Opel has released its latest, what it calls, “all-season convertible” – a soft-top model based on the Astra but this time badged Cascada. Image galleryFollowing the launch of the new Adam hatchback at the 2012 Paris auto show, the Cascada is the latest in an Opel model revival that also includes the Mokka mini-SUV and the Ampera electric vehicle. Cascada goes on sale in Europe in early 2013.HISTORY OF OPEL DROP-TOPSThe latest in a long line of Kadett and Astra cabriolets, this four-seater convertible, Opel says, is also promising a sporty driving experience. The Cascada has, what Opel describes as, a super-rigid body, it uses the automaker’s trick HiPerStrut front suspension for more secure cornering, and is fitted with a FlexRide adaptive damping system to help it live up to its athletic claims. Compared to Opel’s previous cabriolet, the Astra TwinTop, the Cascada’s torsional rigidity is better by 43%. The Cascada’s wheelbase is also 71mm longer and the front and rear tracks wider by 56mm and 70mm respectively. The four-seater’s canvas roof can be operated at up to 50km/h and takes 17 seconds in either directioin. The roof’s electro-hydraulic mechanism is activated by a switch between the front seats but they system can also be operated from outside the car from the key fob. Inspired by classic grand tourers, Opel says, the Cascada’s look is characterised by is clean styling, a gracefully arced A pillar and no visible roof top cover or rollover protection bar. When a roll-over or other severe impact is detected, high-strength bars are automatically deployed behind the rear seats. Malcolm Ward, Cascada’s director of exterior design, said: “Most convertibles look good with the top down,but many seem clumsy with it 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.” Chromed finishes and LED daytime running lights complete the look. COME RAIN OR SHINEProspective owners of the top Opel convertible can also look forward to a range of luxury treats including Nappa leather seats and high-end acoustic and thermal insulation systems (thanks to a special layer of polyester fleece tucked between the roof layers). Top safety systems including adaptive front lighting, side blind spot alert and the latest generation of Opel’s Eye front camera system with new functions. Cabin appointments include an electric seat belt extender to bring the seat belt within reach of the driver and front passenger, and an easy entry system that makes getting to the rear seats less of a struggle. According to Opel, the Cascada also has a number of storage bins in which to stow everyday items, while the boot capacity ranges from 280 to 350 litres when the roof is up. The rear seats fold forward in a 50/50 split when extra space is required. The Cascada’s extensive engine range will include Opel’s 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and available in 88kW and 103kW versions, and a 121kW two-litre turbodiesel engine with either a manual or automatic six-speed transmission. The highlight in the Cascada power train line-up will, however, be the 1.6 Sidi Turbo Ecotec engine, a unit that will debut in the convertible. It generates 125kW and 280Nm, thanks to an overboost function and will also be available with a six-speed manual or auto transmission.Opel has promised to add more powerful petrol and turbodiesel engines to the range at a later stage. At the time of publishing, General Motors SA had not yet responded to requests for comment.