By Mike Torpey on 2013-01-16 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
THE new Vauxhall Cascada four-seat convertible will cost from Â£23,995 - nearly Â£8,000 less than its main rival in the premium drop-top sector - when it hits showrooms in April.
Vauxhall is promising outstanding levels of equipment, technology and luxury from its Audi A5 Cabriolet rival, which will come in two trim grades.
Entry level SE features 18-inch alloy wheels, a sports chassis, LED tail lamps and aux-in/USB as standard while the Elite includes leather trim, heated front seats and steering wheel and front fog lamps.
Engines comprise a 1.4-litre Turbo petrol manual model producing 140PS and returning a Combined 44.8mpg and 148g/km of CO2, and a 165PS 2.0-litre diesel with manual and automatic transmissions, achieving up to 54.3mpg and 138g/km of CO2.
Highlight though is the new 1.6 SIDI Turbo ECOTEC petrol unit producing a maximum 170PS for a 0-60mph time of 9.2 seconds and 135mph top speed. It will be mated to a six-speed auto gearbox for a fuel figure of 39.2mpgand CO2 emissions of 168g/km.
A high-performance 195PS 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel will follow shortly after launch and Vauxhall's HiPerStrut front suspension, first used in the fiery Insignia VXR, will also be standard across the Cascada range.
Ten colours will be up for grabs plus a choice of three roof colours and the fabric soft-top opens in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph.
Prices are from £23,995 for the Cascada 1.4 SE Start/Stop to £29,115 for the 2.0 Elite automatic model.
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