Vauxhall has shown the first picture of its new Cascada convertible. At 4.7 metres, the new car, a full four-seater, is longer than existing open-topped models such as the Volkswagen Eos or the Audi A5 convertible.
The company says the new convertible recalls the Grandes Routieres - or luxury touring cars - of the 1930s. That's perhaps stretching it a bit, but the Cascada certainly does consolidate the more adventurous turn the Vauxhall range has taken in the last year with the introduction of the extended-range electric Ampera, small Mokka SUV and the Mini-rivalling Adam city car.
And there's some interesting stuff that's bound to find its way into Vauxhall's more humdrum mainstream models as well, in particular the company's all-new MGE (Mid-Size Gasoline Engine), seen here in 1.6-litre turbocharged form, producing 170 PS and 280 Nm of torque. Other Cascada engines include a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol producing 140 PS, and a 2.0 CDTi (165 PS) diesel, which can also be found in Insignia and Zafira Sports Tourer models.
Vauxhall is promising sporty handling- the Cascada is much stiffer than the company's previous open-topped cars and will also use the HiPerStrut front suspension set-up first seen on the Insignia VXR. There's also the option of FlexRide, a fully adaptive chassis control system, that automatically adapts to suit driving style and prevailing road conditions, although it can be manually over-ridden.
Pricing will be announced early next year when the order books open, and the first UK customers will get their hands on their Cascadas in March 2013.