Vauxhall today revealed the name and first teaser shots of its new mid-size convertible. Called Cascada, the model is 4.7 metres in length – more than 70mm longer than Audi’s A5 Convertible – with a full-size fabric roof, giving the car a classy and elegant profile, seen in the two official images. The roof can be opened or closed at the touch of a button, even when the car is moving at up to 30mph.
While Vauxhall has enjoyed considerable success in the past with open-topped models in the compact class, and has also commissioned open-topped versions of the Cavalier to be built by outside manufacturers, the Cascada is the first mid-size convertible that it has built and designed in-house since before the last war.
One of the last large, convertible-bodied cars Vauxhall built was the iconic OE-type 30-98, which could be specified with the company’s own Velox body (see pic). The 30-98 was the UK’s first catalogued 100mph car, and a serious competitor for Bentley’s 3-litre models in its day.
Cascada, a Spanish word meaning waterfall, is the third new name to be introduced by Vauxhall this year, following Mokka and ADAM, and each model is set to be incremental to the company’s current line-up.
Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director, Duncan Aldred, was enthusiastic about the lift each model offered the company: “Cascada, along with ADAM and Mokka, will bring a fresh and exciting dimension to our product line-up for customers. This year is genuinely a new chapter in Vauxhall’s long history, and I’m pleased that we’re able to enter the mid-size convertible sector with Cascada, and continue to refresh people’s perception of our great brand.”
While the Cascada won’t be shown at this month’s Paris Motor Show (where ADAM will take centre-stage) more information will follow soon, ahead of the car going on sale in early 2013.
While the Cascada is not technically the first mid-size convertible Vauxhall in recent years, it is the first post-war model to be designed, engineered and manufactured by the company. In 1978, the Cavalier Centaur convertible was launched, but while it received type approval from GM, it was developed and built by Magraw Engineering in the UK.
The Centaur was followed by a drop-top version of the Cavalier Mk. 2 in the early Eighties. Again, this model was developed independently of Vauxhall, by British firm International Automobile Design, and engineered and manufactured by German company, Hammond & Thiede.
The Cascada marks Vauxhall’s departure from the compact cabrio sector, with which it enjoyed much success with cars like the Astra Mk.3 Convertible and the more recent Astra Twin Top. The Cascada is a full 225mm longer than the Astra Twin Top (which was discontinued in 2010) and now targets rivals in the mid-size sector.