March 18, 2013. The new Opel Cascada rejuvenates the tradition of timeless, classic convertibles. This elegant newcomer joins the ranks of prestigious mid-size, four-seat soft-top convertibles previously dominated by models from premium manufacturers. After four decades and several generations of compact cabriolets derived from the Kadett and Astra models, Opel has created a completely new model with its own name and identity. Featuring a stretched, 4.70 meter-long silhouette, the Cascada is the only convertible from a mainstream manufacturer in the mid-size segment. As a result, it offers the fun of open-air driving at a much more affordable price than all competitors in its class.
The Opel Cascada draws on a rich vein of Opel tradition by recalling the era of the Kapitšn and Rekord convertibles from the fifties and sixties in a decidedly contemporary and refreshing way with the best of modern technologies.
"The Cascada is a true, mid-size convertible that's distinguished not only by its length of nearly 4.7 meters, but also by its allure and premium technologies which position it at the top of Opel's product line-up," says Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, summarizing the new Opel convertible's appeal. "It offers a compelling combination of Opel's best high-tech features, such as HiPerStrut front suspension, our mechatronic FlexRide damping system, intelligent, adaptive forward lighting AFL+, and our second-generation Opel Eye front camera. Its premium soft top can also be opened at the touch of a button in 17 seconds while driving at speeds up to 50 km/h, which places the Cascada among the market leaders for its soft-top operation. By offering all these features, we are able to address discerning customers who want to enjoy the premium quality of a mid-size convertible at a particularly attractive price."
Premium qualities make the Opel Cascada first choice
Elegant, flowing design, generous space for four adults, a soft top with an unrivalled operating mechanism, premium trim and equipment options, and the use of advanced technologies - these are the key attributes with which the Cascada aims to conquer the mid-size convertible segment.
With its length of 4,686 mm and alluring design, the Opel Cascada clearly fits in the mid-size convertible segment - currently mainly occupied by the BMW 3-Series (4.61 m), Audi A5 (4.63 m) and Mercedes E-Class (4.70 m) - and is well above the compact segment (VW Golf: 4.25 m, Audi A3: 4.24 m; BMW 1-Series: 4.36 m; Peugeot 308 CC: 4.44 m; Renault Megane Coupť-Cabriolet: 4.49 m). However, its attractive prices, starting at 25,945 euros (RRP incl. VAT in Germany), are clearly comparable with those of compact cabriolets, even though it has a rich standard equipment level which includes:
A high quality soft-top system electrically deploying in 17 seconds at driving speeds up to 50 km/h, and by remote control when stationary.
Premium HiPerStrut front suspension initially developed for the high-performance Insignia OPC.
A FlexFold electro-magnetic system which enables easy folding down of the rear seat backs to extend load capacity to 750 liters.
Further Opel Cascada highlights are its exemplary everyday practicality and a broad selection of driver assistance and safety systems, some of which are not even offered by premium manufacturers. These include: a second generation Opel Eye front camera with enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indication and Forward Collision Alert; AFL+ Adaptive Forward Lighting; a rear-view camera and Side Blind Spot Alert. Extra comfort is available with ergonomic seats for the driver and front passenger which have been certified by AGR (Campaign for Healthier Backs) experts for their exceptional lumbar and back support.
Elegant mid-size convertible - engineered and built by Opel
With the Cascada, Opel re-enters the mid-size convertible segment after an absence of four decades. Its very special appeal is also due to the fact that most of Opel's former larger cabrios, in stark contrast to the Cascada, were adaptations of existing models not made directly by Opel. They were conversions by specialist coachbuilders, like Autenrieth or Karl Deutsch, and sold only as limited editions. The outsourcing of cabrio production was common practice at that time.
One example is the Opel Kapitšn Cabriolet from 1953, which at over 4.70 meters in length was slightly longer than today's Cascada. However, like Opel's newcomer, it captivated audiences with glamorous, flowing design. While the open-air Kapitšn was the result of an Autenrieth conversion, the 1964 Opel Rekord A Cabrio was converted by the Karl Deutsch company in Cologne. Back then, customers had to pay extra, around another two-thirds of the base price, to get their sedan modified into a convertible. In contrast, the new Opel Cascada was planned and engineered as a complete stand-alone model, not a cabrio version of an existing product and is available for a very attractive price.
Cascada can be the only car in the household due to its year-round practicality
Customers who choose the Cascada obviously value having an elegant, open-air car. At the same time, they require everyday practicality, as they often lead an active lifestyle with sporty, outdoor hobbies, as well as an excellent price-performance ratio which does not compromise on comfort.
The Opel Cascada's trunk offers a load capacity of up to 380 liters. And with the FlexFold system which electrically releases and folds down the 50:50 split rear seat-back rests, it is not merely a second car to be reserved for open-air outings on sunny days, but fully-fledged year-round transportation for everyday use and travel. For extra comfort in winter, the Cascada's premium soft top features superior acoustic and thermal isolation, while further options such as heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and an electric auxiliary heater are available.
