Mar 15, 2013
Rüsselsheim. The Cascada, Opel’s new all-season convertible set to arrive at dealerships from April, is a classy four-seater with an elegant, elongated silhouette and a high quality soft-top. Positioned at the top of Opel’s product line-up, the Cascada is a mid-size convertible that’s distinguished not only by its size (length: 4,696 mm; width 2,020 mm incl. mirrors), but also by its allure, premium technologies and the many features it offers.
The Opel Cascada delivers a sharp driving experience with its super-rigid body, advanced HiPerStrut front suspension – initially developed for the high performance Insignia OPC – and FlexRide adaptive damping system. All occupants can enjoy the pleasures of open-air driving thanks to the premium soft-top that opens at the touch of a button in 17 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h, or also via remote control when the car is at a standstill. True premium features such as electric seatbelt presenters, electric Easy Entry system, exclusive Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated ergonomically-designed seats and invisible safety systems all combine to make life comfortable and safe.
Featuring a rich standard equipment, the Cascada is available to order, with prices starting at just 25,945 euros (RRP incl. VAT in Germany). Introducing this latest addition to the Opel portfolio, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Chairman of Adam Opel AG Management Board, says: “The Cascada is the latest step in our current product offensive. We’re enhancing our portfolio and entering all-new segments, with the electric Ampera, the sub-compact SUV Mokka, the fashionable, urban ADAM, and now with this elegant mid-size convertible. We are very proud to enter the mid-size cabriolet segment, which has so far been occupied only by expensive cars from premium manufacturers. With the Cascada, Opel now offers open-air fans all the features and premium qualities typical of a mid-size convertible, but at an affordable price.”
After several generations of compact Kadett and Astra convertibles, Opel returns with the Cascada to an older tradition of prestigious and rare mid-size, four-seat soft-top convertibles from the fifties and sixties – like the Kapitän and the Rekord. The Cascada recalls that era in a decidedly contemporary and refreshing way with the best of modern technologies.
With its broad stance and a flowing continuity of sculptured shapes that is typical of Opel, the design of the Cascada reflects the classic and timeless elegance of “Grandes Routières” from a glamorous, bygone age. With the top down for open-air driving, the Cascada has an absolutely clean profile. Behind the fast, gracefully raked A-pillars, there is no visible roof top cover or rollover protection to disturb its smooth silhouette. To add some visual drama to this simplicity of line, a subtle Opel blade contour in the lower body side is mirrored by a sharp crease that flows upward into the wraparound rear lights. The gently upswept waistline is highlighted by a chrome strip which sweeps elegantly around the cockpit. It delineates the boundary between the roof top and body with fluidity and grace.
“We’ve given Cascada’s body this drama that makes it stand out from all other convertibles”, says Malcolm Ward, Opel Lead Designer. “And while most convertibles cultivate their looks with the top down only and seem clumsy with their roof up, the Cascada always cuts a fine figure. Even with the roof closed, it has a perfect, seamless profile.”
Tastefully sculpted with a purposeful power bulge, the hood flows back from a deep grille which features bold chrome applications. The fog lights are housed in inverted ‘shark fin’ elements, which are visually highlighted by chrome inserts. Using LED technology, the daytime running lights in the headlamps and the rear lights both incorporate Opel’s signature wing feature. In the rear, the new generation of 3D homogeneous LED modules is spread to give solid, sharp illumination, a feature typical of premium class cars. A prominent chrome bar linking the light units set into the trunk lid echoes the bold chrome trim at the front.
Top quality materials and engineering solutions, selected from suppliers of the most prestigious premium convertibles, are used in the Cascada’s soft-top system. Its structure uses magnesium components to contain its weight, and its rear glass window sits almost flush to the fabric, with a level of execution that so far is only available in luxury roadsters. The Cascada’s premium soft-top also features superior acoustic and thermal insulation from a special layer of polyester fleece sandwiched between the outer and interior linings.
A standard electro-hydraulic power system, activated via a switch between the front seats, opens the roof in just 17 seconds at driving speeds of up to 50 km/h – placing the Cascada among the market leaders for its soft-top operation. A remote control in the key fob for opening and closing the roof is also standard equipment for all models. Three soft-top colors, Black, Malbec-Red, and Sweet Mocca, are available at launch. They can be coordinated with a palette of ten body colors, varying from sporty Blue Buzz to elegant Phantom Grey, and luxurious Dark Mahagony.
The Cascada’s sculpted cabin features striking, sporty design elements, highlighted by precise, handcrafted details. The wing-shaped instrument panel – with authentic stitching on its soft, Morrocana wrapped surfaces – flows into the doors to dynamically embrace the front occupants. All seats are richly trimmed and available with several elegantly embossed fabrics and leathers. Up-level AGR-certified ergonomic seats are upholstered in rich fabric or two leather qualities: the black, perforated trim looks sportier, and the soft, opulent and warm brandy-colored Nappa leather exudes comfort and luxury. Seat heating is naturally available for both front seats; the leather seats can also benefit from heat reflective protection and a ventilation system: on hot, sunny days, fresh air is drawn through perforations to optimize front occupant comfort.
The Cascada also offers features that are only available in premium and luxury convertibles: electric seatbelt presenters use a telescopic arm to conveniently slide the front seatbelt buckle assembly into close and comfortable reach, while an electric Easy Entry system greatly enhances rear seat access and offers increased legroom for rear seat passengers.
The Opel Cascada is comfortable and practical for all-season daily use, benefiting from a storage and stowage capacity which is particularly generous for a convertible. Several useful, large storage areas are located around the driver: in the door, in and under the instrument panel and, thanks to an Electric Park Brake (standard in the up-level Cosmo specification), in the center console – just where you need storage space the most.
