By on October 18, 2012

The Opel/Vauxhall Cascada got a surprisingly warm reception on TTAC, considering that it’s a ragtop with humble origins based on the Delta II platform (thank you, readers, for correcting my mistake).

The internet seems to think that its importation as a Buick is pretty much a done deal, but we can have a thought exercise where you get to dictate the terms of its introduction.

I’d like to sell this car as a Riviera, since it has a nicer ring to it than “Regal Convertible”, and it’s not really a Regal either (Delta vs. Epsilon platform). Even though it shares its underpinnings with the Verano, a separate nameplate might even be a bit of a halo car for Buick. Not everyone wants a Camaro when choosing a ragtop. This is a great alternative.

Put the Verano Turbo’s 250 horsepower Ecotec in there and you’ve got a pretty credible number to throw out in advertisements  and enough “pep” to impress customers on test drives. The exterior styling and interior materials, at least from the initial press shots, look like they were done right from the start.

Apparently, a couple version was also planned, but budget constraints have put it on ice. Too bad. That would have made a great Cruze Coupe. What would you do? Different name? Different powertrain? Different brand?

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41 Comments on “QOTD: What Would You Do With The Cascada?...”

  • avatar

    First glance I thought it was a Chrysler 200. Stolen nose clip?

    • 0 avatar

      That was my thought too. Not a great looking car, but it’s a convertible. Don’t call it a Regal please, it doesn’t have the presence to pull off “Riviera”, I like Geozinger’s idea. “Skylark” is perfect.

  • avatar

    Import it! And dont Buick the hell out of that beautiful interior.

  • avatar

    The platform is Delta II, which is the successor to the now-retired Delta.

    The car in its European form is attractive. The American choice of grilles is far less appealing, with Chevy offering a deer-in-the-headlights look and the Buick looking fussy.

    If I was GM, I’d peddle it as a Buick, since it would be low volume and therefore may as well target a higher price point. But I’d wince every time that I looked at the front end.

  • avatar

    What would I do with this car? Own it and drive it PROUDLY!

    It does make more sense as a Buick than a Chevy, just be careful where the venti-ports are placed so they don’t look like after-market stick-ons.

    This is a beautiful car. Import it NOW and call it a Riviera in coupe and convertible forms.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you! Drive the @#[email protected]#$! out of it.

      Call it a Buick S K Y L A R K. Perfect name for a convertible.

      Only put the ventiports on the turbo version.


    • 0 avatar

      Definitely should be a Buick, but not a Riviera. Just not upscale enough to use that name for this particular model. Save Riviera for a range topping specialty coupe. Opel used to have a sporty coupe that they called the Calibra. I think Buick Calibra would be a great name for it. If they have to use a “heritage” nameplate, Skylark and Wildcat would be good choices.

      • 0 avatar

        Calibra? I agree. It sounds good today and has a historical connection in that Caballero was a Buick name for some station wagons in the mid-fifties. Different names, but a similar mode. Caballero/Calibra – in the same vein as Century/Centurian.

        Skylark would be my second choice. Whatever the name, put as much power to the thing as possible!

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @doug-g The GMC Caballero was a GMC version of an El Camino. It was originally a Sprint from 1971-77 and Caballero from 1978-87. Now if they made a hybrid El Camino, it would be all the truck a lot of guys need. Yes, I know there are those who need to haul boats, horse trailers, race cars etc. The Silverado will still be around.

      • 0 avatar

        @el scotto. Before GMC used the name it was used by Buick for wagons in the mid-fifties.

      • 0 avatar

        As a proud Wildcat owner, this car is not a Wildcat.

        Skylark, however, is a winner.

  • avatar

    Buick? Yes. Riviera name plate? Not so sure. Ventport? NO…NO..NO! I do hope it makes the hop over here…nice grown up alternative for a four-seat convertible.

  • avatar

    I love it for what it is, but this is not a Riviera, so let’s not call it that. Even though it is not exactly a Regal under the skin, the styling would suggest that it is, so my vote is for some name under the Regal line. Call it the Regal Super Coupe, give it 275-ish boosted HP and call it a day. (Hi-per strut suspension? I say yes.)

