Buick’s Verano compact sedan
first hit the scene in 2012
but the next generation of the car has already been spotted. The reason for the current model’s short lifespan is due to the introduction of General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] new D2XX compact car platform, which will not only underpin this new Verano but also form the basis of the next-generation Cruze
and Volt from Chevrolet
as well as the next Opel Astra
We know the prototype is for a Buick because it features the brand’s signature waterfall grille and was spotted at one of GM’s test centers in Europe. The car is likely to be aligned more closely with the next Opel Astra than the next Cruze in terms of dynamics, which helps explain why prototypes are being tested by engineers in Europe.
In terms of styling, the new Verano looks very much like the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, which is a good thing considering the baby Merc is one of the best looking cars in its segment. The roofline is lower than on the current Verano and the lines more streamlined, suggesting wind tunnel testing played a major role in the new design.
The current Verano is powered by a 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine in base trim and a 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four in Verano Turbo trim. The new Verano is expected to adopt GM’s new Ecotec engine family
, possibly with all units turbocharged and a diesel included.
We’re expecting the new Verano to be launched sometime next year, though perhaps initially for the Chinese market only. U.S. sales will likely commence sometime in 2016, with the model arriving as a late 2016 model or perhaps delayed until the 2017 model year. Key rivals will be the Acura ILX, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.