GMI Exclusive: Buick Compact Sedan Uncovered
Say hello to the next Buick sedan.
January 26, 2010
By: Nick Saporito
During last month’s Los Angeles auto show, General Motors revealed a rendering of a Buick compact sedan. The car was known about well before last month, however, as GM showed the car to a group of social media and the traditional media back in September at the GM Technology event. The car is going to be one of GM’s first attempts at a small, premium entry into the North American car market and will be tied closely to the new Opel Astra sedan. This new Buick will also be China's next-generation Excelle.
GMI managed to obtain very basic sketches of the new sedan from GM’s public patent filing for the car and had GMI member Mr. Burns utilize his talent to render the small Buick based on the patent filing and what we know about the new Astra sedan. GM filed the patent for the design back in August 2009 and sources have confirmed with GMI that the car is the Buick small sedan.
The car is essentially the Astra sedan with unique front and rear fascias, based on GM's Delta II platform. In the front and rear several design cues appear to be closely related to the Buick LaCrosse; such as the chrome pieces above the tail lamps and the overall shape of the front clip. Astra cues are very obvious on the car as well thanks to the unusual, small window that is ahead of the A-Pillar and the crease above the rocker panels that is also shared on the Opel Insignia and new Buick Regal.
GMI reported several months ago that the slated name for the new Buick was going to be “Verano.” To date no new information regarding the chosen name has been divulged, however GMI has been told that there is some traction within GM to utilize the Excelle name, which will be the car’s name in China. It is worth noting that GM has not filed any trademarks in the U.S. for the Excelle name, they have for Verano.
Allegedly GM will use two four-cylinder engines for the small car. The base engine is said to be the same 1.4L Turbo that is found in the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze and an up level 1.6L Turbo will be optional. In the Cruze the 1.4L Turbo makes 138 HP, while the 1.6L Turbo is currently in the new Astra Hatch making 180 HP. Sources have also indicated that GM has not yet ruled out using the 2.0L Turbo as a high-end trim level; however no decision has been made at this time. Perhaps the 2.0L could be a GS model?
Expect the car to begin production in mid 2011 as a 2012 model-year vehicle. In North America, the car is rumored to be slated for production at GM’s Lake Orion, Michigan assembly plant, which recently closed for an extensive retooling. Production will also be taking place in China for that respective market.
Big thanks to Mr. Burns for helping us out with this!!
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