    Or call it something entirely new, but stay away from Riviera. IMHO, the Riviera should be a full sized coupe (LaCross sized) with a beautiful long hood, powerful engine, and rear wheel drive proportions.

  • avatar

    Slap a Buick grille on it, call it a day. Honestly I wouldn’t do anything else. I even think Buick Cascada rolls off the tongue quite nicely.

    • 0 avatar

      No, please no Buick grille! I hate how when companies bring a car over, they have to always tack on their own cheesy chrome grills, chrome accents and other bits and piece. I generally like the Buicks of today, but I can’t stand their waterfall grille and little chrome accents over the lights….it feels so tacky to me.

      Ford has been guilty of that too. Every time they brought a new car over, it started out very nice, and then year after year it got more and more chromed out (thinking Fusion and Escape). By the end they look like tacky Walmart specials.

      This car looks fantastic. Leave it as is, replace the Opel logo with a Buick logo, and call it a day! Don’t mess up a good thing.

  • avatar

    Buick has a lot of retired nameplates it could use, Special, Century, Wildcat. My preference would be for ‘Special’ or Century, since Buick must be near its 100 year anniversary soon. Wildcat is too good a name for this car, and as the ex owner of a couple of Riviera’s (63 and 67), before they got bad, I think that name just carries too much negative connotation for it to be used just now. Wait a few years and apply it to a stunner.

  • avatar

    I will probably simply buy it since it has all I want in a family car! Space, versatility, probably affordable, and instead of my current large glass roof, the sky! It is, as far as I know, the first convertible where you can put the child seat AND the skis inside the car at the same time. For me, that’s a unique selling point.

  • avatar

    It looks like a mash-up of a few really unattractive cars that don’t complement one another. Kill it with fire.

  • avatar

    This makes more sense to me as a Buick than a Chevrolet. Chevrolet already offers two Cadillacs.

    I would not call it a Verano, which given GM branding in the past is how they would gravitate as they share the same platform. I’m partial to the Skylark recommendation above.

    But no one should expect great sales numbers – convertible sales in the US make up 1% if that of total car sales. Given its based on the Delta II if it seats four, it will have no trunk, if it has a trunk, it will seat two with a rear seat torture chamber.

    Oh, and give the 250 HP turbo treatment like the Verano and a manual option across the lineup.

  • avatar

    It has the same lobotomy scar as a BMW F30, other than that it looks fine.

    Call it Buick Reatta.

  • avatar

    Buick Skylark DOES work better than Riviera and it does work better as a Buick than a Chevy. Given the choice between the Skylark or a Chrysler 200 as a 4 seat drop top cruiser? Skylark

  • avatar

    Seems like a good fit for Buick. Chrylser seems to move a good number of 200 ‘verts, definitely a market at Florida and California rental agencies.

  • avatar

    The legacy names appeal only to GM fanboys. Most consumers couldn’t care less about all of this wonderful GM nostalgia.

    I wouldn’t call it a Riviera because that was a large car. But whatever they call it is less important than is maintaining some consistency going forward; the next version of the car should be given the same nameplate as this one, come hell or high water. Changing nameplates with every model cycle only confuses people.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Sometimes, those name changes were to escape the past and have been successful.

      Aveo to Sonic. Sonic a much better product…totally changed from Aveo and now #1 in retail sales in its segment

      Cobalt to Cruze. Cruze a much better product..totally changed from Cobalt and now a solid player in the compact segment at very sold transaction prices vs competition and Cobalt

      Can’t think of too many name changes in the last few years that haven’t worked out.

      • 0 avatar

        Some consistent market leaders over the years:


        Notice what they have in common. Name changes with every model cycle require that a company educate the consumer about the new model’s purpose, which only makes the job of marketing that much harder.

        GM’s approach to frequent name changes is more closely associated with failure than with success. The exceptions don’t prove the rule.

