Vauxhall Cascada Teaser Previews Buick's Likely Droptop Future
General Motors' European Open and Vauxhall units have just previewed a convertible called the Vauxhall Cascada. That's not terribly exciting news. What is, however, is the prospect of it coming to the U.S. as a Buick, the brand's first droptop since the bygone Buick Reatta of the early 1990s and the second four-seater droptop from GM since the Pontiac G6 convertible left production. Based on the same platform that underpins the Buick Verano—a car we like a whole heck of a lot—the Vauxhall Cascada measures 15.4 feet, or about 2.5 inches longer than the Audi A5 convertible. Like the Audi, which is apparently the vehicle GM Europe is targeting, it has a cloth convertible top. Vauxhall says it can even be raised or lowered while moving at speeds up to 30 mph. So far, the teaser photos are the only ones GM has officially posted, as the car is set to make its grand debut at this month's Paris Motor Show. Engine choices aren't yet known. However, spy photos are just beginning to trickle out of the woodwork of the little convertible testing in the U.S., which indicates it'll likely come here as a Buick, likely with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and turbocharged 2.0-liter found in the Verano. The waterfall-grille brand has become a conduit for General Motors' European products, taking on the Opel Insignia as our Buick Regal, the Opel Mokka as our Buick Encore, and the Verano as the Opel Astra sedan. Coincidentally enough, "Cascada" means waterfall in Spanish. We'll get a clearer look at the convertible later this month. Don't be surprised to see it in the U.S. shortly thereafter, likely under the Buick Verano's banner. Source: GM Europe
Charles Perry is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University and a former IBM engineer.