Vauxhall Cascada

GM have released the first official news of an upcoming mid-sized convertible car which has been designed and built in-house by British brand Vauxhall. Named the Vauxhall Cascada it is being developed as a unique car apart from the Astra GTC coupe which appears to form its base.

It’s an unusual move that steps away from the GM trend to market the same car globally under different brand names. In fact it is the first mid-sized convertible developed solely by the Vauxhall brand since the 1930s. Since then their models have been developed by GM (often in Germany) to be sold with Opel badges in other European countries and sometimes as Holden’s in Australia or with Buick badges in America and other parts of the world.

For now at least the Cascada (meaning ‘Waterfall’ in Spanish) will be built in the UK for the home market with no news yet of it being exported and rebadged for other regions. Only the top half of the car is visible in the released renderings and we may have to wait until later in the year before proper photographs are released and the car is unveiled on the motor show circuit.

What we do know is that the car will have a fabric roof – moving away from the Astra Convertibles folding hardtop. It is a lighter and less costly option and helps to set the car apart from other traffic with the roof up, which in British weather is where it will be most of the time! If the sun does come out the roof can be dropped automatically at speeds up to 30mph.

Vauxhall Cascada

As the new name suggests this car will have unique styling although it may be based on a development of the Astra platform. Sized a touch larger than the Audi A5 Cabriolet, it certainly appears to share the front-wheel-drive proportions of the Astra and shares its front quarter-light windows. It may well be noticeably more luxurious than the mass-market Astra range.

The Vauxhall Cascada should go on sale in the Spring of 2013 to coincide with the new stop-start 197bhp 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine.