The new convertible from Opel/Vauxhall won’t be the Astra cabriolet. What Vauxhall will be producing is a new Astra-based convertible that will be built as a separate, standalone model similar to the Eos from Volkswagen. The launch for the new mid-sized Vauxhall/Opel convertible will take place in 2012. It will be seen next summer and it will go on sale in the UK later in the year.
There are not many details known about Vauxhall's new 2012 convertible but a design sketch was issued several months ago to give us an idea. For instance, a traditional canvas roof will be used by the new standalone cabrio instead of the Astra CC's folding hard top.
It also seems like the mass market has let go of its fascination for technically interesting models that have a bland appearance, says Car. In fact, numerous European car makers are doing away with the heavy folding hard tops and are converting their coupe-convertible successors into trad convertibles.
Mark Adams, GM’s European design chief, said that the new Astra-based convertible will have a new name. He said that Vauxhall and Opel are preparing to enter the third stage of his product renewal program.
The first phase is the current Insignia - 'a line in the sand car'. The second phase was using fresh, modern designs instead of the old ones. He cited the Meriva, Astra and new Zafira Tourer models. Adams also said that in 2012, we should expect a series of “much fancier cars.” He believes that the upcoming products to be launched will change what people think when they hear Vauxhall and Opel.
It has been quite some time since Opel had introduced a model in the mid-size convertible class. However after 40 years, all that is about to change as Opel introduces the Cascada. For the brand, it is clear that the Cascada is a vehicle that the household can use on a daily basis. This is true for those who want a vehicle that offers everyday practicality while being an open-air and elegant car. The Cascada is also a vehicle for those who have active lifestyles and have outdoor hobbies or play sports. It does not sacrifice comfort but you’ll be glad to know the Cascada has an amazing price to performance ratio.
The trunk meanwhile can carry a load capacity going as high as 380 liters. Equipped with the FlexFold system, the rear seats can have its seat-back electronically released and then folded in a 50:50 split. Truly the Cascada is not merely a vehicle that should be used solely for outings during the summer. It remains to be a vehicle that can be used on a daily basis, all year round. Should the weather become cold, the Cascada makes use of premium soft top features that offer excellent acoustic and even thermal isolation.
Other features to be offered include the heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and the electric auxiliary heater. What makes the Cascada stand out is that many of Opel’s cabrios have mainly been the brand’s own version of models from other automakers. Some of these conversions were done by specialist coachbuilders, in the vein of Karl Deutsch or Autenrieth, and manage to sell only a few units as part of a limited edition. If was also common practice in the past to outsource production of the cabrio.
Take the Kapitän Cabriolet, which was made way back in 1953. With a total length of around 4.70 meters, this makes it just a bit longer when compared to the Cascada. At the time of its release, it grabbed the attention of many people especially with the flowing and stylish design.
Then we also saw the open-air Kapitän which was done by Autenrieth. Karl Deutsch in Cologne meanwhile made the 1964 Opel Rekord A Cabrio. It was also during this period that customers wanted their sedan to be customized to a convertible and they had to pay extra, usually an estimated two-thirds of the current base price. The new Cascada however was planned and then engineered to be a stand-alone model. Unlike other offerings from the brand, the Cascada is not a cabrio interpretation of an existing vehicle.