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Buick has just unveiled its new Excelle GT model in China, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year. When it does arrive here the baby Buick may be badged as the Verano. Based on the same compact-car platform as the European Opel Astra and Chevrolet Cruze, the Excelle GT joins the recently unveiled Excelle XT – a five-door hatchback that Buick insists is a coupe-like sedan.
In China the base engine is a 138-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, while a more potent version gets 181-hp from a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder.
With Buick just having launched the Regal in North America, the Verano represents the next step for the brand, searching to find customers as it expands into new segments, offering luxury in the compact segment. Reports have suggested Buick will also build a compact crossover based on the Verano, possibly naming it the Encore.
GALLERY: Buick Excelle GT/Verano
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
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]
Ahead of its expected debut at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, several shots have appeared online showing a fully uncovered (and quite handsome) Buick Excelle. In case you’re wondering why you might care about a Chinese market Buick, well, it’s because the Excelle is slated to arrive in North America next year – possibly badged as the Verano.
We’re really liking the front-end design – just like on the larger LaCrosse, but the rear end isn’t doing anything for us. As for the rather basic looking interior, expect somewhat of an upgrade for the U.S version, as it will have to at least be a slight step above the Cruze – which is already quite nice.
Slotting in under the new Regal model, the Excelle is based on the same chassis as the Opel Astra – making it a sister car to the Chevy Cruze. That being said, its easy to surmise that the base engine is likely to be the 1.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec motor with 138-hp, while a larger 1.6-liter turbocharged motor (currently used in the Opel Astra Hatch) will make 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.
GALLERY: Buick Excelle Spy Photos
Buick is already selling its new Excelle model in China, which is expected to also make its way to North America in the near future, either keeping the same name or being marketed as the Verano here. With a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter model on sale, as well as a 1.6-liter turbocharged XT version offered, several spy photos have turned up showing an Excelle GT model – which the folks at China Car Times believe comes with the Regal’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 220-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
Buick has yet to confirm this but earlier rumors suggested such an engine was a possibility. If in fact an Excelle/Verano GT model is slated for production we’re likely to find out in a few weeks at the Beijing Auto Show.
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