About 84 percent of all Cascada models are expected to be sold in Germany, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. Open-air driving fun is particularly popular in Germany and Opel expects this market alone will account for about 55 percent of sales in 2013. In view of the climate in this part of Europe, it is extremely important for the Cascada to have all the qualities required for an all-purpose, year-round car. The Cascada also has huge potential to attract new customers - for the first time, they have a viable, affordable alternative to higher-priced, mid-size convertibles.
New Opel Cascada: Exterior and interior design
Clean, athletic and strikingly handsome: the stretched lines and flowing forms of the new Opel Cascada give it a seductive visual appeal that's timeless and elegant.
Opel's entry into the prestigious, mid-size convertible segment - so far only occupied by premium brands - cuts an impressive presence, befitting its role as a luxurious, standard bearer for the brand. It is a fresh, ambitious and stunning assertion of Opel's design philosophy 'Sculptural artistry meets German precision'.
In essence, the Cascada is a modern evocation of the classic and timeless elegance of 'Grandes RoutiŤres' cars from a glamorous, bygone age. Viewed from any angle, top up or top down, it exudes style and elegance with a perfectly clean, uncluttered silhouette. Its sculpted cabin offers spacious accommodation for up to four adults and features premium class materials which reflect the quality execution of its exterior design.
"The Cascada is designed to capture the emotional appeal of open-top driving," says Malcolm Ward, Lead Design Director at Opel. "Our brief was straightforward: design an Opel no one expects for the mid-size convertible segment, and we were able to start pretty much with a clean sheet of paper. That meant we could really push out and be even more expressive with the design, because we did not need to adapt anything that came before. Almost all the Cascada's visual elements are unique and they combine to give it a cohesive, stand-out presence which befits a car in this segment."
Seductive looks: Capturing the timeless appeal of elegant design
The Opel Cascada's elegant lines combine simplicity and purity of form with the integration of sculptured shapes that's typical of modern Opel design. Viewed from any angle, it is perfectly proportioned and extremely handsome.
Its top-down profile is characterized by a sweeping waistline which is completely smooth. The belt line cleanly wraps around the interior with a chrome decor that defines the interface of exterior and interior but also graphically gives the feeling of a save open air cockpit. Active roll bar and seat belts are neatly integrated into the highly crafted body.
While many cabriolet body designs tend to lack drama once the roof is closed, visual excitement, and a sense of dynamic movement, is added to the Cascada's purity of line by subtly sculpted bodywork. The subtle Opel-typical 'blade' contour in the lower body is balanced by a distinctive, sharp crease which sweeps upwards along the upper body into the rear deck and wraparound lights. Its curvature emphasizes the swept back shape of the windscreen and A-pillars. These sculpted elements give the Cascada a feeling of speed and movement, even when it's stationary.
The frontal design is bold and upscale. Many well-known Opel design themes are given a new expression that is exclusive to the Cascada. The bold chrome grille, featuring a prominent top wing bar with the Opel badge, is flanked by 'eagle-eye' headlamp units incorporating signature wing LED daytime running lights. The full-width, lower grille features a distinctive, high quality mesh finish, and the fog lights are housed at each corner in inverted 'shark fin' recesses, highlighted by chrome elements. Like the rest of the bodywork, the Cascada's hood is tastefully sculpted. It features a purposeful power bulge. This underlines also the subtly flared execution of the wheel-arches.
The rear design is particularly clean and well balanced. Below a flat rear deck, the lighting units are neatly recessed into the trunk lid. They incorporate latest generation three-dimensional, homogeneous LED illumination, which gives a diffused yet solid glow. This lighting technology, previously only available on very few premium cars, is standard equipment for the Cascada. A prominent chrome bar, with a large Opel badge, links the light units. It complements the bold trim at the front and is the only embellishment to the cabrio's uncluttered rear styling.
Whilst the Cascada is designed for the pleasures of open-air motoring, it looks just as good when the roof is up. At the push of a button, it assumes a sporty, coupť-like profile with the soft-top stretched tautly in place. Only premium and luxury convertibles feature such a beautiful, 'solid' and clean appearance with the roof up. A high quality rear window, mounted absolutely flush with the roof fabric, is further testimony to the painstaking attention to detail which characterized the development of the Opel Cascada.
Up to 20" wheels, there is a wide option including bi-color and diamond cut finishes, that give the vehicle a solid but elegant stance.
Pure indulgence: Cabin crafted for comfort and functionality
The craftsmanship and exquisite detailing of the Cascada's sculpted cabin echoes the premium qualities of its exterior design. It provides spacious accommodation for four adults with ample storage for their personal belongings. The interior not only looks great, it is also ergonomically sound, with careful attention paid to the positioning of items such as the door handles, controls, steering wheel and gear shift.
