At the start of September, Vauxhall – or Opel if you prefer – previewed their upcoming full-size convertible. Now they’ve released all the information on the new Cascada, as well as some additional images showing the concept from a number of flattering angles. The Vauxhall/Opel Cascada is a full-four seat convertible, meaning most normal-sized adults can actually make use of the rear seats. At 4.7 metres (15.4 feet) long, the Cascada is fractionally longer than the Audi A5.
Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director said of the Cascada: “The full-size convertible sector tends only to be occupied by very high-priced cars from premium manufacturers. With Cascada, we’re offering customers high levels of equipment, technology and luxury but at an affordable price.”
The Cascada will be offered from launch with a variety of drivetrain options. The entry level engine is a turbocharged 1.4 litre unit which produces 140 horsepower and 162 lb.ft (220 Nm) of torque. The next rung up the performance ladder is a 2.0 CDTi diesel engine, which develops 165 horsepower and an impressive 280 lb.ft (380 Nm) of torque. This engine is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. However the headline drivetrain package is the 1.6 litre SIDI Turbo ECOTEC engine producing 170 horsepower and 206 lb.ft (280 Nm) of torque. This is coupled to a new, low-friction automatic six-speed gearbox. In time more powerful engine options will be introduced.
Vauxhall/Opel say the Cascada’s exterior design was inspired by classic luxury touring convertibles, however it’s abundantly clear it was primarily designed to match and compliment the company’s current range of current vehicles. The fabric hood of the Cascada features acoustic and thermal insulation thanks to a special layer of polyester fleece sandwiched between the outer and inner linings. The hood can be opened in just 17 seconds at speeds up to 30mph by an interior switch, or via a button on the key fob.
Malcom Ward, Vauxhall’s British Director of Exterior Design commented on the car’s styling: “Most convertibles look good with the top down, but many seem clumsy with their roof up. Thanks to its high quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile, the Cascada cuts a fine figure when it’s closed.”
On the inside the Cascada’s cabin features all-new, deeply contoured seats which are available in a range of embossed fabrics and leathers. Buyers also have the option of ergonomic, Nappa-leather trimmed seats, which can be heated or ventilated. An Easy Entry system allows quick access to the rear seats. The instrument cluster and dash panel is wrapped in a soft-touch materioral with contrasting stitching.
Despite being significantly larger, the Cascada’s chassis is 43 per cent stiffer torsionally and 10 per cent more resistant to bending forces than the Astra TwinTop, Vauxhall/Opel’s last open-topped car. In addition to a stiffer chassis, the Cascada features the company’s HiPerStrut front suspension, first used in the 325 hp Insignia VXR (OPC). The HiPerStrut system will be standard across the Cascada range. HiPerStrut separates damping and steering functions, reducing torque steer, while also improving steering feel and cornering control. Also available across the Cascada range is FlexRide, Vauxhall/Opel’s fully adaptive chassis control system, which automatically adapts to suit driving style and prevailing road conditions, or can be over-ridden with one of three driver-controlled modes.