GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 20 of 240 Posts

26,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Drop-top coupe shares many aspects with Opel sibling
January 11, 2015
By: Nick Saporito

After a break from major product reveals for Buick, the brand is back in play with the reveal of the 2016 Cascada convertible. The Opel-derived vehicle will come stateside in 2016, confirming long-standing rumors that the car was headed to U.S. shores.

Cascada marks the first Buick drop-top since the Reatta convertible’s short stint nearly 25 years ago. The car also strengthens ties between Buick and Opel. In fact, Buick even borrows the Cascada moniker from Opel in this case. This shared aspect foreshadows the rest of the convertible as well.

Like the European model, the Buick will be powered by GM’s 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder. Cascada is the first confirmed product to launch in North America with the 1.6-liter turbo, however more are expected in the near future. In this application, the engine generates a respectable 200 horsepower and 206 foot-pounds of torque. The engine features an overboost feature that temporarily bumps torque to 221 foot-pounds. In all applications, the torque flows through a six-speed automatic transmission. It appears Buick isn’t bringing over the six-speed stick from the Opel model, much to our disappointment.

The soft-top Cascada features what Buick calls a “2+2” seating configuration, meaning four adults should be able to ride in reasonable comfort. Riders who want wind in their hair can lower the insulated soft top in 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

Comfort should be further enhanced by a reinforced chassis and HiPer Strut front suspension, which includes dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer spring and damper loads to the body structure. The results are more linear steering, smoother ride, and thankfully, less torque steer.

Cascada’s rear suspension is the same Watts Z-link setup currently found under the Buick Verano. GM alleges the design is lighter than a fully independent rear suspension, though it is also likely a cheaper setup.

Inside, the Cascada is also entirely carryover from the Opel version, which is a good thing. The overall design theme will be very familiar to those who have ridden in a Buick Verano, also derived from an Opel mode. Material quality is expected to be high, with real stitching on the dash and soft-touch material throughout. Controls should also be familiar to Americans because Cascada is new enough to feature GM’s global infotainment setup, which means this car will be “Americanized” as much as possible.

Cascada’s seats feature a power function that moves the seat forward or back to position just by pressing on the seatback. This motion makes it easier for rear seat passengers to enter and exit the backseat of this two-door convertible.

As always, the list of features on this Buick is vast and predictable. The Cascada will feature the latest OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and in-car WiFi. Additionally, lane departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense wipers are added.

There are still a few unknowns about the Cascada, such as fuel economy, price point and where it will be produced. Our case for the latter is that the car will be imported to North America from Gliwice, Poland, where the Opel version is manufactured.

Press Release said:
DETROIT – Buick today introduced the 2016 Cascada – a dynamic, stylish convertible that uses innovative powertrain and chassis technologies to complement the driving experience.

The Cascada will be the first Buick convertible offered in North America in 25 years and the latest globally developed vehicle to join the brand’s growing portfolio. It goes on sale in early 2016.

“The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.”

The Cascada’s 2+2 configuration offers comfortable room for four adults. Its expressive driving experience is rooted in a rigid body structure, Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear – along with a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbocharged engine.

And when it comes to dropping the top on a whim, it lowers in only 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. When it’s up, superior thermal and acoustic insulation contribute to driving comfort.

“Cascada’s driving enjoyment is rooted in technologies that make it more comfortable and refined,” said Aldred. “Its features work harmoniously to provide a safe, connected and confidence-inspiring driving experience.”

Technology and safety highlights include:
• Buick IntelliLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen featuring Text Message Alerts, Siri Eyes Free for Apple phones with an iOS 6 or newer operating system and navigation
• OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
• Electronic rear-seat entry system automatically powers the front seats forward by simply pressing the seatback forward. It moves the seats back when the seatback is returned to the upright position
• Electric safety belt presenters that use telescopic arms to slide the upper front safety belt assemblies from behind the front seat into closer reach for easier buckling
• Rollover protection bars that deploy behind the rear seats when the possibility of a rollover is detected
• Lane departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera and Rainsense windshield wipers.

Distinctive design and thoughtful features
Designed from the outset as a convertible, the Buick Cascada has a flowing, sculpted profile, with fast-raked A-pillars that convey a wind-in-the-hair flair. When lowered, the top folds neatly and completely beneath a hard tonneau behind the rear seats, giving the car a pure open-air aesthetic.

