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Oldsmobile Omega

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Oldsmobile introduced the Omega in 1973 as Oldsmobile's first compact car, and was a fraternal X-body twin to the Chevrolet Nova. Like the Nova, the Omega was available as a 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan - no wagon bodystyle was offered. The first generation Omega ran only 2 years until the second generation in 1975, which ran until the beginning of the 1979 model year, when it was redesigned onto GM's new front wheel drive X-body platform for 1980. The third gen Omega ran until the end of the 1984 model year, when it was (more or less) replaced in 1985 by the Calais.

Here's a quick rundown for each generation:

Pc74 omega350x239
Oldsmobile Omega
Oldsmobile
Production: 1973-1974
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
3-Door Hatchback
4-Door Sedan
Length: 199.6"
Width: 72.3"
Height: 54"
Wheelbase: 111"
Weight: 3000-3300 lbs
Transmissions: 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engines: 4.1L (250 cid) I6
5.7L (350 cid) V8
Power: 110-170 hp
Similar: Buick Apollo
Chevrolet Nova
Pontiac Ventura
Platform: X

1st Generation (1973-1974)Edit

The Omega was one of 2 other X-body Nova clones introduced in 1973 (the Buick Apollo being the other one). Naturally it shared the Nova's body and many of its mechanicals, but it had its own unique nose and tail, and, being an Oldsmobile, it had a little fancier trim than the Nova. It even borrowed the Nova's dashboard, but Olds added woodgrain trim to it for a more upscale look. The front grille sported Oldsmobile's trademark "waterfall" grille design, and the parking lights were directly below the headlights in the bumper. Bodystyles mirrored that of the Nova, starting with a 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback or a 4-door sedan. Engine choices were the standard Chevy-built 4.1L (250 cid) I6 with a 3-speed manual transmission standard, with a 4-speed manual or a 2- or 3-speed automatic optional. The lone V8 option was Oldsmobile's 5.7L (350 cid) "Rocket" V8, which had a 4-speed manual as standard with the 3-speed automatic optional. V8 models with the eight VIN digit being the letter "K" recieved a 4-barrel rochester carburetor. All other V8 engines recieved the standard 2-barrel version. Models were base and upper-level Brougham. Not many changes at all in 1974 other than the 2-Speed Powerglide transmission being dumped, the parking lights being relocated inboard below the grille instead of the headlights and a new rear bumper design which met the federal government's new 5-mph impact standards. There would be an all-new Omega in 1975.

CompetitorsEdit


1978Omega
Oldsmobile Omega
Oldsmobile
Production: 1975-1979
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
3-Door Hatchback
4-Door Sedan
Length: 196.7"
Width: 72.2"
Height: 54.3
Wheelbase: 111"
Weight: 3000-3300 lbs
Transmissions: 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
2-Speed Automatic, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engines: 3.8L (231 cid) V6 (1977-1979)
4.1L (250 cid) I6 (1975-1976)
4.3L (260 cid) V8 (1975-1976)
5.0L (305 cid) V8 (1976-1979)
5.7L (350 cid) V8 (1975-1978)
Power: 105-170 hp
Similar: Buick Skylark
Cadillac Seville
Chevrolet Nova
Pontiac Ventura/Phoenix
Platform: X

2nd Generation (1975-1979)Edit

The Omega was redesigned this year along with the Nova and its other corporate mates. The 1975 Omega retained its waterfall grille design, but other than that it still remained largely a fancier Nova with a different nose and tail. The 4.3L (260 cid) V8 was a new engine addition. Brougham models continued, but base models resurrected a name from Oldsmobile's archives, F85. A Salon model was added as a mid-grade trim model, and a sport-oriented S package was added as well. Base engines were still the 250 I6, with the 350 optional, and transmission choices remained the same. In 1976, grilles were changed and lost its waterfall design. A new engine option debuted, a Chevy-built 5.0L (305 cid) V8, as well as a sporty SX package, which replaced the short-lived S model (basically Olds's version of the Chevy Rally Nova). The grille was revised again in 1977, being vertically separated in several sections, and the taillights were enlarged. The 260 V8 was dropped, and a Buick-built 3.8L (231 cid) V6 replaced the Chevy-built 250 I6 as the base engine. 1978 models got another revised grille with less vertical separations. F85, Salon, Brougham and SX models continued otherwise unchanged, and the 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback and 4-door sedan were still available. There were no changes in 1979 other than the 350 V8 being discontinued as the Omega entered an abbreviated model year - the Omega would be an all new front wheel drive model for 1980.

