the Tigra is so flawed keeps me interested, in some sick, twisted way.

And (again) there are upgrades. Better tires. Better suspension parts. And so on. Eventually, the Tigra can be tamed, and becomes a somewhat fierce racing tiger, assuming a bit more persistence and skill are drummed up over the course of a Tigra's career.



1). It's a cutie. Got a flair and fashion to it.

2). Lightweight as a Civic, too.

3). Becomes more and more nimble and capable with upgrades (in the handling /maneuverability department).

4). Not so expensive you'll need to take out a loan just to finish up some easier racing.    


1). Sluggish. Upgrades don't always place this one where we'd like it.

2). Despite its slow nature and peppy looks, this is one of those machines beginners should avoid.

3). LOTS of understeer.

4). One of those few front-drives which isn't so confident with braking, either. Or turning-in while braking.

5). As a used Standard car, this one can be hard to locate in GT5. I'm assuming this is true in GT4 as well, since the Tigra is also a used car in this game.

6). Somewhat poor visibility in cockpit view (GT5 only).

7). Not much redline area...

8). ...and not much torque to fill in lower revs, either. 

Published: February 1st, 2012