Vauxhall/Opel Launches Cascada Convertible

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New four-seat cabrio replaces the Astra Twin-Top. But could it land Stateside as a Buick?

GM's European subsidiaries (marketed as Vauxhall in the UK and Opel on the continent) have been on a bit of a product offensive lately. Following the launch of the Ampera hybrid (essentially a rebodied Chevy Volt), the Mokka crossover (shared as the Encore with Buick) and the Adam city car, Vauxhall/Opel has now released the full details and first photos of its latest vehicle: the Cascada. Replacing the old Astra Twin-Top convertible, the new Cascada is a proper full-size four-seat cabriolet.

In fact it's longer than either the Audi A5 or the Volkswagen Eos, neither of which are particularly compact to begin with. Those four seats will be offered in a variety of embossed fabrics and leathers, the front seats folding far forward to provide easy access to the rear, and those rear seats folding 50/50 to allow more space than the 350-liter trunk (280 with the roof down) already provides. Rather than fit a big, heavy folding hard-top, Opel went with an electric fabric structure that can be operated at up to 30 mph and fold up in 17 seconds. Buyers will be able to choose between three roof colors and 10 body shades.

Motivation comes courtesy of a 1.4-liter turbocharged four with 138 horsepower, a 168hp turbo 1.6 and a 163hp diesel 2.0, al mated to a six-speed automatic driving the front wheels. The decapitated body is said to be 43% stiffer than its predecessor, with an adaptive suspension to keep it level and structural elements borrowed from both the Astra and Insignia. Of course with the Mokka, Astra and Insignia already offered in the United States as the Buick Encore, Verano and Regal, respectively, we're most curious to see if the Cascada might make it to Buick showrooms as well.

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