Will Opel’s Cascada Lead to a New Buick Riviera?
GM’s European subsidiary, Opel, just announced the addition of the Cascada four-seat convertible to its lineup.
In the old days, nobody in America would have cared much. However, Buick’s lineup is increasingly lightly-facelifted versions of the cars Opel sells abroad.
Check the Verano, Regal, and Encore crossover as proof. Enthusiasts have long wanted another Riviera to give the luxury brand a little flair. A Buick version of the Cascada would be right at home here in Mother America.
The Cascada is stunningly beautiful with its flowing lines, crafted interior, and tightly-cinched canvas roof that can be raised and lowered at speeds up to 50 km/h (about 31 mph).
It is essentially a Verano convertible and looks the part, but heated/cooled Nappa leather seats, elegant body sculpting, and dash coverings pieced together with French stitching are decidedly more upscale.
The overall affect is an expensive-feeling car, which is good because it would have to compete with the VW Eos, Chrysler Sebring, and BMW 1-Series.
“Most convertibles look good with the top down, but many seem clumsy with their roof up. Thanks to its high-quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile, the Opel Cascada also cuts a fine figure when closed,” says Malcolm Ward, Director Exterior Design, in describing the new convertible.
Opel will offer two versions of its 1.4-L turbo-4 engine, generating up to 140 hp, and a 170 hp 1.6-L Turbocharged ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
If the Cascada transforms into a Buick, expect just the 1.6-L unit, although a 6-speed manual would not be out of the question given its availability in the current Verano and Regal.
If GM has plans to sell a new Buick Riviera—and if it is it sure isn’t sharing the idea with journalists—pricing would likely start in the $35-40,000 range. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Buick needs this car.
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