The wing-shaped instrument panel flows into the doors, embracing the front occupants. It benefits from a standard, soft Morrocana wrapping, with authentic stitching in silver or Indian Summer color demonstrating high quality craftsmanship. The instrument panel is bisected by the center console, mounted at a shallow angle to provide easy access to the cabin controls and the main infotainment display.
The outer main dials in the instrument cluster are angled towards the driver, emphasizing the cockpit's sporty feel. And the steering wheel, instrument dials, gear shift, air vents and door openers tastefully feature satin-chrome accents as standard. At night, diffused red light illuminates the base of the center stack and the front door panels to create a distinctive night time ambience.
The front seats benefit from a new design giving wide shoulder support. All seats are deeply contoured and richly trimmed in a choice of two embossed fabrics and two soft leathers, including a luxurious, top-of-the-line Nappa interior. Rear passengers enjoy similar comfort to those up front, with armrests in the scalloped side trims and a useful storage compartment between the seats.
Individualization: Scope to express personal tastes and preferences
The Cascada offers a wide choice of colors and trim, allowing customers to tailor their convertible according to their personal tastes.
The exterior palette comprises ten colors, including a solid brilliant white, four pearlescent and five metallic paint finishes. These can be combined with the soft-top fabric in Black, and most of these also with Malbec (burgundy) or Sweet Mokka (coffee). Wheels range in size from 17 to 20 inches and offer a choice of nine alloy designs, including one 17-inch, two 18-inch, three 19-inch and three 20-inch executions.
The entry-level Cascada cabin adopts a Jet Black color theme. The seats are upholstered with richly embossed fabrics in contrasting patterns. Leather trimmed AGR-approved seats are available as an option. The instrument panel and interior roof lining feature authentic, silver stitching, emphasizing the feeling of high quality craftsmanship. This is combined with subtle dťcor trim around the center console, in the doors and under the instrument panel, including an optional Piano Black finish. The steering wheel is leather-trimmed as standard.
The up-level Cosmo cabin adds contrasting Indian Summer (brandy-colored) stitching for the instrument panel, roof lining and seats, which are also edged with piping in the same color. Piano Black decor trim comes as standard and optional AGR seats are upholstered in leather with small, decorative perforations. A superb Nappa leather interior is the Cascada's ultimate expression of luxury and style. Available as an option with Cosmo specification, it includes AGR seats and door and rear cabin linings upholstered in opulent, soft brown leather with brandy-colored stitching and piping. The flat-bottomed steering wheel adds a sporty flourish.
Pure driving fun thanks to stiff body and high performance chassis
While most cabrios are little more than 'topless' adaptations of pre-existing, fixed-head models, the new Opel Cascada was planned, designed and developed from the outset as a pure convertible. This offers two benefits - the Cascada stands out with unique looks and perfect, uncompromised proportions, while having a body structure that boasts a class-leading combination of high torsional and bending stiffness.
Its extremely rigid body provides a firm foundation for the suspension and steering systems, enabling excellent driving dynamics and increased driving fun. It also benefits from high 'dynamic' stiffness, a measure of resistance to vibration and resonance when on the move.
As you would expect, the Opel Cascada features the best chassis technology Opel has to offer. It comes as standard with advanced HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front suspension, initially developed for the Insignia OPC, while the adaptive mechatronic FlexRide damping system is optionally available.
Art of engineering: Superior rigidity and outstanding chassis technology
High structural stiffness is a key criterion for open-top vehicles. It plays a crucial role in driving behavior, steering precision, acoustics and ride comfort, conveying a clear feeling of 'solidity' and genuine quality.
Compared to Opel's previous cabriolet generation, the Cascada's body structure is 41 percent stiffer in torsion and 27 percent stiffer in bending. These improvements even make it superior to mid-size cabrios from premium manufacturers. The Cascada's excellent combination of high torsional and bending stiffness is due to several measures, including impressive underbody crossed steel bars and newly-developed, wider and reinforced side sill profiles.
The extremely rigid passenger cell is mainly fabricated from high and ultra-high-strength steel that has been designed for the least possible deformation and the largest possible survival space in crash conditions. The doors have ultra-high-strength steel beams that are mounted diagonally, as well as beltline reinforcements.
The A-pillars supporting the windscreen are in press-hardened steel. A sub-assembly of high-strength, hot-rolled, cold-bended tube, embedded in press-hardened steel panels, feeds loads downwards from the upper A-pillar/header rail through the hinge-pillar, and is anchored into the sill structure.
There are no B and C-pillars so, in the event of a roll-over, pyrotechnically activated, spring-loaded high-strength bars automatically deploy behind the rear seats. The Opel Cascada's top-down profile remains completely smooth and clean, free of any visible disruption from the rollover protection equipment.
