Tag Archive | "Vauxhall Cascada"

New Cars, Concepts And Rumours

Regardless of what the world thinks of Alfa Romeo there can be no denying that they really know how to style a car. This time they have let twenty ‘Master in Transportation Design’ students loose on the drawing boards. The prototype sports saloon so dramatically pictured is what they have come up with.

It is codenamed ‘Gloria’ although why they would want to name a car after the barmaid down at the Ferret and Trousers Public House is not known. What is known is that it is absolutely gorgeous and that AR should rush it into production, like right now. In the meantime, now that the flawed but beautiful 159 has gone, they will be selling the new Guilia saloon from 2014 into the executive sector.

Staying in Italy it seems clear that Dacia’s assault on the European market with budget priced cars has rather aggravated directors at mighty FIAT. As a consequence, rather than leaving a beef lasagne in the beds of Dacia staff as a warning, they are now considering a rival low-cost new car.

In the knowledge that premium car sales are flatlining and with some manufacturers in trouble the company thinks that dormant build capacity outside of Europe could be used for a suitable vehicle with an eye especially on developing markets. The rumour is the cars could be branded Innocenti, a budget marque that FIAT purchased in 1990.

After the Geneva Show fans of cabriolets will be able to get their hands on the terrific Vauxhall Cascada that Motor Blogger featured a while back but on the concept front they appear to be getting down with the kids with the Adam Rocks. The Adam, Vauxhall’s new small car has been well received so the company is showing the Rocks as a possible advance on the model.

It’s apparently an ‘urban mini-crossover’ that could well herald yet another sector within the industry as car makers strive to boost sales with variants. The Adam Rocks is taller, wider, tougher yet more compact allegedly (How?) than its sibling and offers a cabrio roof. Certainly the Adam is almost infinitely customisable so where are they going to go with this? In addition Vauxhall intend to take the Adam rallying with an R2 version that meets FIA regulations and can be set up for tarmac or gravel conditions. Interesting.

Finally, for now, Peugeot have a strategy for reducing fuel consumption with its Hybrid Air technology that follows on from our recent article about compressed air cars. The 2008 Hybrid Air combines petrol with compressed air in a fully hybrid configuration. This, Peugeot say, moves forward their plan to one day soon achieve 140mpg. The sooner the better as far as Britain’s motorists are concerned.

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Open Top Motoring

There is no other feeling quite like driving with the roof off. It feels entirely different from driving in a saloon. Not only do you feel the wind in your hair, but the sounds and the smells are different too. Birdsong and the sweet aromas of the countryside take on a different complexion. And once you have tried it, then it is likely that you will become addicted to it; in a recent survey, around 95 percent of people who own an open top say that their next car will be an open top too.

Modern open tops are every bit as safe to drive as saloons, though there are some precautions you need to take when driving one, as evidenced by what happened recently to a man in Germany who happened to have €23,000 in an envelope on his back seat. He had intended to use the money to pay for a car. The envelope was whisked away by the wind with the result that the driver left behind a paper trail of notes. The road was closed by the police for some time so that they could recover the cash and, surprisingly, €20,000 was returned to him.

So what to wear for open top motoring? If you have done much of it in the past then you will be aware of what a long journey can do to the skin. You might not notice at the time, but with the combination of wind and sunlight you are likely to arrive at your journey’s end with a bright red face which can take several days to fade to a mellower tan.

This can be avoided with the right head gear. The best kind of hat to wear is a peaked cap, and if you want to look cool then a peaked leather cap is a good choice. If you are an all-weather open topper, then why not match it up with a flying jacket? Not only will it keep you warm and cosy when the icy wind doth blow, that retro look is very stylish too, and that goes for both the boys and the girls. Soft leather driving gloves are also highly recommended.

In the olden days raising the roof was a manual job, but with modern open top cars you can raise and lower the roof at the touch of a button; the whole process takes just a few seconds. There are still many cloth tops around, though some modern open top cars have a metal roof which provides the best of both worlds, allowing you to enjoy the wind in your hair along with providing all the comfort and style of a coupe.

The fabrics used to make the roofs of modern soft tops are very different from those that were used in the past. In order to cut out much of the wind noise that one had to endure when the roof was down, many modern soft tops have a layer of insulation sandwiched between an outer and inner lining. This technology has been used on the new Vauxhall Cascada, a particularly stylish four seater convertible that will be launched in 2013. A feature of the car is that you can raise and lower the roof at speeds of up to 30 mph and it takes just seventeen seconds to do so, so you don’t need to actually stop when it starts to rain.


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