A compact crossover?
More than a year ago, General Motors teased the media with a preview of several upcoming products, including an attractive Buick crossover smaller than the Chevy Equinox. Although that design looked ready for showrooms, production is still a ways off. Expect the crossover's auto-show debut sometime in 2012.
WHAT A Buick sport sedan, less than what it could have been.
WHEN Late 2011
LET'S HOPE THERE'S A GNX The Regal GS's Opel contemporary touts a 300-hp turbo V-6 driving all four wheels. Yet in America, we have to settle for the turbo 2.0-liter turned up to 255 hp and front-wheel drive. GM's HiPer Strut front suspension helps quell torque steer, and electronically adjustable dampers can be switched among three modes.
WHAT Another Buick brand expansion, this time into small cars.
WHEN Late 2011
BETTER BADGE ENGINEERING Buick has designed a handsome exterior and an upscale interior with features like a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and keyless ignition. Based on the European Opel Astra, the Verano's debut engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good for 177 hp and 31 mpg on the highway. A 2.0-liter turbo will arrive later.
WHAT Cadillac's long-awaited competitor to the BMW 3-series.
WHEN 2013 for the sedan; coupe, convertible, and V models will follow
WATCH THE WEIGHT GM vehicles tend to tip the scales more than their competitors. Engineers realize that they must do better with the ATS's all-new Alpha platform. How well they do will have heavy (pardon the pun) implications not only for the integrity of this sport sedan (illustrated below), but also for the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro. Power will likely come from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V-6, with the V-series using either a small-block V-8 or a turbo V-6.
WHAT Owners tell Cadillac not to mess with the current Escalade formula, but that doesn't mean Cadillac won't also build a seven-passenger crossover.
LAMBDA PARTY GM has for several years been considering a Cadillac based on its Lambda platform, which also underpins the Chevrolet Traverse, the Buick Enclave, and the GMC Acadia. Sounds dangerously like old-GM rebadging to us.
WHAT A large sedan -- Cadillac pointedly has not referred to it as a flagship -- that will replace both the STS and the DTS.
NOT YOUR GRANDPA'S DEVILLE The fact that the XTS will ride on the same front-wheel-drive architecture that underpins the Buick LaCrosse has generated some hand wringing in the enthusiast community. But a low-slung test mule spotted wearing Brembo brakes indicates that Cadillac isn't renouncing its performance religion. The XTS initially will be powered by an updated version of GM's 3.6-liter V-6, with more powerful and more efficient engine options likely to follow.