A look back at the Vauxhall Senator Mk1 (1983 – 1987) 0


To all intents and purposes, the Vauxhall Senator was just a facelifted edition of the Royale, the car that introduced the General Motors ‘shovel’ nose plus lots of upgraded tech to the 1982 top-of-the-range edition, a year prior to the release of the Senator. GM used the ‘A2’ facelift as an opportunity to focus and streamline the range, culling the Opel Senator in the UK, leaving the larger car segment solely to Vauxhall.

In the UK, the early eighties were heady times for GM. Vauxhall and Opel had fully merged into one dealership and saw booming sales as a result. The merger saw all Opel models dropped and replaced by their Vauxhall badged cousins. Interestingly in the case of the Senator, was that it retained its Opel title, instead of the more austere ‘Royale’.

Vauxhall dealerships across the country benefited from the change and in a similar manner to the 1982 – ‘86 Carlton – the model responsible for reviving the German nose – sales rocketed as a result.

The available engines were modernised, an injected version of the Commodore/Viceroy 2.5-litre straight-six replacing the outgoing 2.8-litre. The 180bhp 3.0E stayed the same – ensuring the Senator had plenty of power. Its grunt in the engine department combined with superb road manners ensured the Senator became a go-to car of choice for the UK’s police force.

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