Vauxhall has released full pictures of its Cascada full-size convertible that will launch the company into a fourth new sector this year, following on from its Ampera, Mokka and ADAM models.
The Cascada is a full four-seat, fabric-roof convertible which at nearly 4.7 metres in length is longer than an Audi A5 Convertible and positions Vauxhall in a sector that it hasn't occupied since the 1930s.
Cascada's design team, headed by Brit Mark Adams, has created a car with classic lines, redolent of the Grandes Routieres (luxury touring cars) of a bygone age, matched with a capacious cabin and high-quality materials.
An all-new 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, producing 170PS and 280Nm of torque, and marking the first outing of Vauxhall's MGE (Mid-Size Gasoline Engine) family, will be the highlight of a three-engine range.
Crucially for weather-hardened UK buyers, there will be a high-quality fabric hood, with superior acoustic and thermal insulation thanks to a special layer of polyester fleece between the outer and inner linings. Making the Cascada a practical year-round car, 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.
Cascada's dynamic credentials will be highlighted by an immensely rigid body, which is torsionally 43 per cent stiffer than Vauxhall's last open-topped car, the Astra Twin Top. It will also use the much-praised HiPerStrut front suspension which was initially used on the 325PS Insignia VXR.
'Cascada is set to change people's perception of Vauxhall once again,' said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall's Chairman and Managing Director. '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.'
At 4697mm long and 1840mm wide (excluding mirrors), Cascada has a broad stance and elegant lines. With the top down, it has a perfectly clean profile with no roof-top cover or visible roll-over protection disturbing the car's silhouette aft of the steeply-raked A-pillar.
The subtle 'blade' on the Cascada's lower body side is mirrored by a sharp crease that swings upward and meets with the wraparound rear light cluster. A gently rising waistline is highlighted by a chrome strip that borders the cockpit, marking the boundary between roof-top and body.
'Most convertibles look good with the top down, but many seem clumsy with their roof up,' said Malcom Ward, Vauxhall's British Director of Exterior Design. 'Thanks to its high quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile, the Cascada cuts a fine figure when it's closed.'
Sculpted with a purposeful power bulge, Cascada's bonnet tops a deep front grille with bold chrome applications. The fog lights are carried in two overturned 'sharkfin' elements, which are enhanced by chrome inserts. Using LED technology, the daytime running lights in the headlamps and the rear lights incorporate Vauxhall's 'wing' signature. In the rear, the LED modules are diffused to give a solid and sharp light signal - typical of cars in the premium sector. A chrome strip linking the boot-mounted light units matches a similar bar across the front of the car.
The Cascada's fabric roof can be specified in one of three colours, which can be coordinated with one of ten body colours.
Company press release, last updated on October 19, 2012
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