General Motors’ German Opel division has released details of its new Astra Cabriolet – styled with help from Italy’s Bertone – two months ahead of the world launch scheduled for the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.

The new drop-top variant will complement the recently launched Opel Astra coupe but GM has kept cabriolet buyers waiting three years for the new model – the range on which it is based made its debut as far back as early 1998.

The Astra cabriolet will be sold in all major GM markets around the world. Most countries will see it as an Opel but it will be badged as a Vauxhall in the UK and may also be sold as a Holden in Australia and New Zealand.

The two-door, four-seat convertible has a fully retracting electrically operated soft top and will be built in Italy by Bertone alongside the Astra Coupe. The hatchback, saloon and estate car variants are assembled in Germany and England.

Astra Cabriolet buyers will be offered GM’s proven 1.8 litre and 2.2-litre ‘Ecotec’ four cylinder petrol engines.