Trunk volume with the roof down is 280 liters, while up to 380 liters are available when the soft-top is up. This positions the Cascada among the top convertibles in terms of trunk space. To increase its load volume or to transport exceptionally long objects (e.g. snowboards or skis), the Opel Cascada benefits from the FlexFold system that electrically releases and folds down the 50:50 split rear seat-back rests. This feature allows to enhance luggage compartment capacity to up to 750 liters and to transport objects of up to 1,818 mm in length.
Being an all-weather, all-season convertible, the Opel Cascada has all the features that allow everyday use without any constraints also during the winter season. In addition to the perfect thermal isolation of its soft top it also offers a heated steering wheel, parking heater, quick heat systems and other features which stand for the cars’ everyday practicality.
Body stiffness is a key requirement for open-roof vehicles, having a major effect on driving dynamics, steering precision, acoustics, safety and comfort. High body stiffness also conveys a feeling of genuine quality and solidity. Several measures give the Cascada a superior balance between torsional and bending stiffness. These include impressive, crossed steel bars in the underbody and reinforced side sills. This strong structure provides a solid base for the action of the suspension components and contributes towards a significant reduction in noise, vibration and harshness. Compared to Opel’s previous generation convertible, the Cascada’s body is 41 percent stiffer in torsion and 27 percent stiffer in bending.
The new mid-size Opel Cascada has an impressive footprint, which benefits handling and stability, as well as the car’s visual appeal. The wheelbase (2,695 mm) is only 40 mm shorter than the one of the Insignia. Front and rear tracks measure 1,587 mm. The front track is 2 mm wider than the Insignia’s.
Cascada’s front axle features Opel’s best chassis technology as standard, with a HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) suspension layout, initially developed for the Insignia OPC. HiPerStrut separates the functions of damping and steering, providing optimum traction and cornering precision as well as reduced torque steer and improved grip in all road conditions.
The Opel Cascada has electrically powered rack-and-pinion steering with speed sensitive assistance. For more direct steering feel and precision, the electric motor is mounted on the rack, instead of at the base of the steering column.
FlexRide, Opel’s integrated fully adaptive chassis control system with three settings (Standard, the comfort-orienterd Tour and the Sport modes), is of course available in the Cascada. It enhances ride quality, handling and safety by automatically adapting to different driving conditions and driving styles, as well as the driver’s selected preferences. The Opel Cascada can be equipped with 17- to 20-inch wheels.
A broad powertrain line-up is available in the Opel Cascada convertible. A 1.4-liter gasoline Turbo opens the engine portfolio. It is combined with a manual six-speed transmission and is available with power ratings of 88 kW/120 hp or 103 kW/140 hp. Both versions deliver up to 220 Nm of torque with an overboost function.
At launch, the highlight in the Cascada powertrain line-up is the 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC gasoline engine. This mid-size, direct injection unit is part of an all-new engine generation that makes its debut in Opel’s new convertible and will also power other mid-size and compact models in the line-up. The 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC boasts exceptionally smooth power and torque delivery, as well as an outstanding refinement, which perfectly fits to a convertible that is mostly used for cruising along. It delivers 125 kW/170 hp, between 4,250 and 6,000 rpm, and up to 280 Nm of torque thanks to an overboost function – the best torque value for a 1.6 Turbo engine in this power category. It can be fitted with a manual six-speed gearbox combined with a Start/Stop system or with an automatic six-speed transmission of the new generation. The 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC also offers an excellent balance between performance (222 km/h top speed and 9.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h) and fuel efficiency (6.3 liter/100 km, 148 g/km CO2).
On the diesel side, the new, sophisticated 2.0 CDTI BiTurbo engine with 143 kW/195 hp and powerful torque of 400 Nm will have its debuts before summer. Using state-of-the art, sequential twin-turbo diesel technology, it delivers an exceptional blend of high performance (up to 230 km/h top speed and 9.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h) and excellent fuel economy (5.2 liter/100 km and 138 g/km CO2 only). It is mated with a six-speed manual gear box and Start/Stop system.
The well-known and fuel-efficient 2.0 CDTI with 121 kW/165 hp comes with a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. This engine delivers up to 380 Nm when overboost is engaged.
The Cascada is the first model in Opel’s line-up to receive the new generation low-friction, six-speed automatic transmission. It features an Active Select function which enables manual shifting for a more sporty driving experience.
The Cascada combines an open-air driving experience with the best of Opel technology. This includes the intelligent AFL+ Adaptive Forward Lighting system with up to ten automatic functions, the second generation Opel Eye front camera with its new, extended functionalities (enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning, a new Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Alert), a rear-view camera and an Advanced Park Assist to ease parking maneuvers, an ultra-sonic based Side Blind Spot Alert, ergonomic front seats, a heated steering wheel and Hill Start Assist.
The Cascada’s extremely rigid passenger cell is fabricated mainly from high-strength steel, minimizing body deformation to provide the greatest possible survival space in the event of a crash. The doors have diagonally-mounted, ultra-high strength steel beams and belt-line reinforcements. The A-pillars supporting the windscreen are in press-hardened steel. And for roll-over protection, pyrotechnically activated spring-loaded high-strength bars automatically deploy behind the rear seats. These pop-ups are also triggered in other severe crash situations – when the airbags are deployed – to prepare the vehicle for possible secondary impacts which could result in a roll-over. Both front seats benefit from active, two-way headrests and double seatbelt pre-tensioners – and even the rear seatbelts also have pre-tensioners.
Designed and developed in Germany, the Cascada is built at Opel’s state-of-the art production facility in Gliwice, Poland.