First Look – Vauxhall Cascada

Vauxhall have released the first pictures of their new convertible, a four-seat, fabric-roof number which will make its UK bow in March 2013.

The new Vauxhall Cascada will house one of three engines. The entry-level engine is a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit with 137bhp. There’s a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine offering 168bhp and a 2.0-litre diesel offering up 163bhp. Vauxhall promise more powerful versions in due course.

Elsewhere, if the Cascada gets out of control and rolls, spring-loaded bars are automatically deployed behind the rear seats. These bad boys are also triggered during impacts, along with airbags  The Cascada bodyshell is almost 50 per cent stiffer than its open topped predecessor, the Astra Twin Top. The Cascada will use Vauxhall’s HiPerStrut front suspension from Insignia VXR, so expect decent handling. The Cascada will feature Vauxhall’s FlexRide, a fully adaptive control system, which adapts to suit driving styles and road conditions. Flexride can be over-ridden with one of three driver modes.

Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director, noted:

“The full-size convertible sector tends only to be occupied by very high-priced cars from premium manufacturers. With the Cascada, we’re offering customers high levels of equipment, technology and luxury but at an affordable price.”

According to Vauxhall, the hood is made from a fabric that offers superior acoustic and thermal insulation. Apparently, there’s a layer of polyester fleece between the outer and inner linings. The opening time on the hood is around 17 seconds and will open at anything up to 30mph. The roof is available in three colours

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