2016 Buick Cascada opens new horizons (+VIDEO)
The first drop-top to be part of the division's U.S. lineup in a quarter of a century, the 2016 Buick Cascada debuted in Detroit. Arriving in showrooms early next year, this compact, front-drive 2+2 convertible is a mildly restyled and enhanced version of the Opel Cascada which was introduced in Europe in 2013. Envisioned from the start as an open-air exercise, the Cascada matches handsomely sculpted bodywork with a rigid core structure. A near visual clone of its Opel cousin, the Cascada boasts a revamped grille not currently shared by any other Buick model-a design cue that departs from the current waterfall style. The car is also fitted with subtly modified fascias to accommodate federal bumper requirements and minor detail tweaks along with various equipment upgrades.
Inside, this new Buick offers premium amenities and more, starting with a soft-touch dash, leather upholstery, heated front seats/steering wheel, power seatbelt "presenters" for the front buckets and a power-fold feature for the rear seat backs. On the technology/connectivity front, the Cascada boasts Buick IntelliLink with a 7.0-inch color screen, navigation, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot, Siri Eyes Free for Apple iOS6 or newer, lane-departure warning, rear park assist, rearview camera, Rainsense wipers and pop-up bars behind the rear seats that automatically deploy when a potential rollover is sensed. Crowning the Cascada is a multilayer power-activated soft top that can be raised/lowered in 17 seconds while the car is traveling at speeds of up to 31 mph. When running open, it folds neatly away under a hard tonneau that trims trunk space from 13.4 to a still-respectable 9.8 cubic feet.
Based on GM's Delta platform architecture and featuring a 106.1-inch wheelbase that makes rear seat legroom viable for most average-size adults, the Cascada's well-tuned suspension pairs control-optimizing HiPer Struts up front with a Watts Z-link-enhanced torsion beam at the rear. Rounding out the mix is an electrically-assisted power steering system and a standard 20-inch wheel/tire fitment. Sole engine at launch will be a 200-horsepower/1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that develops 208 lb-ft of torque but can crank out up to 221 lb-ft for short bursts using an overboost function. It will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the 2016 Buick Cascada will be released closer to its on-sale date.
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