Vauxhall Cascada (2013) – more details on the soft-top

Published: 08 October 2012

Vauxhall will launch its new Cascada full-size convertible in March 2013, and our artist’s impression shows how the cabrio should look ahead of its formal unveiling later this month.

Until now, Vauxhall and Opel have only released two teaser images of the Cascada in front of an, ahem, cascading waterfall – showing just the top half of the new car.

Vauxhall Cascada: the lowdown

We know the new Cascada will be a soft-top – the frumpy Astra CC’s folding hard-top has been binned in favour of a canvas hood, which takes less space to fold, is lighter and easier to package without a lumpen rump. It folds up and down at speeds of up to 30mph.

The teaser images confirm there’s an in-built discrete spoiler built into the bootlid, space for four adults inside, and a chrome ring running around the glasshouse, circling the cabin.

Insiders say there’s a perception among buyers that canvas roofs are used on quality cars; at the top end of the market, Rolls-Royce and Bentley convertible use soft tops and Vauxhall hopes the same impression of quality will rub off on the new Cascada.

It’s bigger than the previous Astra convertible – at 4700mm long, it’s 70mm longer in fact than an Audi A5 Convertible and 225mm longer than the Astra TwinTop, which went off sale two years ago.

Cascada – Spanish for waterfall

Our artist’s impression depicts the Vauxhall Cascada with the roof down. Although longer than the Astra hatch, the convertible uses a mix of architectures from across the GM Europe range – and plenty of the Astra and Insignia hardware is borrowed here. So-called ‘HiPer Strut’ front suspension will be used for improved comfort and handling precision.

That spells out a range of petrol and diesel engines, likely to stretch from the 1.4 petrol turbo with stop-start up to 2.0-litre CDTi diesels, most likely with the bi-turbo engine for serious punch. And Vauxhall is introducing a new range of engines, which means that the 1.6 turbo petrol is likely to be used.

No word yet on whether there’ll be a VXR performance version – but Vauxhall has not exactly been shy in coming forwards in the past, with go-faster MPVs and estates. The Astra VXR’s turbocharged 2.0-litre 276bhp sledgehammer could provide some al fresco thrills, but CAR understands this is not a priority at this stage.

As previously reported, this is the first convertible designed and built by Vauxhall/Opel for 70 years; previous convertibles have been built by third-party contractors.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet