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Future models - Opel - Cascada

Convertible Opel to be called Cascada

Topless tease: The anticipated Opel four-seat convertible will launch globally next year as the Cascada, shown here with top up and down.

Opel lifts the lid on new convertible, the Cascada, but it won’t be at Paris show

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Opel logo6 Sep 2012

OPEL has released a pair of teaser shots of its mysterious all-new convertible, which it has announced will be called Cascada when global sales commence at the start of next year.

As expected, the sleek new four-seat soft-top will be larger and more upmarket than previous Opel Astra convertibles, and will instead be closer in size to the likes of the Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series.

The German company has released few other details, but has surprisingly announced it will not display the new model at the Paris motor show later this month, as it does not want to detract from the premiere of its new Adam micro-car.

As we reported earlier this year, Opel Australia is believed to be keen to add the car to its current three-model portfolio, but the company said today it was still working through the business case.

Derived from the Spanish word for waterfall (incidentally also the name of a prominent German dance music act), the Cascada will be a more upmarket proposition than its Astra forebears, pitched instead as a spiritual successor to premium Opel GT cars of the 1950s and 1960s.

The teaser images don’t give much away, but Opel is promising “muscular and sculpted styling”, balanced proportions (helped, no doubt, by its space-saving fabric roof) and an elongated silhouette.

“(Cascada) is aimed at customers with refined tastes and high expectations”, the company said in a release. “These are people who love to indulge in an open-air experience with the soft top down.” At 4700mm long, the Cascada will be 225mm longer than the last Astra convertible and will have a similar size premium over likely rivals including the Volkswagen Eos and convertible versions of the Peugeot 308 and Renault Megane.

Few technical details have been released, but Opel says the “high quality” one-touch fabric roof will operate at up to 50km/h.

European reports suggest the Cascada will sit on a combination of Astra and Insignia underpinnings and will be powered at launch by the Insignia’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines.

However, the car is also a chance to feature Opel’s brand new 147kW/300Nm 1.6-litre SIDI direct injection turbo-petrol unit that was announced early this year and is expected to debut in the Astra GTC warm hatch next year.

Spy shots out of Europe indicate the interior design – including the instrument fascia – will be stylistically similar to the Astra, but will feature higher quality materials.

Expected to emerge in full production form by the end of the year, the Cascada will be the third new model to emerge from Opel this year, after the Mokka in January and the Adam, which broke cover in July.

Neither the Mokka or Adam are confirmed for the Australian market at this stage, but the Mokka appears far more likely to come here as a rival for the likes of the Nissan Dualis and Subaru XV in the booming small SUV segment from next year.

The Opel brand officially went on-sale in Australia on September 1 through a nationwide network of 17 dealers, with a range comprising the Corsa light car, Astra small car and Insignia mid-sizer.

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