This newly developed body architecture provides secure protection for occupants, contributes to a reduction in noise and vibration, and ensures higher comfort.
Best Opel technology: HiPerStrut front suspension and FlexRide chassis
Opel's finest chassis technology, originally developed for the Insignia OPC, is featured in the Cascada's front axle with HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) suspension. HiPerStrut separates the functions of damping and steering, providing optimal traction and cornering precision, as well as reduced torque steer and improved grip under all conditions. Compared to a conventional McPherson strut suspension, the HiPerStrut layout also takes up less space and saves weight.
An increased caster angle, a reduced kingpin inclination and a shorter spindle length are the key improvements in suspension geometry provided by HiPerStrut. When cornering, there is no loss in negative camber at the front wheels, which maintains the tire's contact patch with the road to give more grip. As a result, the Cascada corners more neutrally and traction is improved. The shorter spindle length also significantly reduces torque steer reactions, sensitivity to road shocks, while improving overall steering feel. In addition, the geometry improvements from the HiPerStrut also mean the Cascada can be fitted with wheels up to 20 inches in diameter.
At the rear, the Opel Cascada features an innovative combination of a compound crank rear axle with a Watts linkage. This clever layout offers many advantages. It is lighter and more compact than a multi-link rear suspension, while offering improved lateral control and stability. In addition, this arrangement also dampens unwanted noise and provides a high level of driving comfort.
The Opel Cascada has an electrically-powered rack-and-pinion steering system with speed sensitive assistance. For more direct steering feel and precision, the electric motor is mounted on the rack, as opposed to the base of the steering column.
FlexRide, Opel's integrated, fully adaptive chassis control system is, of course, available with the Cascada. It enhances ride, handling and safety by automatically adapting damper rates to the prevailing driving situation and driving style. The driver can choose between three driving modes: Standard, Sport or Tour. Sport mode makes the chassis stiffer and offers a more direct driving feel, while the Tour setting enables especially relaxed cruising. The Opel Cascada can be equipped with a wide range of wheels, from 17 to 20-inches in diameter.
Efficient state-of-the-art engines with ground-breaking technologies
The new mid-size Cascada convertible captivates with its elegant looks and many comfortable trim and equipment options, while also offering a broad and efficient powertrain portfolio. At market launch, three turbo gasoline engines and one turbo diesel unit are available, with power outputs ranging from 88 kW/120 hp to 125 kW/170 hp. These will shortly be joined by a 143 kW/195 hp BiTurbo diesel. The highlight in the gasoline offer is the new generation 1.6-liter SIDI Turbo, with direct injection and Start/Stop functionality, which makes its debut in the Cascada. There is a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
Top technology: New generation 1.6 Turbo gasoline engine with direct injection
A 1.4 turbo gasoline unit opens the portfolio. It is combined with a six-speed manual transmission and is available with power outputs of 88 kW/120 hp or 103 kW/140 hp, both delivering up to 220 Nm of torque thanks to an overboost function. The more powerful version comes as standard with Start/Stop, which further reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The highlight in the Opel Cascada powertrain line-up is the 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC unit from a new family of mid-size gasoline engines. Featuring direct-injection, this engine is part of Opel's all-new powertrain portfolio and is geared to deliver extremely smooth performance, with strong torque and great fuel economy. It makes its premiere in the Cascada and will soon expand Opel's engine offer in other mid-size and compact models.
"The new mid-size gasoline engine family is the start of a fundamental renewal of our powertrain portfolio," says Mike Ableson, Opel Management Board Member and GM Europe Vice President, Engineering. "The 1.6-liter downsized engine is distinguished by powerful propulsion at low rpms and is especially quiet and environmentally compatible. It is the perfect engine for our convertible and we will also integrate it in other Opel models quite soon."
Up to 22 percent higher torque and 20 percent lower consumption
The 125 kW/170 hp 1.6 Turbo provides impressive maximum torque of 280 Nm from just 1,650 rpm, thanks to an overboost function. This is more pulling power than any comparable engine from notable competitors, which mostly produce 240 to 250 Nm, and is up to 50 Nm more than its 1.6-liter predecessor delivered.
With Start/Stop and a six-speed manual transmission, the 1.6-liter Cascada consumes an average of just 6.3 l/100 km and emits only 148 g/km CO2. Compared to its 1.6 turbo predecessor in Opel's previous cabrio generation, engineers have reduced fuel consumption and emissions by more than 20 percent.
With the 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC, the Cascada accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 222 km/h. The engine is also available with a new, low-friction six-speed automatic transmission, featuring an Active Select function to allow manual shifting for a more sporty driving experience.
To provide excellent performance and refinement for optimum driving comfort, the key engine development objectives for engineers were low overall levels of radiated noise and vibration, with no unusual sounds. Optimization of the induction and exhaust systems included decoupling the cam cover from the cylinder head via specific fasteners, and a sealing system designed to resist high temperatures from the adjacent turbocharger.
