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Vauxhall reveals the Cascada

Not a 90's dance/pop act, but a new convertible...

Vauxhall recently revealed a new convertible model, continuing their theme of bizarrely named new models. First we had the Mokka, then the Adam and now they have unveiled the Cascada, seemingly named after a mid-‘00s pop/dance group.

The new model aims to slot into the range between the Astra and Insignia, so is sized between the two. This places it longer than an Audi A5 Cabrio, which will surprise some given the Astra look to the front end. This front end is somewhat bland, seen on the Astra hatchback before and changed very little for this allegedly upmarket model. As we proceed down the flanks things get a little more interesting though, with a sharp crease line starting behind the front wheelarch and rising up to the rear light clusters. The rear features some complex LED lights, broken up by a chrome bar that runs between them.

What is most noticeable about the Cascada is the roof. The predecessor model – the TwinTop – had a folding metal hard top, but this new model has a soft top. Apparently this gives a more upmarket feel, as seen with the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A5 convertible models. It raises or lowers in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph.

The platform used for the Cascada is a mixture of elements from the Astra and the Insignia models. First seen in the Vauxhall Insignia VXR, the HiPer strut front suspension has been implemented in this new convertible, while at the back it has a compound crank beam axle design. For more money clients can opt for the FlexRide adaptive chassis technology that comes with three driving modes.

Not only is it 221mm longer than the aforementioned Astra TwinTop, but the new Cascada has a 71mm longer wheelbase at 2700mm so it should provide considerably more legroom. It will be available with various wheels ranging from 18 to 20 inches, while the stopping power will come from the 326mm front brake discs and the 325mm rear ones.

Under the bonnet there is the option for an entirely new 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine with 168 bhp and 206 lb/ft, while chances are that in the future there will also be a more powerful variant of this engine with 197 bhp and a lower output version with 148 bhp. At first this engine will be connected only to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Other engines offered Cascada include a 1.4 litre turbo that develops 138 bhp and 162 lb/ft, followed by a 2.0 litre CDTi with 163 bhp and 280 lb/ft. There is also the strong possibility of the Cascada being offered with the 2.0 litre BiTurbo diesel that generates 192 bhp and 295 lb/ft.

There will be ten exterior colours and three roof colours, while the interior will have a choice of many different configurations of cloth, leather and alcantara. The Cascada will go on sale in March 2013 priced from £25,000.

Images and video courtesy of Vauxhall

 

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more