A Chevrolet… Cutlass… Eurosport? What? Why, that looks like just an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with some ground effects!
Well, that’s what it was. The Eurosport wasn’t quite a Chevrolet. It still wore Oldsmobile badges and advertising material avoided labelling it as a Chevrolet. But much of that advertising material was conspicuously emblazoned with Chevrolet logos as Chevrolet was the only GM brand officially sold in Mexico from the 1960s until the early 1990s. The Eurosport was sold in showrooms alongside real Chevrolets like the Cavalier and Cheyenne pickup.
Apparently this odd branding exercise was because of some arcane taxation law in Mexico, which also led to Mercury Grand Marquis models being sold as Fords (and for a while, decorated with both Ford and Mercury badges). If any of our Mexican Curbsiders can shed some more light on this, it would be much appreciated. ¡Muchas gracias!
I had to chuckle at this rather charming 1994 television commercial for the Eurosport. James Bond would never drive an Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and neither would Santiago Enlace or whatever a Mexican James Bond would be called. Still, it’s a fun little ad.
In the late 1980s, the Mexican car market didn’t have many exciting vehicles to offer; the spiciest offerings were cars like the Dodge Magnum. But by 1994, with the Mexican government finally removing tariffs and barriers to entry for foreign automakers, the Eurosport was quickly finding itself with more and more competition. When it had first launched, there were only five automakers in Mexico and most of the Eurosport’s rivals were, well, other A-Bodies (the Chevrolet Celebrity and Buick Century).
The Eurosport enjoyed moderate popularity because of its – I hesitate to say ‘sporty’, so let’s just say ‘sportier’ – styling. The standard engine was the fuel-injected Chevrolet 2.8 V6, later replaced with the 3.1 V6. All Eurosports came with bucket seats and console as well as the aforementioned ground effects.
During my travels in Mexico, it seemed like almost half of the GM A-Bodies I saw were Eurosport sedans. And while it seems like “sporty” and “Cutlass Ciera” go together like oysters and waffles, it’s worth recalling how the front-wheel-drive A-Body (and related X-Body) could be moderately entertaining if a little rough around the edges. The “Chevrolet” Cutlass Eurosport was really just a successor to the Chevrolet Citation X-11, after all. And if you lived in a market with only 5 automakers, no Mustangs, no Porsches and no BMWs, a V6 GM A-Body is a little more appealing.
Eurosports photographed in Mexico City, Mexico.