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Big, Premium Three-Row Crossover
Like all Buicks, the Enclave is easy to overlook. General Motors’ alternative luxury brand currently sells five models in the U.S. and is almost entirely supported by its sales in China. In spite of that, the products it offers probably deserve more credit than they get.
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January may be the middle of winter but GM was able to rebuke the cold weather with red-hot sales. The company delivered nearly 195,000 units in the U.S., a 16 percent increase compared to the same month last year.
The Buick Enclave has been a great seller for the company, helping it beat out competitors from Acura, Audi and Lincoln. Before its 2012 New York Auto Show debut, Buick is showing off the latest chapter in its Enclave success story.
The 2013 Buick Enclave shows off a new sculpted design, as well as new LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights. Other Buick details like chrome grille and accents help round out the look, and make it instantly recognizable as a Buick.
Inside the Enclave, the new IntelliLink infotainment system helps usher in a modern feel to the Buick. Blue LED ambient lighting carries forth the high-tech feel.
Aside from the infotainment system, the Enclave features luxurious touches like soft touch materials and live stitching throughout the cabin.
The Buick also includes an industry first front center airbag.
The Buick Enclave offers three rows of seating, and with both the second and third row folded down, it offers more cargo space than the Mercedes-Benz R Class, Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, Lincoln MKT, Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90.
The Enclave is still available in front or all wheel drive, and is powered by the same 3.6 liter V6 with an updated six-speed automatic. Buick points out that the FWD Enclave can hit 24mpg on the highway.
Check out the full gallery below, and keep checking back for more New York Auto Show news.
Gallery: 2013 Buck Enclave
The photo shows us the center stack, and previews the new Intellilink infotainment system. The Enclave will also retain an analog clock, and gain some nice wood grain interior accents. Many of the interior upgrades will follow suit with what we saw in the 2013 GMC Acadia at the Chicago Auto Show.
The exterior will surely be upgraded as well, and we can expect revised bumpers, wheels and headlights. Buick also announced that the Enclave will offer “industry-exclusive safety features”, which will surely include the new front-center airbag which can be found on the Acadia and Traverse.
Click back to AutoGuide for live coverage from the 2012 New York Auto Show.
[Source: GM Inside News]
General Motors is targeting a safety issue with new equipment that until now has been unaddressed.
They plan to release a front-seat center-airbag (pictured above) that deploys between the driver and passenger seats. The new feature is supposed to improve safety in the event of far-side impact crashes, which statistics show to be responsible for 11 percent of all crash-related deaths.
When such a crash occurs, the bag deploys in 26 milliseconds using a combination of pressurized argon and pyrotechnic gas. It forms a hard barrier between the passenger and driver sides of the vehicle, protecting against the possibility of two people damaging each other during a collision. The bag is also angled away from the passenger seat to keep the driver from smashing against the center console and is sturdy enough to help protect against a poll during such a crash.
GM developed the device in partnership with Takata, which stays rigidly inflated for several minutes after impact. Expect to see it in the 2013 Buick Enclave as standard equipment and as an option in the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse. According to MotorTrend, GM chose the crossovers because they are the most likely to carry extra passengers. Despite being an option, the new airbags should appear on about 90 percent of these models.
The safety blitz isn’t stopping there, though, GM is also offering a low-cost safety system that offers both front crash detection and lane departure warning systems for only $295. That’s a bargain compared to the thousands it costs for similar features on Mercedes or BMW cars.
The difference is that GM’s technology takes advantage of a high-definition camera capable of processing 14 images per second through the car’s computer. In doing so, it recognizes pedestrians, motorcycles, cars and trucks while calculating your risk of hitting them. That risk is determined by how quickly the object in question is moving. The camera is mounted on the passenger side of the rear-view mirror, behind the windshield.
The system can be toggled to chirp at near, medium or far settings and can even be shut off completely. It also remembers what distance you set it to last when restarted. The notification system combines a red warning light on the dashboard with a series of eight beeps through the front stereo speakers. The system activates if the driver fails to signal a lane change and lower warning tones come from on the speakers on the corresponding side.
There might be plans in the future for GM to employ more safety features like high beam assist and traffic signal recognition but those features are more expensive because they use radar instead of the camera.
Expect the camera-based features to appear first on the 2012 GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Equinox.
Buick has just released a teaser image of a new entry-level luxury crossover that will slot in underneath the Enclave. Normally word of a new model is news enough, but GM has decided to increase our expectations of its new model by announcing that it will be offered with a version of the Volt’s Voltec plug-in hybrid system.
This will make the new crossover the first plug-in hybrid SUV on the market.
The new five-passenger crossover will go on sale next year with PHEV models on sale in 2011. The conventional gasoline models will be offered with a choice of two engines: a direct-injection 2.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder or a direct-injection 3.0-liter V6. The Ecotec motor is expected to deliver 30 mpg on the highway.
The Buick PHEV will use a battery pack roughly half the size and power of the one found in the Volt and be mated to a 3.6-liter V6 FexFuel engine, indicating that the Buick hybrids will follow the Lexus philosophy of using the hybrid powertrain to deliver high-performance with reduced fuel-consumption. Similarly, it appears, Chevy models like the Volt will follow the Toyota model of delivering maximum fuel-efficiency.
The Buick PHEV will be able to be recharged fully in 4 to 5 hours through a conventional 110V household outlet and will be ale to travel up to 10 miles on pure electric power (at low speeds).
“Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover,” said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development. “This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game.”
Official release after the jump: