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It’s been a close on a year since we last hear about the upcoming Buick compact crossover, but now new info has surfaced, as well as a confirmation by Buick of the Chevy Cruze-based compact luxury sport sedan. According to a report by Car & Driver, the baby Enclave will not be based on the same platform as the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.
Instead, it is likely to share the same underpinnings as the Chevy Cruze, which Buick has also confirmed will be used to build an entry-level sport sedan, slotting in underneath the new Regal. This new Buick sedan will get unique styling, a different powertrain and an all-new name. While C&D wasn’t able to squeeze any more info out of the Buick execs, we’ve heard reports that the new sedan will either be called the Excelle (which it will be called in China) or rebadged as the Verano for North America. Originally it was though the base engine would be the same one found in the Cruze (a 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor with 138-hp), but with this report of a new powertrain, we’re more likely to see a larger 1.6-liter turbocharged motor (currently used in the Opel Astra Hatch) making 180-hp. Recent spy photos of an Excelle GT 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.
Currently Buick’s models only compete with 14 percent of the new-car market in the U.S., but Buick aims to increase that to 46 percent wit the introduce of this new compact sedan and crossover. I addition, Buick has more models in the works, slated for 2014 and 2015, which will increase the market penetration to 60 percent. We just hope it includes a rumored rear-drive coupe.
[Source: Car & Driver]