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Targeted at cars like the Acura TSX and Lexus IS250, the new Buick Verano will undercut rivals by many thousands of dollars, starting at just $23,470 – including the $885 destination charge. By comparison, the Acura starts at just over $30K, while the IS begins at nearly $35K. Plus, Buick is touting that its car has more passenger and cargo room than either of those two, despite the fact that it’s underpinnings are those of the Chevrolet Cruze.
All Verano models will come powered by a 180-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include leatherette seating, a high-res 7-inch LED screen, 10 airbags, automatic climate control, remote start, 18-inch wheels, plus power windows and steering wheel audio controls.
Available options include heated seats, a heated steering wheel and push-button ignition. Top-trim models will continue to offer competitive pricing, starting at $26,850.
GALLERY: 2012 Buick Verano
Watch a preview video of the Buick Verano after the jump:
Laughed at for decades as a poseur luxury brand, the folks at Buick might be the ones chucking now. And that little smirk might turn into an all out bellow as Buick is poised to begin threatening seriously established luxury automakers from Germany and Japan – at least when it comes to the sales race.
At the unveiling of the all new 2012 Verano compact luxury sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, Buick announced that it is now the fastest growing luxury brand in the U.S. with sales spiking 52 percent in 2010. That puts Buick ahead of established brands like Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln and even Audi.
Better yet, 40 percent of Buick sales are conquest, not just from other automakers, but from brands outside General Motors.
Leading the charge for Buick is the LaCrosse, with sales up 120 percent in 2010. Buick aims to grow that further in 2011 with a new eAssist hybrid system that will give the car 37-mph on the highway – way ahead of any competitor. Don’t want a hybrid? No problem: Buick will toss in the V6 as a no charge option.
Another hugely successful model for Buick in 2010 is the Enclave SUV. On sale for 4 years now, 2010 proved to be its best year, up 50 percent in sales.
Certain to help grow Buick further, the new Verano is based on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze and shares many of the same suspension parts including the Watts Z-link rear end that was designed to offer the best attributes of an independent rear suspension (namely, handling and ride comfort) with the best parts of a torsion beam setup (being lighter, less expensive and taking up less space).
Under the hood, the Verano will get GM’s 2.4-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder, delivering a sizable step up in performance over the Cruze. Power is rated at 177-hp and 170 ft-lbs of torque and when matched to a six-speed automatic will achieve 31-mpg on the highway. Buick is also planning to offer a version of its turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which makes 220-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque in the Regal Turbo. A 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds is promised for the base engine, so look for a turbo model that might dip into the 6s.
Inside Buick promises true luxury, although don’t expect too much with a rumored starting price of around $20,000. Still, standard and optional features include a pretty impressive list of goodies like a push-button ignition, dual-zone climate control, heated leather seats and a heated steering wheel.
Perhaps more important is the overall refinement with soft-touch materials throughout, ambient lighting and minimal gaps between panels. Although if Buick is looking for a younger demographic they might have wanted to pass on the woodgrain accenting that’s certain to look as genuine as a made-in-Taiwan Louis Vuitton bag.
Outside the Verano is styled more like the large LaCrosse than the Regal, with a prominent waterfall grille. Standard rolling hardware includes 17-inch wheels, although 18s are optional.
Pricing for the 2012 Buick Verano will be revealed closer to its on-sale date later this year.
Please visit our Buick Verano forums for more news and information at: http://www.veranotalk.com/
GALLERY: 2012 Buick Verano Debut
GALLERY: 2012 Buick Verano
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Buick has already announced that it will bring to market a new compact model in the near future, riding on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze and going by the name Verano. Little else has been revealed about the car – until now.
According to a leaked dealer survey, the Verano will be offered exclusively with the automaker’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Ecotec motor producing 180-hp and 172 ft-lbs of torque and use a 6-speed automatic transmission. That’s a good step up from the 138-hp 1.4-liter in the Cruze and should provide for decent acceleration – although the Buick is likely to weight a bit more due to added content.
As for content, most models will come with cloth seats, with a top-level luxury trim featuring content like a push-button start, 18-inch wheels, heated seats and even a heated steering wheel – a first for the compact segment.
Pricing will range from $20,900 to $26,200 for the top trim.
As this is just a survey for dealers, it’s intended to gather feedback so GM can make final decisions. That being said, specifics like price and trim levels aren’t set in stone, but expect them to be close.
Get more Buick Verano news and info at VeranoTalk.com
For a full list of the dealer survey trim levels, see after the jump:
Thanks to some U.S. patent drawings obtained by Carscoop, we now have a good idea what the upcoming Buick Excelle (possibly named Verano) will look like. The drawings are, at this point, a bit redundant, as we’ve already seen spy photos of the car fully revealed in China. The drawings do, however, confirm the U.S. version is essentially identical to the one we’ve already viewed, taking plenty of styling cues from the LaCrosse.
Based on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze, the Excelle/Verano slots in underneath the Regal in Buick’s lineup and is expected to get either the 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor with 138-hp, or a larger 1.6-liter turbocharged motor (currently used in the Opel Astra Hatch) that makes 180-hp. Recent spy photos of an Excelle GT have also raised speculation that the car might be offered in high-end GS trim when it arrive in the U.S. with the Regal’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 220-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
GALLERY: Buick Excelle Patent Drawings
New model to be based on Opel Astra, powered by a choice of two turbocharged 4-cylinders
Thanks to the team at GMInsideNews we have two renderings of what Buick’s upcoming entry-level premium sedan should look like. At the official reveal of the brand’s current entry-level offering (the Regal), at the LA Auto Show, Buick announced a newer and even smaller model would join the lineup.
Thanks to the GMI team, the new Buick small car was rendered using GM’s patent filing sketches, as well as items from the Buick LaCrosse and the Opel Astra sedan – on which it will be based. Through to be called the Verano, due to several patents being filed for that name by GM, this smallest Buick could be called the Excelle. After all, this new model will replace the current Excelle in China as well.
According to GMI, Buick will offer the Verano/Excelle with two different engines. The base engine is thought to be the same 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor as found in the Chevy Cruze with 138-hp, while a larger 1.6-liter turbocharged motor currently used int he Opel Astra Hatch will make 180-hp. The possibility of a high-performance GS model is also there, with the Verano or Excelle GS using the 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor in the Regal with 220-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
Buick’s upcoming premium compact sedan will go into production in 2011 as a 2012 model.
GALLERY: Buick Verano/Excelle Renderings