Opel illustrated the sporty potential of the Ascona by presenting the Ascona 1.9 S and the Ascona SR models in spring 1971. The SR version came with an 80 hp 1.6-liter S engine or a 90 hp 1.9-liter unit. Opel Ascona A succeeded also on a rally track when in 1974 Walter Röhrl and Jochen Berger lined up at the start of the European Rally Championship with a two-door sedan. The Ascona of the Opel Euro Dealers Team had a four-cylinder engine re-bored to 2-liter displacement and featured an aluminum cross flow cylinder head that produced 200 hp at 6700 rpm.
Röhrl and Berger were victorious in six of eight races and won the European Rally Championship, reaching an unprecedented 120 points. In 1975, Röhrl and Berger won the Acropolis Rally and booked the first Opel victory in a world championship rally race in their Ascona A, shortly before it was replaced by the Ascona B.