Buick Cascada Blends Safety and Style

Reinforced structure contributes to sleek design

Buick Cascada Convertible, showcasing rollover protection bars.
Buick Cascada Convertible, showcasing rollover protection bars.

DETROIT – The 2016 Buick Cascada convertible rolls into the sun early next year with a reinforced structure designed to complement its refined appearance and enhance its versatility, while bolstering the car’s strength, rigidity and chassis precession.

Special features include spring-loaded, pyrotechnically activated roll bars behind the front seats that are linked to the air bag system.

“Intelligent design is a hallmark of Buick’s renaissance and the all-new Cascada advances that legacy with seamless integration of great convertible design and safety,” said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “It’s a design that fosters the Cascada’s clean, uninterrupted lines while helping enable confident, top-down driving enjoyment.”

The body structure allows the top, its folding mechanism and the roll bar apparatus to be stowed below the car’s “belt line” and under a hard tonneau cover, for a smooth, uninterrupted profile. It also enhances cargo space, with a 22.4-inch by 12.6-inch (320 mm by 570 mm) pass-through from the trunk to the passenger compartment. When the 50/50-split rear seat is folded, longer items such as skis and wakeboards can be stowed inside.

“There are no design compromises with the Cascada,” said Ware. “The structural elements enhance the driving experience, not intrude on it.”

The roll bar system, for example, enables the rear-seat cargo pass-through, because it is less obtrusive than some vehicles’ hoop-style pop-up protection systems. When deployed, the roll bars extend approximately 14 inches (358 mm) to match the height of the windshield.

It is also a lighter system than others, which enhances performance and agility.

The Cascada’s strategically reinforced body structure supports the roll bar system and is the foundation for the car’s strength and responsive driving experience. Elements include:

  • A-pillars featuring press-hardened steel in the inner structures and reinforced with high-strength, hot-rolled and cold-bent tubes within the pillars
  • Reinforced rocker panels with increased cross section
  • Underbody reinforcements including X-braces, V-braces and additional brackets
  • A reinforced “torsion box” bulkhead behind the rear seats that incorporates the pop-up roll bars

As a result of the structure’s rigidity, engineers were able to tune the suspension and steering systems with a high degree of precision, because they didn’t have to compensate for chassis flex.

“That stiffness is at the core of the Cascada’s precise, refined driving experience,” said Bernd Pohl, Cascada structural engineer. “It is exceptionally responsive, with great driver feedback.”

About the Cascada

The Cascada goes on sale in early 2016. It will be the first Buick convertible offered in the United States in 25 years and the latest globally developed vehicle to join the brand’s growing portfolio.

The Cascada’s 2+2 configuration offers comfortable room for four adults. Its expressive driving experience is rooted in a rigid body structure, Buick’s sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension and responsive Watts Z-link suspension in the rear – along with a 200-horsepower (149 kW) turbocharged engine.

When it comes to dropping the top on a whim, the electro-hydraulic power roof system lowers in only 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. Multilayer construction offers superior thermal and acoustic insulation for driving comfort in all seasons. 

Inside, a thoughtfully trimmed and comprehensively equipped cabin reflects Buick’s renaissance. The instrument panel is wrapped with soft-touch material featuring authentic stitching, while heated front seats and steering wheel offer comfort in colder weather conditions.

Advanced safety features include Lane Departure Warning, Rear Park Assist and a standard rearview camera.

The Cascada also offers plenty of storage space, including 13.4 cubic feet of cargo room with the top up and 9.8 cubic feet with the top down.

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instagram, on Pinterest or at www.facebook.com/buick