Report: Buick to Bolster Lineup with Convertible, New Crossover
Buick's sales tally though the first six months of 2014 are up compared to last year's number and it did so with essentially no significant changes or additions to its current lineup. But according to a report by Automotive News, Buick has some big changes just around the corner.
By mid-2015, Buick is planning to launch refreshed models, along with a few new cars including a crossover and a two-seater aimed at injecting some fun into the brand. The new crossover will likely be a version of the mid-sized Envision slated to launch in China. According to AN's report, a U.S.-spec Envision could arrive as soon as the second half of 2015 and will likely be powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 or a 2.0-liter turbo-four. The Envision's dimensions slot perfectly between the Encore and Enclave, making it a perfect candidate to become a big seller.
Another possible new model would essentially be Buick's version of the Opel Cascada convertible. The Cascada is a two-door, four-seater top-down that could come to the U.S. by early 2016, AN reports. Late last year Opel registered a number of nameplates with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including Cascada, which served as an early hint that General Motors is considering the convertible for the U.S. There's a good chance it'll get a different nameplate, though it should get the same 2.0-liter turbo-four powering the Regal and Verano.
Speaking of the Verano, a next-generation model could come sooner than later, despite the fact that the compact sedan has only been on the market a few years. It should ride on the same chassis as the next-gen Chevrolet Cruze and retain its 2.0-liter turbo-four as an engine choice. A 1.5-liter I-4 should serve as the base engine when the new compact arrives in early 2016.
Buick's largest sedan, the LaCrosse, will be new for model-year 2016 and should arrive in showrooms by early 2016, maybe sooner. It'll ride on GM's Epsilon chassis that's also slated for the next Chevrolet Malibu, Impala, and Buick Regal. It's expected to showcase dramatically evolved styling, along with downsized powertrains. Meanwhile, a redesigned Regal should pop up by mid-2017.
Finally, the strong-selling Encore should get a mid-cycle update in 2016, while the three-row Enclave will be all-new in 2017. Changes for Buick's big crossover will be significant. For starters, it'll ride on a new platform (shared with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia). The Enclave is currently powered by a 3.6-liter V-6, but rumors suggest that the new and lighter platform will allow GM to downsize the engine to a 2.7-liter mill that could be mated to the company's new nine-speed automatic. In all, the purported changes and additions should make for a more compelling Buick lineup.