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Topless Cascada From Vauxhall

Topless Cascada From Vauxhall

The designers at Vauxhall have obviously been working tirelessly lately. They’ve gone electric with the terrific Ampera, made much of the Mokka and the funky Adam; now they’ve got the wind in their hair with the, it has to be said, sensational looking Cascada, which is Spanish for waterfall. Let’s hope they don’t mean coolant.

If we’re honest, Vauxhall’s choice of car names may not be to everyone’s taste. There is a trend, to be fair, for being a tad left field – a bit out there – these days when it comes to the naming of products generally but, well…

Anyway, if this new convertible drives as well as it looks they surely are onto a winner. It’s a big car, comfortably seating four, and its underpinnings are a mixture of Astra and Insignia bits. Crucially, the body has been strengthened to minimise scuttle shake. This is a problem that still assails some convertibles even with today’s build integrity, so it will be interesting to see how the Cascada deals with it.

The hood is fabric but is multi-layered and has thermal lining. Vauxhall state that it will withstand the worst that the British winter can throw at it. Not that you’ll find out this winter because the car won’t be in the showrooms until March next year – just right for the undoubtedly glorious summer in 2013.

This car is bigger than an equivalent A5 ragtop but should undercut the German car on price. It will be powered initially by a 1.6L petrol turbo shoving out a relatively modest 168bhp, which probably means leisurely rather than sporty progress. A smaller 1.4L is on the cards coupled with the now ubiquitous two litre diesel. Don’t despair though because at least one more powerful version is in the pipeline. A six speed auto box will keep everything under control.

Previously seen on the hot VXR Insignia, the Cascada will offer the proven technology of the company’s HiPerStrut front suspension which, in combination with adaptive dampers, is designed to rein in any tendency for torque steer. This is the phenomenon whereby engine torque under heavy acceleration seems to pull the car to one side -  a common enough experience with more powerful front wheel drive cars.

Also in the box will be the usual extras you’d expect in a premium car with the added bonus of a heated steering wheel. This is Vauxhall’s first foray into this premium sector since the 1930s. Judging by the image above they are on to a winner. Even in our climate.

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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