Vauxhall has released full images of its Cascada convertible, following the teaser shot a few weeks ago. (bloke in driving seat, of course). It really does look swish, and perfect for someone who really wants a sporty cabrio but has to give lifts (probably to children, but maybe friends).
At 4.7 metres long, it's longer than an Audi A5 Convertible, and it's hoping to steal buyers from that premium marque. Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director said "The full-size convertible sector tends only to be occupied by very high-priced cars from premium manufacturers. With Cascada, we’re offering customers high levels of equipment, technology and luxury but at an affordable price."
A wide range of engines will be offered, but the first will be a 140PS 1.4-litre petrol turbo and the 165hp 2.0 CDTi diesel from the Insignia and Zafira Sports Tourer, available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Plus, Vauxhall is most excited about the all-new 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC petrol engine, which it promises will be powerful, smooth and efficient. It produces a maximum 170PS from 1650-3200rpm and 280Nm of torque, thanks to an overboost function*. Initially this engine will only be available with a new, low-friction automatic six-speed gearbox.
The company has worked hard to keep this long body stiff to handling and reduce noise and vibration. Being realistic about the UK weather, the fabric hood has a special layer of polyester fleece to keep the cabin snug and quiet.
The price hasn't been announced yet, but I'm guessing £25,000 to undercut the £29k A5 when it goes on sale early in 2013.
I hope it can boost the Vauxhall name as the company hopes, but I can't help thinking it would do well as a hire car for visitors touring Scotland or the Cotswolds.
* Overboost is the latest buzz-word to impress performance fiends - it's a trick that uses a car's turbocharger to deliver a burst of extra power during peak acceleration.