“The Cascada’s design blends the suggestion of speed with sophisticated and uncompromising details,” said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “Most convertibles are designed from existing coupes or sedans, meaning stowage of the top is an afterthought, but not this Buick. It looks handsome and has a premium appearance when the top is lowered – and a perfect, seamless profile when it’s up.”

The windswept exterior design is further accentuated with a sweeping body-side line and sleek headlamps that flow into the front fenders, with Buick’s signature wing-shape light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lights delivering a distinctive appearance.

Chrome trim bridges between the wing-shaped taillights, which are also LED-lit.

The rear deck lid opens rearward to accommodate the folding softtop. The electro-hydraulic power roof system features multilayer construction – including acoustic and thermal barriers – designed for a comfortable ride in various conditions.

Inside, a thoughtfully trimmed and comprehensively equipped cabin reflects Buick’s renaissance. The instrument panel is wrapped with soft-touch material featuring authentic stitching, while heated front seats and steering wheel offer comfort in colder weather conditions.

The Cascada also has plenty of storage space for the trappings of a weekend getaway, including 13.4 cubic feet (380 liters) of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet (280 liters) with the top down. The rear seatbacks fold down electronically to expand cargo capability for longer items.

Turbocharged performance, engaging driving experience
The Cascada is driven by a 1.6L turbocharged engine rated at 200 horsepower (149 kW). With more than 100 horsepower per liter, it’s one of the most power-dense engines in the segment. It delivers strong torque, estimated at 206 lb-ft (280 Nm), with an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft (300 Nm).

Direct injection and variable valve timing complement the turbo engine’s performance with efficiency. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission.

Power from the turbocharged engine is translated into driving enjoyment via the innovative suspension system, which employs the sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension pioneered on the LaCrosse and Regal.

HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. It enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control, and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.

A responsive Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Cascada’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension.

The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight enhances efficiency, while the compact design enables the Cascada’s generous cargo room.

Steering inputs are executed by a fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering system, while stopping power is handled by standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes. Cascada rolls on standard 20-inch wheels.

A rigid body structure features high-strength steel in strategic areas, reinforced side sills and press-hardened steel in the A-pillars. It is the foundation for the Cascada’s driving experience, contributing to steering precision, ride quality and quietness – as well as safety. A 106.1-inch (2,695 mm) wheelbase enhances ride smoothness while enabling greater rear-seat legroom.

1,902 Posts
I love it! I'm very happy to see GM getting back into a different segment. I really hope the Cascada keeps up with the current Buick trend and sells so that there is proof that there is still a convertible market.
However, I really don't like the name Cascada, as there is still, in my mind at least, a question as how to pronounce it. The 'American' in me would say CAS-cahr-dah (Boston influences on the cah), but the 6 years of German classes would have me say CAS-ca-da.

9,566 Posts
It should have been called 'Velite'
I think in this day of global internet feeds everybody KNOWS its the Cascada and IMHO I prefer Cascada over Velite as nether have a "meaning" to me and "A" the car has bean the Cascada for a long time +"B" IMHO is easier to pronounce/ MIS pronounce as cascade
I do too. The phase out of the waterfall grille has begun. Wise move in my opinion, too.
in this instance I do NOT think "tacking" Buick features onto a car DESIGNED with different features would have worked well
I would not mind the waterfall stay on the "legacy" Buicks and the more "youthful" models gain/adopt more of the Opal "wing" treatment

505 Posts
Is that the production version or some lazy photoshopping? I can understand the grill possibly not being the waterfall, even though I have no issue with the traditional waterfall grill its, now, unique to Buick, unlike the Opel grill that Honda, Opel, Vaux, Holden, Acura (with a bigger shield)and Saturn used, and am I missing any??, but is it really going to have red interior lighting? And those seats look very euro.....I'll be interested to see the live shots....

Well, I guess its real, its on with the red interior lighting and the generic grill.....the Buick/Opel tie up gets even tighter as less and less Buick styling cues make it in to the new cars....with as simple as the changes were from Insignia to Regal, I would think they could easily make the lighting match and some how work the waterfall in (I'm glad the portholes didn't make it, lol)
  • Like
Reactions: scford58 and 96RIV
1 - 20 of 240 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.