Flipping a convertible is never a good thing, but Buick is taking steps to make its new 2016 Cascada convertible safer than past GM drop-tops.
Take a look at a modern Japanese or German brand convertible. For example a Miata, a Lexus IS 350C (shown in our second and third image), or a MINI Cooper convertible. Each has rollover protection. You can see the hoops behind the front seats in the two-seaters, or the rear seats in the four-seaters. Now look at a Camaro, Mustang, or Chrysler 200 convertible. No protection is visible. Actually, the rollover hoops are not hidden either. There are none. This is a difference in automotive culture.
No more. For 2016, the Buick Cascada Convertible has rollover protection, and it is active. Active rollover protection is the type that pops up when a crash starts. In the case of the Cascada, the vehicle has hidden bars that will pop up as the vehicle starts to turn turtle. You can see them highlighted in yellow in the main story image.
As the video below shows, a rollover without hoops or bars, be they static or active, can mean that the vehicle collpses to the mid-seat area. If you are in such a car, you stand a good chance of dying in a rollover.
These rollover hoops are not just for show or safety videos. They work in the real world. This link shows a Mercedes SL hard-top convertible flip. Hard-top convertibles don’t rely on the thin metal clamshell for protection. They also need strong steel bars to come up and keep the car from flattening The SL has active safety hoops hidden behind the seatbacks. In the video, the car overturns at 120 MPH. It bounces around, slides on its rollover protection with sparks flying, hits a guard rail upside down, and then leaves the road to rest in a grassy area. The driver climbs out and takes a seat to wait for a tow truck and new pants.