Despite direct injection and pulsed combustion, engineers were able to substantially reduce noise levels compared to the previous engine. As a result of these 'sound-engineering' measures, the customer will appreciate quiet and smooth idling, with a pleasant sound quality even at high road speeds, engine speeds and loads. The engine provides the perfect basis for gentle, smooth open-air cruising, while always keeping immediate propulsion power at the ready as needed.
Two diesel engines including strong, 400 Nm 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI
Customers who prefer diesel power can order a 2.0 CDTI with 121 kW/165 hp, which comes with either a manual or automatic six-speed transmission. This engine delivers up to 380 Nm when its overboost is active. With six-speed manual transmission and Start/Stop, it consumes just 5.2 l/100 km and emits only 138 g/km of CO2.
The Cascada engine portfolio will soon be completed by a top-of-the-line 143 kW/195 hp 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI with a six-speed manual transmission and Start/Stop. Sophisticated, sequential BiTurbo technology provides a high power output, an instantaneous throttle response and extraordinary pulling power from a wide torque plateau.
It will enable the elegant Cascada to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 9.4 seconds, and from 80 to 120 km/h in only 8.5 seconds in fifth gear, with a top speed of 230 km/h. It generates maximum torque of 400 Nm, 80 percent (320 Nm) of which is available at just 1,250 rpm. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are, respectively, only 5.2 l/100 km and 138 g/km - so this state-of-the-art BiTurbo with sequential twin-turbo technology is not only powerful, but also impressively efficient, delivering an exceptional blend of high performance and great fuel economy.
Comfort and economy - new transmission generation
In addition to impressive new engines, there are also new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The latest generation Opel manual transmissions enable even more precise and smoother gear shifting. Engineers have achieved shorter shift patterns, while at the same time reducing shift forces. To achieve this, the six-speed manual transmission was comprehensively reworked with modifications to the shift mechanism. These measures focused on increased efficiency, with further improved precision, shift forces and comfort when the transmission is cold or hot.
The focal points in the development of the second generation six-speed automatic transmission are increased efficiency and faster shift times, together with lower noise and vibration. Thanks to a small torque converter, Opel engineers were able to reduce inertia. Optimized bearings, joint rings and friction elements also ensure a higher degree of efficiency. A further key feature is the coil spring inside the torque converter, for which the spring rate has been halved to improve vibration damping. This advanced automatic transmission is available with both the 1.6 SIDI Turbo gasoline engine and the 2.0 turbo diesel.
All-season convertible with premium soft top
The new Opel Cascada is a captivating mid-size convertible with an extremely elegant, stretched silhouette, top up and top down. Its flawless, athletic look is free of any visible disruption from the soft-top cover or the installation of rollover protection equipment when the top is down. When lowered, the roof disappears completely below a flat, high quality tonneau cover.
The nearly 4.7 meter-long four-seat Opel Cascada looks just as good when the roof is up, thanks to its taut, aerodynamically shaped soft top. To engineer and produce the Cascada's fabric soft top, Opel collaborated with the leading suppliers to premium and luxury convertible manufacturers. As a result, the Cascada's soft-top system benefits from the very latest and best technologies, as well as the use of high-quality materials. Its operation is fast and flexible, and its execution shows outstanding quality.
The Cascada also proves that beauty and practicality can be compatible in a convertible format through its exemplary trunk volume and host of storage compartments.
"With the Opel Cascada, we aggregated many qualities from the most established, mid-size premium convertibles on the market," says Duncan Aldred, Acting Vice President Sales, Marketing & Aftersales Opel/Vauxhall. "The Cascada features the very best of soft top and convertible technologies. At the same time, we have remained true to Opel values by offering this outstanding package of technology, functionality, quality and pleasure at a super-attractive price. The Opel Cascada not only offers relaxing, glamorous cruising in the sunshine, it is also a fully-fledged, year-round car for everyday use with its premium soft top and generous interior room."
Best convertible roof technology sets new standards
Raising the Opel Cascada's soft-top via a chromed button conveniently located in the lower center console - exactly where the hand naturally falls - takes just 17 seconds. And it can be lowered or raised while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h. This makes the Cascada roof system among the best on the market. In comparison, cabriolets using folding hard tops require up to 30 seconds, while driving at walking speed, for a similar operation to be completed. When the Cascada is stationary, its roof can also be opened and closed via a remote control button on the key fob. In addition, the side windows can be raised, lowered and locked at the touch of a button, thanks to a convenient, single four-window switch. All these useful functionalities are standard in all Cascada models.
With a thick foam encapsulation isolating the hydraulic pump power system, the Cascada's roof operates smoothly and quietly, as well as quickly. This refined operation enhances the Cascada's charisma and is more sophisticated than systems found in many premium competitors in the mid-size class. The roof's electro-hydraulic power mechanism has been exhaustively tested through 15,000 cycles with flawless use.
Compared to a folding hard roof, the Cascada's soft-top system is 65 percent lighter, weighing only about 50 kg. This is not only due to the fabric itself, but also to the extensive use of high-tech, weight-saving materials. While the canopy structure uses extruded aluminum profiles, the wide front fascia latching to the windscreen is in magnesium. Great attention has also been given to the quality and tensioning of the fabric. The design features hidden longitudinal stitching for the interior lining, giving the impression that it is created from a single piece of material. In addition, the inelegant 'ballooning' effect, which is typical of most soft-top cabriolets on the move, has been drastically minimized: tests at up to 240 km/h have revealed an almost imperceptible distortion.
Other details that underline the uncompromising, premium approach in the design of Cascada's soft top include a heated glass rear window which is flush with the roof fabric - a feature so far only seen in expensive luxury roadsters costing almost 200,000 euro - and an absolutely clean execution of the upper windscreen sealing. Thanks to its first-class workmanship and exemplary soft-top operating mechanism, the Cascada is a fully-fledged all-weather and year-round car.
Two high-quality soft tops are available
Highest quality materials, usually found only in prestigious premium convertibles, are used for the Opel Cascada's soft top, resulting in superior acoustic and thermal insulation. The Standard Soft Top has a premium class three-layer exterior fabric made of highly-resistant polyacrylic material. Worldwide testing at extreme temperatures from -40 to +85 degrees Celsius has proved it is completely weather-proof, with insulation superior to a retractable hard top. It does not require any regular impregnation and is UV resistant so it remains long-term colour-fast, keeping the car looking good. The visible interior lining is made of woven polyacrylic material, which gives the impression that the whole surface is made from one uniform piece.
The Cosmo trim variant of the Cascada comes as standard with the exceptional Acoustic Soft Top, featuring enhanced acoustic insulation. Between the top layer and the interior lining, there is an additional special layer of polyester fleece with 400g/m2. The top cover material is 1,240 g/m2 compared to 1,020 g/m2 for the Standard roof. These additions improve thermal insulation and significantly reduce noise levels inside the cabin. In this way, the interior is optimally insulated against external noise when the roof is up, guaranteeing an especially quiet and relaxing experience for all occupants. The Acoustic Soft top is available in three colors: Black, Sweet Mokka (coffee) and Malbec (burgundy).
Generous storage space and sophisticated stowage solutions with practical access
The Cascada boasts exemplary storage space and load capacity for a vehicle in this class, features that make it ideal for everyday use as well as longer journeys.
Trunk volume with the roof down is 280 liters, while up to 380 liters is available when the soft top is up. To increase load volume or transport exceptionally long items, the Cascada benefits from its FlexFold system, which electrically releases and folds down the 50:50 split rear seat backs. This feature, increases load-carrying capacity to 750 liters (top up) and enables stowage of objects up to 1,818 mm long.
The driver is surrounded by numerous, spacious storage compartments. These are located in both front doors - big enough for 1.5 liter beverage bottles - as well as in and under the instrument panel. With an electric park brake (standard for Cosmo trim), there is also storage space between the front seats, where it is most often needed.
The carefully thought-out location and positioning of the cabin storage compartments is the result of a Europe-wide survey, in which Opel customers, potential customers and the friends and families of Opel employees were asked about the items they normally carry with them in their cars. Opel engineers then used the findings to develop practical, everyday in-vehicle storage solutions, making them easily and readily accessible.
Outstanding comfort and safety at an attractive price
The new Opel Cascada mid-size convertible offers a wide range of advanced technologies and features to enhance comfort and safety. Some of these have so far only been available in mid-size open-top cars from premium manufacturers, while others are simply unique to the segment. And, true to Opel core values, the Cascada offers all these features at a very attractive price. It is the best-priced mid-size convertible on the market, boasting a very rich level of standard equipment and optional systems at very accessible prices.
Rich standard comfort equipment characterizes the Cascada
The entry version of the Cascada is available from 25,945 euros (RRP incl. VAT in Germany), making it the most accessible mid-size convertible on the market. It already comes with a wide range of equipment and state-of-the-art technologies fitted as standard. One highlight, naturally, is the taut electric soft-top which can be opened at the press of a button in 17 seconds at driving speeds up to 50 km/h, or also via remote control when the car is stationary.
Best Opel chassis technology, originally developed for the Insignia OPC, is featured on the front axle with HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) suspension, guaranteeing driving fun, superb traction and great ride quality.
The Cascada also offers a luggage compartment load volume of up to 380 liters when the soft-top is closed. And it boasts comfortable, easy-to-operate features such as the FlexFold system which electrically releases and folds down the 50:50 split rear seat backrests.
