For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Yellow
Interior Color: Burgundy
Number of Cylinders: 8
Eugene, Oregon, United States
The Future Buick Verano Convertible?
I wasn't wearing a pedometer while in Germany covering the Frankfurt Motor Show this year, but it's safe to say I walked more than a few miles between press conferences, shooting cars and trekking back to the media center on the first day alone. For this reason, it didn't take much convincing from General Motors for me to duck out of the Messe a day early and drive some of its latest Opel models. No, this didn't include the all-new Country Tourer, but I was able to drive the Opel Mokka (our Buick Encore), the Opel Adam and the Opel Cascada.
I focused most of my driving time behind the wheel of the Cascada, which went on sale in Europe earlier this year, since rumors are swirling that a Buick version of this convertible "could happen soon." Buick hasn't had a convertible since the Reatta, and GM has been lacking a non-performance, budget-minded convertible since the Pontiac brand - and its G6 - was dropped, so adding the Cascada to Buick showrooms could further help the reemerging brand compete in the near-luxury segment. Although the weather was too chilly (and occasionally rainy) to enjoy the Cascada with its top down for very long, I was able to clock a fair bit of drive time behind the wheel on roads ranging from the autobahn to tight roads in small, quaint villages.
In May of 1903, Buick began work on its first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, the first example of which was sold to a doctor in Flint, Michigan. That first sale was appropriate since later on, Buick became known as a "doctor's car." The Model B is the first of 11 cars chosen by Buick to highlight each decade of the company's 110-year history.
The 1916 D-45 Touring with a six-cylinder engine was Buick's highest seller that year, and helped push overall sales past six figures for the first time, making Buick the top-selling automotive brand. In 1931, Series 50 got an eight-cylinder engine, which helped the company survive the Great Depression. The 1936 Century was the first Buick that could hit 100 miles per hour, the 1949 Roadmaster had a supporting role in Rain Man, the 1953 Skylark had Italian wire wheels and the owner's name engraved on its steering wheel.
Then we have the iconic 1963 Riviera, the V6-powered 1975 Regal, and in 1987, the legendary GNX. With a turbocharged, intercooled V6 pumping out 276-horsepower it could hit 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. In 1999 Buick built the first car in China, the Century, and that country remains the brand's largest market.
For a company with a long tradition of grand touring convertibles, it's almost unseemly that General Motors doesn't offer a properly relaxed four-seat convertible in North America. There's the Chevrolet Camaro, of course, but it's not big on rear-seat space and it doesn't offer that sort of serene demeanor that many open-air buyers crave. We're thinking of something more refined and, dare we say, elegant. Something a bit closer to the Opel Cascada.
The General's front-wheel drive convertible went on sale in Europe this year, and while it seemed like a natural fit for its Buick brand in America, it's never been sold here. That may be about to change, however. Back in June, CEO Dan Akerson hinted he'd like to see the Cascada available in the US, and now there's word from Edmunds that importation "could happen soon." That's according to an unnamed insider at the company.
It's almost unseemly that GM doesn't offer a relaxed four-seat convertible.