Vauxhall Cascada Revealed
(Wednesday 17 October 2012)
Vauxhall isn't particularly well-known for its convertibles. It hasn't produced one since the Astra TwinTop, and there has been nothing larger than the soft-top Cavalier since before World War II.
However, Vauxhall is as keen as most other manufacturers to expand into new market segments, hence the arrival next year of the Cascada convertible. At 4.7 metres, it's just under three inches longer than the Audi A5 Cabriolet, but despite that Vauxhall says the body structure is 43% stiffer than that of the much more compact TwinTop.
The roof consists of two layers of fabric separated by a polyester fleece whose purpose is to keep the warmth in and the noise out. Lowering it, which can be done at speeds of up to 30mph, takes 17 seconds, while raising it takes two seconds longer. When folded down, the roof takes up 70 litres of the 350-litre luggage space, though you can also fold the 50/50-split rear seat to create more space.
The Cascada will be available from launch with the familiar 138bhp 1.4 turbo petrol and 163bhp 2.0 turbo diesel engines, and will also be the first Vauxhall to feature a new-generation 1.6 petrol unit producing a maximum of 168bhp. More powerful engines are to be introduced later.
Regardless of power source, all Cascadas will have the very effective HiPerStrut front suspension assembly and FlexRide adaptive damping. Safety equipment includes seatbelt pre-tensioners for all four passengers and rollover bars which spring up from behind the rear seats in the event of unpleasantness.
UK pricing will be confirmed when orders open at the start of next year. First customer deliveries are scheduled for March.