GM says Buick is getting two new crossovers--so what's the other one?Enlarge Photo
This morning's announcement from GM on a future Buick plug-in hybrid
confirmed the presence of a second crossover vehicle--and according to one industry source, it's not just a standard gas-engined version of the upcoming hybrid SUV.
Automotive News reports that the second Buick crossover will in fact be a version of a vehicle being spun from the next-generation Chevrolet Aveo.
The Aveo replacement itself is said to be in the GM product queue as the 2012 Chevrolet Viva; though GM hasn't said it will be built in Michigan, it's thought that the Viva and spin-off vehicles will be assembled in the state in a deal brokered during GM's swing through bankruptcy court earlier this year.
An assembly site for a second small-car program, the 2011 Chevrolet Spark, still has to be announced, while GM has confirmed a slightly larger crossover, the Chevrolet Orlando, will be built alongside the 2011 Chevrolet Volt in Detroit.
Bringing this all full circle, there's speculation that the Buick plug-in hybrid crossover will share some Voltec drivetrain pieces with the Volt, namely its lithium-ion batteries. The rest of the Buick crossover will be based on the recently killed Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid, down to the V-6 engine and two-mode hybrid system.
A gas-only version of the crossover will go on sale in 2010 through Buick as well. It will be offered with either GM's new 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter, direct-injection V-6 also destined for Cadillac's CTS lineup.