Cascada convertible revealed

Vauxhall is launching a new model aimed at a sector traditionally dominated by premium car manufacturers.

The new Cascada full-size convertible, with four seats and a fabric roof, will mark Vauxhall's entry into a fourth new sector this year.

The Cascada, at nearly 4.7 metres, is longer than an Audi A5 Convertible, and is said by the company to boast classic lines reminiscent of the luxury touring cars of years ago.

The new model marks Vauxhall's return to a sector of the market which it hasn't competed in for over 80 years.

The new model's 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, producing 170PS and 280Nm of torque, will be the leader in a range of four different engines. The new car is equipped with a layer of polyester fleece between the outer and inner linings of the hood to provide acoustic and thermal insulation.

The automatic hood can open in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph via an interior switch.

A very rigid body is torsionally 43% stiffer than Vauxhall's previous open-topped car, the Astra Twin Top, and will use the HiPerStrut front suspension first used on the 325PS Insignia VXR.

The Cascada, boasting a large-capacity cabin and materials of high quality, has a perfectly clean profile with the top down. No roof-top cover or visible roll-over protection interferes with the silhouette behind the steeply-raked A-pillar.

The car has a broad stance and elegant lines with a length of 4697mm and width of 1840m, not including mirrors.

Vauxhall's new offering follows on from its Ampera, Mokka and ADAM model launches this year.

Duncan Aldred, the chairman and managing director of Vauxhall, believes the Cascada will alter views of Vauxhall, with customers offered affordable high levels of equipment, technology and luxury.

He said the full-size convertible sector tended to have expensive cars from premium manufacturers.

Director of exterior design, Malcolm Ward, said the car makes a fine figure when closed due to "a high quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile."

The design team was led by Briton Mark Adams.

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