All this makes the Cascada perfectly suitable for everyday use, as well as for longer journeys. Other standard features on all Cascada variants include rear lights in newest-generation homogeneous LED technology, while a Morrocana-wrapped instrument panel and a leather steering wheel add extra glamour and refinement. The Park Pilot also assists reverse parking with an acoustic warning signal.
The Opel Cascada Cosmo version offers additional equipment, such as electric seatbelt presenters, electric parking brake, dual-zone ECC (Electronic Climate Control) and elegant Morrocana seat upholstery with contrasting stitching and piping.
Comfort features typical of premium convertibles, or unique to the segment
The doors of a convertible are especially long to ease rear seat access. This means the driver and front passenger usually have to twist round in their seats to reach their seatbelts, which are positioned back behind the shoulder. The Opel Cascada overcomes this inconvenience with its Automatic Seatbelt Presenters. The outboard seatbelt buckle is mounted on an electrically-powered telescopic arm, which extends forward to make the seatbelt much easier to reach. The mechanism is triggered when the door is closed and the ignition is switched on. The arm retracts into its housing as soon as the seatbelt is fastened. This useful convenience feature has previously only been available in a few expensive premium class convertibles.
Both front seats can benefit from the Electric Easy Entry system. It automatically operates the forward movement of the front seat when rear passengers press a catch on the outboard edge of the seatback. The front seat softly slides along its track to enable easier rear seat entry and egress, and also automatically slides back to its original position when the seatback is released.
Best-in-class seating comfort is provided by superb, ergonomically-designed seats, the only ones in the segment to be approved by Aktion Gesunder RŁcken e.V. (AGR), an independent panel of back experts. Available as an option with fabric or leather upholstery, the front AGR seats offer six-way movement and the broadest range of adjustment among the mid-size convertibles, with a powered, pneumatic lumbar support, a 60 mm seat cushion extender and a long, 280 mm fore/aft travel movement. The front seats can be electrically-powered, heated and, depending on trim level, ventilated.
Two leather qualities and colors are offered: sporty-looking black, and superb, soft, top-of-the-line brandy-colored Nappa leather upholstery. A specific Cascada comfort feature is the exclusive use of heat reflective leather, which is ideal for open-top cars. A special coating prevents the seats becoming too hot in sunny weather, reducing surface temperatures by up to 30 ļC.
With the roof up, the temperature inside the cabin can be controlled by the standard manual air conditioning or Electronic Climate Control (ECC). Both systems draw in air through a charcoal filter to extract pollen, dust and other airborne particles, even unpleasant odors. ECC provides separate driver and front passenger climate settings, with sun and air quality sensing.
With its heated steering wheel, the Cascada offers another premium feature. The leather-clad rim is heated to 32 ļC, ensuring the driver's hands stay warm for top-down motoring in cold weather. The first warming effects are perceived in less than a minute.
And when the air temperature is below 9 ļC and the engine is cold, the Cascada's optional Quick Heat system is automatically engaged, using an electric auxiliary heater to give a faster cabin warm-up and improved defrosting performance after a cold start.
To ensure maximum driving comfort, a foldable windbreaker can be mounted behind the front seats. It is fixed on recesses in the side trim behind the front seats and near the rear seat backrests. The upper part can be raised into vertical position to deflect wind, while the horizontal section remains fixed, so the rear seats cannot be occupied when the windbreaker is mounted. When rear passengers are on board, a smaller windbreaker can be mounted between the rear head-rests to reduce drafts on their seats. Both windbreakers come in a purpose-made bag which can be stored and fixed behind the rear seat backrests.
Innovative electronic systems further raise driving comfort
Six ultrasonic sensors in the front bumper and another six at the rear provide input for the Cascada's Advanced Park Assist (APA) function. On demand, this system detects a suitable parking slot, then calculates the optimal parking path and guides the driver's manoeuver with steering input displays in the center stack screen and audible warnings.
A very useful feature in a convertible, a Rear View Camera (RVC) enables the driver to see what is behind the car. It is mounted in the lower rear bumper and has a viewing angle of 130į, allowing the driver to see low obstacles that could damage the car, or small children who may be playing and not paying attention when the car is reversing - in this regard, it is also an important safety feature. A full color image is displayed on screen, together with a dynamic overlay showing the path of the vehicle when reversing.
An Electric Park Brake (EPB) comes as standard with Cosmo specifications. This reduces driver effort and is combined with Hill Start Assist (HSA), which prevents the car rolling back for one to two seconds when moving away on an incline. The EPB also frees up more center console storage space as an added bonus.
Innovative driver assistance systems enhance driving safety
Many driver assistance systems in the Cascada help the driver and further raise the level of driving safety.
The Cascada can be equipped with the second generation Opel Eye front camera, which offers four main functions:
The enhanced Lane Departure Warning (LDW) recognizes road markings and initiates an audible warning chime with a flashing signal if the Cascada's driver should unintentionally veer out of lane.
