In August of last year Buick released a teaser of a compact crossover that was essentially a rebadged version of the Saturn Vue. The only major difference between the two was a Buick-style waterfall grille, and that rubbed consumers, dealers and many in the media the wrong way and subsequently plans for the vehicle were canceled.
However, at a special presentation that took place this week in Michigan, Buick confirmed it will launch a compact crossover positioned below the Enclave as well as a new compact sedan.
Production of the new crossover is expected to take place at a site in Orion Township, Michigan. The vehicle will share a platform with the upcoming 2012 Chevrolet Aveo compact hatch and sedan, both of which will also be built at the same Orion Township plant just north of Detroit.
Styling should be similar to the well-received Enclave and inside there will almost certainly be enough space for five. Powertrain options are expected to include GM's new 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter, direct-injection V-6--and there could even be a hybrid option.
As for the compact sedan, heavily camouflaged prototypes have already been spotted testing all around the globe. A version of the car, dubbed the Excelle, has already been spotted in China and earlier this week U.S. patents for it were leaked online.
The new compact sedan will likely be built at GM’s Lordstown plant in Ohio alongside the Cruze with which it will share its Delta II front-wheel drive platform. Engine options should mirror that of the Cruze, which means a range of compact four-cylinder units in both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged forms.
Production of both models is expected to start late next year.
Additionally, Buick will no longer use trim-level designations for its 2012 models onwards. Instead, additional options will be offered through various packages rather trim-levels. According to Buick, customers have been confused by the current CX, CXL and CXS designations on the LaCrosse.