CompetitorsEdit


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Oldsmobile Omega
Oldsmobile
Production: 1980-1984
Class: Compact
Body Style: 2-Door Coupe
4-Door Sedan
Length: 181.1"
Width: 69"
Height: 53.5"
Wheelbase: 104.9"
Weight: 2400-2700 lbs
Transmissions: 4-Speed Manual, FWD
5-Speed Manual, FWD
3-Speed Automatic, FWD
Engines: 2.5L (151 cid) I4
2.8L (173 cid) V6
Power: 92-130 hp hp
Similar: Buick Skylark
Chevrolet Citation
Pontiac Phoenix
Platform: X

3rd Generation (1980-1984)Edit

Omegas were completely redesigned in this generation, which were smaller, more fuel-efficient, 500-600 lbs lighter and had more interior and trunk room than the previous rear-drive generation. Bodystyles were a 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan - no hatchbacks in this generation. The Omega shared the all-new X-body front wheel drive platform with the Chevrolet Citation, which replaced the previous Nova. The front wheel drive X-body chassis would not be without its issues (see the separate Citation entry for more information), and out of the 4 X-body clones, the Omega turned out the be the least popular of the 4. The Omega's previous waterfall grille design used on earlier models returned, but with less success in this generation, giving the car a bit of a "pug nose" look to some. Base engine was the Pontiac-built 2.5L (151 cid) "Iron Duke" I4, with the Chevy-built 2.8L (173 cid) V6 as optional. Transmissions were the 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic, and they were available with either engine. Trims were base and upper-level Brougham.

1981 models changed very little, other than horizontal bars were added to the grille. 1982 Omegas got a restyled front clip with a flatter appearance that eliminated the waterfall grille. A sport-oriented ES2500 (with the I4 engine) and ES2800 (with the V6 engine) became available either on the coupe or sedan. They got their own unique blacked-out front grille and sported urethane front fenders (a design later used on the Pontiac Fiero). A 5-speed manual became available on the I4 engine, which got fuel injection this year. 1983 models soldiered on without much change, and there weren't any changes to speak of for 1984 either, which was the Omega's last. The X-body garnered a trouble-prone reputation for various reasons and Omega's sales began falling off noticeably after 1981, which is largely why Oldsmobile gave up on it (Buick and Pontiac axed their X-car offerings after 1984 also, but the Citation, rechristened "Citation II" in 1983, would hang on for one more year). There would be no direct successor to the Omega, but Oldsmobile debuted an all-new N-body Calais in 1985, which many consider to be the Omega's replacement - at least in spirit.

CompetitorsEdit


image (between 170-190 pixels)
OLDSMOBILE

General Motors Company


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Golden Rocket · Aerotech · Starfire Concept · F88 · Cutlass Concept · 88 Delta · F88 II · Mona Lisa · Fiesta Carousel · F88 III · X-215 · J-TR · El Torero · Toronado Granturismo · 422 Apollo · Toronado XSR · Incas · Aerotech II · Aerotech III · California Trofeo · Expression · Achieva Concept · Anthem · Hammer · Antares · Alero Alpha · Bravada X-Scape · Recon · Profile · O4 · FE3-X Firenza · FE3-X Calais · FE3-X Hurst Olds Cutlass · Tube Car


John Beltz


Ransom E. Olds Corporate website A brand of the General Motors Corporation

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