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Report: Small Buick Crossover, Chevy Sonic RS May Debut at Detroit Show

Jason Udywriter

General Motors previously hinted it was bringing four world debuts to the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, but only confirmed one -- Cadillac ATS compact sedan. That said, details surrounding the General's Detroit gameplan are slowly leaking out ahead of schedule.

The Detroit Free Press reports one of the four will be a new small Buick crossover, which may carry the "Encore" name. The new small crossover will likely ride upon GM's Theta 2 platform, and be sold in both North America and in China. While the vehicle will certainly slot in beneath the Lambda-based Enclave crossover, the name is a bit uncertain -- some speculation suggests "Encore" is a possibility.

The idea of a small Buick crossover isn't exactly new. After finding success with the debut of the Enclave, Buick began pursuing a small crossover years ago. Shortly after GM's bankruptcy, the brand planned on rebadging the late Saturn VUE 2-Mode hybrid for its portfolio. Teaser images were issued, but a public backlash against the so-called "Vueick" pushed GM to cancel the project. The new small Buick CUV due in Detroit is expected to be wear new sheetmetal that's distinctive from its platform siblings (i.e. Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac SRX), although it may bear a passing resemblance to the larger Enclave.

The Freep also claims a sportier flavor of the new Chevrolet Sonic -- perhaps dubbed the RS -- may also make its way to the show. Although GM first previewed the Sonic line with the Aveo RS concept in 2010, thus far, no sport-tuned model has been announced. Although the new model may look (and perhaps drive) sportier, it may not be any more powerful than other Sonic trims. Rumors suggest the car will still make do with the turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 used in the Sonic LT and Sonic LTZ trims.

The Detroit Free Press also indicated that GM will show two new Chevrolet concepts designed at its Southern California design center on January 9. Expect further details to emerge as the 2012 Detroit show -- which runs in the second week of January -- creeps even closer.

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