The enhanced Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) with improved image processing recognizes and displays rectangular advisory road signs and variable LED roadside warnings, as well as circular speed limit signs.
The Following Distance Indication (FDI) informs the driver of the distance to the vehicle ahead in terms of seconds via a central display.
And, if the gap shrinks below a safe distance, the Forward Collision Alert (FCA) warns the driver with a loud audible alarm and a visual warning in the instrument cluster. The driver can adjust the sensitivity of FCA with 'mid','near' or 'far' settings thanks to a switch located on the left side of the steering wheel.
The Cascada can also be equipped with the latest generation Adaptive Forward Lighting Plus (AFL+) system, which significantly improves active safety and eases driving strain at night. First introduced on the Opel Insignia, AFL+ automatically optimizes the pattern of the Cascada's bi-xenon headlamp beams for different driving situations (highway, country road, town and city streets), road and weather conditions. The changing beam patterns are enabled by steering angle and vehicle speed sensing, in combination with movable elements in the headlamp housing and variable light intensities.
A total of ten AFL+ lighting configurations are provided, including High Beam Assist (HBA), which automatically engages high and low beam by using the forward-facing camera located on the back of the rear-view mirror to detect the lights of approaching traffic, or a car ahead. The Opel Cascada's AFL+ system also provides Intelligent Light Ranging (ILR), a first-in-class function which processes the camera's image to optimize the spread of the low beam without disturbing other drivers.
Ultrasonic sensors located in the sides of the Cascada are used to provide the driver with a Side Blind Spot Alert (SBSA) function, alerting the driver of objects within four meters of the vehicle. This driving aid uses an LED light in each door mirror to warn of the presence of a vehicle approaching from behind. If the driver uses the turn indicator when a vehicle is detected in the blind spot zone, the LED will flash and a cabin warning chime will be triggered.
The Cascada's cruise control is operated via the steering wheel controls. It maintains the selected speed until it is deactivated or the clutch or brake pedal is depressed. A speed limiter function which allows the driver to select a maximum speed is also on board - a useful feature in town or city driving, for example, to prevent a 30 or 50 km/h speed limit being inadvertently exceeded. If the driver does exceed the maximum selected speed, a warning appears on the display.
Infotainment system with scope for personalization and voice recognition
The Cascada can be equipped with a number of premium infotainment systems which provide a relaxing and safe travel experience. With the navigation systems Navi 600 and Navi 900 Europe, all maps are stored on SD cards. Apart from POIs (Points of Interest) already available when the SD cards are purchased, further POIs can be downloaded and saved onto the system via USB connections. An extra POI function also alerts the driver to interesting features in the vicinity by voice, text and pop-up messages.
Apart from the shortest and fastest routes, users can also choose the most efficient alternative in terms of fuel consumption. The Navi 900 Europe system additionally enables the driver to separate private and business trips. A voice recognition function allows operation of both the hand-free telephone function and the navigation system.
Highest crash safety: Dual seatbelt pre-tensioners, advanced roll-over protection
The new Opel Cascada provides occupants with excellent crash impact protection thanks to an extremely rigid passenger cell. It is fabricated mainly from high and ultra-high-strength steel, minimizing deformation to ensure the greatest possible survival space in the event of a collision. The doors have diagonally-mounted, ultra-high strength steel beams and belt-line reinforcements, while the A-pillars are in ultra-high-strength press-hardened steel.
To keep an uncluttered silhouette, the Cascada has hidden roll-over protection located behind the rear seats. It consists of spring-loaded, pop-up bars, which are pyrotechnically activated. They are also triggered in other severe crash situations - when the airbags are deployed - to prepare the car for possible secondary impacts which could cause a roll-over.
The Cascada also features dual front seatbelt pre-tensioners, with tensioning applied to both the shoulder and lap straps. In the event of a crash, this restricts movement of the occupant's pelvis, as well as the upper body, which means legs and knees are less likely to come into contact with a hard surface, such as the instrument panel. It was therefore unnecessary to equip the Opel Cascada with knee airbags. Accident repair costs may also be reduced because only the pre-tensioners require replacement, instead of a more expensive airbag module.
The roster of standard crash safety equipment includes:
Dual-stage driver's airbag
Dual-stage front passenger airbag with occupant sensing
Driver and front passenger head/thorax side airbags
Three-point seatbelts for all occupants
Dual pre-tensioners with front seatbelts
Single pre-tensioners with rear seatbelts
Two-way active head restraints for front seats (four-way with AGR seats)
Smart seatbelt reminder for all occupant positions
Pedal Release System, with improved break-away kinematics
ISOFIX and Top Tether mountings for rear child seats
Electronic stability control plus (ESPPlus)
Pedestrian head protection with 'soft' hood packaging
Pedestrian leg protection with low density foam structure in front bumper
source : Opel Press