This is the Vauxhall Cascada. The new four-seater convertible takes its name for the Spanish word for waterfall, and will be the most luxurious model in Vauxhall’s line-up when it goes on sale in a few weeks.
Unlike the discontinued Astra TwinTop, the Cascada is a standalone model built on a combination of the Astra and Insignia platforms.
Vauxhall is keen to point out that the Cascada is longer than an Audi A5 Cabriolet, although that car has a 320-litre boot with the roof down – 40 litres more than the new Vauxhall.
The Cascada’s canvas top can be opened in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph, either by pressing a switch in the cabin or via a button on the key fob. The roof comes with a choice of three colours, which contrast with 10 exterior paint finishes.
The elegant, flowing creases aim to give the new drop-top an upmarket appearance, while the interior features high-quality leather upholstery, as well as double-stitched soft-touch materials on the dashboard.
To compensate for the lack of a roof, the Cascada gets chassis strengthening that makes it 43 per cent stiffer than the Astra TwinTop. Pyrotechnic hoops pop up behind the rear seats should the car roll or airbags deploy.
Engines include an all-new MGE 1.6-litre turbo petrol, which develops 168bhp and 280Nm of torque. Direct injection and stop-start improve CO2 emissions by 13 per cent over the current 1.6T. The engine will only be offered with a six-speed automatic box. A 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol and 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel will also be available, with more powerful versions scheduled to follow.
In keeping with its flagship status, the Cascada will get HiPerStrut front suspension – which cuts torque steer – plus adaptive dampers and headlights, and a heated steering wheel.
Prices have yet to be revealed, but a spokesman confirmed the Cascada will cost less than the A5 Cabriolet, which starts at £29,455.