Buick Goes Global
Luxury. Design. Prestige.; All three are hallmarks of Buick’s legacy that, in order to revive the brand in the U.S., must be present in every new vehicle.; Although the division has had some success in doing so with the popular Enclave crossover, it’s looking to its operations in China – a market where the brand all but dominates the middle-and upper-luxury segments – to resuscitate its ailing U.S. wing.
If you’re a fan of the Invicta sedan shown at the 2008 Beijing motor show, you’re in luck: it will become the 2010 LaCrosse sedan.; We’re told much of the styling will transition to the production car with little change, but we’ll wait for its debut at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show to know for sure.
Moving from the antiquated W-platform to GM’s global Epsilon architecture, the new LaCrosse could use a 250-hp variant of GM’s turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter Ecotec I-4 as standard equipment, while the direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 (also found in Cadillac’s CTS) could become an option.
GM’s shift away from rear-wheel-drive programs was sad enough, but it tragically ended the possibility of a large RWD Buick in our future.; That would have been the Lucerne, which was supposed to move to the Zeta platform, which currently underpins a host of Holdens and the Pontiac G8.; Instead, the car will be mildly updated over the next few years, and will remain in Buick portfolios until GM feels its size and fuel economy are no longer relevant.
What likely will be more relevant is the Enclave, Buick’s crossover built upon the Lambda platform.; Expect to see a refresh of the ute’s design in 2011, along with the addition of a 2-Mode hybrid system in pursuit of fuel economy.
Remember the Buick Skyhawk?; We’re not advocating its return, but rumors suggest Buick is considering introducing a front-wheel-drive compact car for the U.S. market by 2012.; Riding on the Delta architecture (also used on the 2010 Chevrolet Cruze and Volt), the Buick sedan will be sold in both the U.S. and China.
Lost and Gone Forever
What we lusted for most was the Riviera, a gorgeous grand touring coupe concept designed by GM’s Chinese design studio.; We’re saddened that the company’s fortunes, coupled with the cessation of rear-wheel-drive development, means it won’t see a production line anytime soon.
Source: Automotive News