Tron D. Foster
Phone: (337) 692-9608
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Tron D. Foster
Phone: (337) 692-9608
As we reported earlier, there has been much speculation regarding a Buick convertible of sorts. The most ringing endorsement of this conjecture comes today from General Motors Europe, as the new Opel Cascada has debuted on the interwebs. Opel calls the four-passenger Cascada an "athletic, glamorous midsize convertible." With a length of 4,697mm (185 in.), the Cascada is as long as an Audi A5, to which GM has said it would be slightly larger.
The Cascada, which is Spanish for waterfall, features a cloth convertible top that retracts in 17 seconds and at speeds up to 50 km/h (31 mph). The Cascada features a 1.4-liter turbo gas engine, 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 165 horsepower and a range-topping 1.6-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine that puts out 170 horsepower and 280 Nm (207 lb-ft). Power is sent through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
According to GM, the Cascada will also come rife with luxury and tech features. In addition to adaptive forward lighting and ergonomic heated front seats, the convertible will feature Opel Eye, which is a front camera that can recognize traffic signs and incorporates lane departure warning and forward collision alert.
If VIN tags recently posted online prove accurate, the 2014 Buick Verano may be getting a new base engine. Presently the Verano makes use of GM's 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine in non-turbo trim; 2014 documentation appears to indicate that GM's entry-level luxury compact will instead feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill.
If this is the same engine seen in Europe, GM Inside News suggests it may offer 192 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque - useful improvements over the larger naturally aspirated mill's 180 hp and 171 lb-ft. More importantly, the downsized engine would likely improve on the Verano's current fuel mileage estimates of 21 city and 31 highway.
We like the Verano in both of its current iterations, but the 1.6 turbo engine sounds like a worthwhile upgrade if this reports turns out to be true. Plus, if more performance is your bag, baby, there's always the Verano's optional 2.0 turbo engine with an impressive 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft from just 2.0 liters of displacement.
Back in August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a recall on the General Motors GMT360 SUVs (Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X) ranging from the 2005 to 2007 model years and the 2006 GMT370 SUVs (Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL) due to potential fires associated with the driver's door module. Initially limited to 250,000 units sold or registered in 20 Snow Belt states (and the District of Columbia), the recall has now been expanded to include an additional 193,000 of these SUVs in the US and, according to The Detroit News, 40,000 more sold outside the US, including Canada and Mexico.
Like the original recall, the issue is still a faulty driver's door module that can short out, which could lead to a fire. The Detroit News is reporting that, out of the 443,000 units being recalled, GM says that there were 58 fires that caused 11 minor injuries, and the expanded recall accounted for six fires and one injury. Despite the lower number of fires, the recall notice recommends that owners park their vehicles until the recall repairs has been performed.
On recalled units with functional modules, the repair consists of a protective coating being applied to the module, while vehicles with modules that are not working properly will have the driver's door module replaced. The official recall notice is posted below, and it includes contact information for customers of all five brands.