Sometimes the car world gets weird, even for a gearhead like me. Take this missive I received from Buick, a car company I’m just fine with. Upcoming new engine? No. Way cool and unexpected sports car? Sadly, no. Nope, this latest announcement is about the color red.
Have you seen the Pixar film Wall-E? You know how all the humans are living on a space ship, existing in very plump, infantile lives and at one point, seemingly just to give them something to do, the ship’s computer says, “try blue, it’s the new red!”
That’s what I thought of when I read through the press release from Buick.
The press release, appropriately slugged from Hollywood, California reads, “in the months since the Cascada launched, its competitive set hasn’t grown, but choice within the Cascada portfolio has. The latest sport touring color introduction — Sport Red — is the response to customers who asked for a brilliant shade of red.”
What’s interesting is that it’s a convert that doesn’t come in red in the first place. You had to wait to hear from the hoi polloi before making a red one? Really?
“We’ve heard it from customers all year: ‘What a beautiful car. Can I get it in red?’ Well yes, now you can,” said Duncan Aldred, Vice President of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “This new addition to the Cascada portfolio offers a modern style statement with blacked-out exterior trim and red interior stitching.”
Successful, Less Stressful Options
Buick also emphasises the “quiet, three-layer insulated top and stress-reducing engineering” as one of the factors leading to the Cascada’s sale success. Buick also says it’s “an invitation to drivers who want to live life wide open with features unexpected in a convertible, in a market devoid of options.”
Hey Buick, you know what would be a good option? How about a modern version of your venerable Nailhead engine with enough stump-pulling torque to wrinkle the tarmac? How about something that would make Gran Sport owners say “I want a Cascada!”
Nah, because people like that probably don’t exist in large enough numbers, or with solvent enough finances, to purchase Cascadas with huge mills under the hood.
According to the people from Buick’s Detroit headquarters, one of the most important things is exterior styling. Buick says it’s a top consideration for their customers. Ergo, they offer new red paint. They also offer something called the Dark Effects package. I know, it sounds like a superhero movie sequel, but it is actually a package that features a gloss-black finish on the grille and mirror caps along with 20-inch wheels, as well as body-color trim across the decklid.
On the inside, the new Dark Effects package features red stitching to add contrast to the instrument panel, doors, and seats. The package is paired solely with the new Sport Red exterior color and is available only on the Cascada Sport Touring. On top of that, it is also a limited volume run, with only 150 initial vehicles arriving in dealer showrooms starting February 1st, 2017.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life around racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.