Sunspotting with the New 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible

Buick Cascada at 2015 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show
2016 Buick Cascada Convertible

According to Emme, there just aren’t enough convertible cars in the world. I’m sure news of the new Buick Cascada, when revealed at this year’s Detroit auto show, brought a huge smile to her face. Buick has not produced a true convertible since the 1990 Reatta convertible and this one is a beauty. This week Buick released details built into car’s the structure that involve pyrotechnics and stiff members.

Essentially, the occupants inside the Cascada are protected by a pair of spring-loaded, pyrotechnically-activated roll bars that pop up if the airbag system detects a rollover. The pillars are located behind the front seats and their design enables more cargo space by being less obtrusive. This allows the stowing of long items, such as snowboards and golf clubs, when the 50/50 split rear seat is folded.

2016 Buick Cascada Convertible

There are no design compromises with the Cascada,” says Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “The structural elements enhance the driving experience, not intrude upon it.”

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

Building around a strong chassis meant the engineers were able to tune the suspension and steering system without having to compensate for chassis flex.

The convertible offers a 2+2 seating arrangement for four adults, especially if they are on the smaller side. Its electro-hydraulic soft-top can be retracted in just 17 seconds and at speeds up to 31 mph, making for a rather classy way of exposing its interior to the sun. 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.

So far, the only engine available is a turbocharged, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that develops 200 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque.

Want to learn more? Watch TFLcar’s 2016 Buick Cascada “Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know” video: