April showers are no match for Buick’s 2016 Cascada. The automaker is releasing video of its extensive waterproofing testing in special water test booths. The all-new Cascada convertible arrives in dealerships in early 2016, rain or shine.
The specialized water test booths are located at the end of Cascada’s assembly line so newly built cars can roll off the line and straight into testing mode. Each booth has at least 124 individual nozzles, which will immerse the Cascada in a miniature rainstorm for 10 minutes. According to the GM Fast Lane blog, each nozzle emits 1.9 gallons of water every minute. Cascada’s test is designed to produce nearly the equivalent of 1.23 inches of rain in a minute, which matches a world record set in Unionville, Md. in 1956.
“Convertibles are best enjoyed when it’s warm and sunny, but Cascada has been designed and engineered to be used year-round, regardless of the weather,” said John Dolch, program quality manager for Cascada. “Not only is Cascada’s top engineered to be weatherproof in extreme conditions, but each and every Cascada built will also be put through a rigorous water test.”
If you’re wondering about the environmental impact of using all that water, there’s this. Much like actual rain clouds, Cascada’s water testing booths are also part of a water cycle. While nearly 132,000 gallons of water – or nearly 5,500 full bathtubs – will be used daily, only 1.5 percent of that volume is lost to evaporation. The other 98.5 percent of the water used will be collected, filtered and recycled for use in later tests.
Buick introduced its new Cascada back in January at the Detroit Auto Show. It’s 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 is driven by a 1.6L turbocharged engine rated at 200 horsepower. With more than 100 horsepower per liter, it’s one of the most power-dense engines in the segment. It delivers strong torque, estimated at 206 lb-ft, with an overboost feature that briefly pushes torque to an estimated 221 lb-ft. The top will lower in just 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
“The new, 2016 Buick Cascada is a beautiful, engaging convertible that represents the very best of the brand’s global development practices,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It’s a car that will delight customers with its fun spirit and help drive the momentum that’s fueling Buick’s success.”
It goes on sale in early 2016.