      • 0 avatar

        Pch, notice what else those name have in common. They’re sales leaders in their segment, and not perceived to be shit-boxes. I don’t agree with much that GM has done, but when it comes to educating consumers, trying to overcome a reputation for crappiness is one hell of an uphill climb. Saddling a new model with the same moniker as last year’s running joke is a cruel handicap. I do agree that names of successful models should be retained, and GM pretty much does that.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Yes PCH…I understand that name changes create some confusion and need for additional marketing. I wasn’t recommending it as an ongoing strategy.

        My point was some of the recent name changes were really necessary given the damage to the previous name cause by lousy product in the past. That was a needed change and they need to stick to the branding of the model going forward once the product is better.

        You seemed to imply that those past name changes were a mistake and I was simply pointing out that those recent name changes have proven largely successful. Moving forward, I would imagine the next gen Chevy compact will be named the Cruze instead of the 4th name in the cycle….Cavalier to Cobalt to Cruze to ??.

      • 0 avatar

        “Saddling a new model with the same moniker as last year’s running joke is a cruel handicap.”

        It’s usually a bigger handicap to change the name.

        Think Hyundai Sonata. That nameplate has been around for over twenty years, and has not always been associated with good quality. Yet the reputation of years gone by has no bearing on its perception in the marketplace today.

        The biggest burden on the automaker is a bad brand, not a bad nameplate. Keep the name, improve the car, and improve the brand’s standing along with the improved car.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree, changing names can be confusing. Find a suitable model name and stick with it.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Yet Hyundai didn’t keep the Excel name and switched over to Accent for their subcompact hatch.

      Much like GM changed some names but not others.

      • 0 avatar

        What’s in a name, really?

        (Corolla) Tercel, Echo, Yaris… Yes, no good reason to change the names. I’m just using those as an example of an otherwise highly-regarded company’s decision to change the name of their sub-compact offering over the years.

        However, I’m not entirely convinced that all of the brand equity is in the model name. The Mustang had a few years in the wilderness, too, but if FoMoCo hadn’t made the decision to improve the car, I’m certain it would have been cancelled.

        Additionally, I’m convinced that if the car is good enough, it could be named the Vomitus (or Mucous) and people would buy it.

        I can remember the first time I read the Camry name, I thought it was a typo. It STILL bothers me to hear it pronounced, it sounds like my hearing aid is @#[email protected]#!-up again. But, if through some disaster, the Camry name became tarnished, it wouldn’t necessarily tarnish the whole Toyota brand. True?

  • avatar


    SKY-lark. Right there in the title. Hopefully a convertible with that name will be easy enough for the general public to swallow.

    Riviera should still be saved for the elusive “halo car” that Buick so desperately needs to produce…

    Also: Turbo or bust.

    • 0 avatar

      The original 1953 Skylark was available only as a convertible – actually, it was the only Buick ever built exclusively as a ragtop, so that name probably fits the best out of all the options.

  • avatar

    Cant resist throwing a lighthearted jab at all the typos.
    Derek, a couple version of what is planned? And Apagtth, what are the two cadillacs offered by Chevy?

    On topic: You are all wrong. Of course it will be called a Varano Convertible. Why would you think GM named the Verano (Summer in Spanish) as such to begin with? The convertible was in the cards all along.

    Like many have said, I hope GM will not Buickify this beautiful car. When the Camaro and Corvette can get away with not having a corporate grille, why cant Buick. Just please switch the badges and call it a day.

  • avatar

    I think of the last generation of Skylark, with it’s goofy appearance and lackluster-everything attitude, and feel that would be a bad choice.

    The Reatta was a marketing disaster, so can’t go with that.

    This car is too small to be called a Riviera, so let’s wait to use that name on a Cadillac Ciel-based Buick vehicle *drools*.

    Might have to be called the Regal Cabrio/Coupe.

    Or perhaps, SOMERSET.

    • 0 avatar

      I wish they could use the name Reatta, but Somerset is a nice choice as well. The last generation of Skylark was horrible, you do have a point there….

      But as alluster said, they’re most likely just going to call it a Verano Convertible. Lame.

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