For this year’s edition of the Detroit Motor Show, General Motors decided to bring the all-new 2013 Buick Encore which is a small crossover that has just about the same size as the Nissan Juke. The manufacturer said that this car has been designed in order to rival more luxurious crossovers that are currently not available in the United States, the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1.
2013 Buick Encore
Under the hood of the Encore is a small 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that pumps out 140 hp and has a peak torque of 148 lb.-ft (200 Nm) which is available at only 1,850 rpm. The car will be available with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and FWD or AWD configurations. Both of these versions will benefit from a McPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear setting.
2013 Buick Encore
Depending on the chosen trim level, the all-new 2013 Buick Encore can be fitted with ten airbags, voice-activated Bluetooth, a 7-inch LCD display, USB smartphone connection, electronic stability control, dual zone climate control, remote engine start, 18-inch alloy wheels, power front seats wrapped around in leather, and automatic wipers.
2013 Buick Encore
The Buick Encore will become available during the first quarter of 2013.
Based on the 2012 LaCrosse sedan model, Buick has unveiled this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show a concept study which is nothing more than a luxed-up version of the regular version. The LaCrosse GL Concept comes with a cabernet red paint along with brushed and tinted chrome accents for the front grille, deck lid and door handles, along with around the windows, headlights and taillights. It rides on 20-inch alloys that have a satin finish.
Buick LaCrosse GL Concept
Inside the cabin we find French-stitched leather surface while the instrument panel, doors and seats are wearing caramel chocochino colors. The instrument cluster also features some metal accents, while the steering wheel has a bespoke wood trim that was also used for the door panels and the dashboard. Metal accents can also be seen on the center stack controls while the suede headline is finished in chocochino.
The recently unveiled front center airbag will be introduced by General Motors on the 2013 GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and the Chevrolet Traverse. GM also launched a new crash avoidance system for the 2012MY GMC Terrain.
General Motors Front Center Airbag
This new airbag deploys from the right side of the driver’s seat and will position itself between the front row seats near the center of the car.
General Motors mentioned that these so-called “far-side impact crashes” accounted for 11% of the belted front occupant fatalities in the non-rollover crashes that occurred between the years 2004 and 2009, involving 1999MY or newer cars, citing the statistics provided by the NHTSA.
2012 GMC Terrain Crash Avoidance System
The aforementioned crash avoidance system for the 2012 GMC Terrain packs a single windshield-mounted camera to aid drivers avoid front-end and lane departure accidents. It uses a high resolution digital camera that is on the look for shapes of cars and lane markings, and also uses audible warnings plus a high mounted visual display for warning the driver of the car if he is too close to the car in front of him, when he is departing a lane without signaling or when a collision is imminent.
Buick just announced today the price tag for its new luxury automobile: the Verano (which also means “summer” in Spanish). The price is set to start at $23,470, including $885 in destination charges.
The new addition to Buick’s portfolio is expected to attract new customers to this luxury brand, since both the exterior and interior design are crafted with care and attention to details.
The Verano comes as Buick’s third completely new model in the past three years and open the compact segment for the brand, which has always focused on delivering comfort and luxury.
The Verano will be available in three models, with the top model priced at $26,850, including destination charge. Fuel-efficient 2.4L four-cylinder engine and and a six-speed automatic transmission are mounted on all the models. The engine produces 180 hp at 6,700 rpm with 171 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,900 rpm.
“Verano is a great new addition to Buick because it expands the brand’s reach,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “With Verano, we’re inviting new customers into the Buick family, giving us the opportunity and privilege of building longtime Buick loyalty.”
This is also a very quiet car, since, according to Buick, “a dozen noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are used in more than 50 areas of Verano’s body structure for increased cabin isolation and quietness.” So if you’re kids are too noisy, you can take a nap in the car.
The Verano competes with the Acura TSX sedan and the Lexus IS 250, but boasts about having more passenger and cargo volume than them.
What do you think about this price range? Does it seem a good deal for a luxury car?
Set to go on sale later on this fall, General Motors has announced the U.S. pricing for the hot version of the Buick Regal. The 2012 GS is going to be the performance edition and you’ll be able to get it starting with a price of $35,310, including here the delivery charges.
2012 Buick Regal GS
You probably already know this, the Buick Regal GS is based on the Opel Insignia, but it’s not as powerful as the top-spec OPC edition. However, this doesn’t mean that its slow, on the contrary, it manages to do the 0-62 mph sprint in approximately 6.7 seconds thanks to its 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 270 hp (274 PS / 201 kW) and has a peak torque of 295 lb.-ft (400 Nm).
The 2012 revision of the Buick LaCrosse will bring a brand new standard 4-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine that will benefit from the eAssist technology, along with an updated version of the E85-capable, direct-injected V6 3.6-liter unit for the top-spec variant of the model.
The 2.4-liter engine which will equip the entry-level model is expected to provide 25% better highway efficiency in comparison to the current base model that comes with a 4-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine that produces 182 hp. The bad news is that the 2012MY is going to be more expensive as the prices start from $29,960 (+ $860 destination charge), which is $2,830 more than this year’s LaCrosse CX model.
The more potent V6 3.6-liter engine has been updated and Buick says that it produces 303 hp and has a peak torque of 264 lb.-ft (358 Nm), which is 23 hp and 5 lb.-ft more than the one on the current model. No word about the prices of the LaCrosse fitted with this engine.
Aside from these engine modifications, the 2012MY Buick LaCrosse will benefit from new standard features like the 17-inch alloy rims, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth / USB support and a full-color information center.
First there were the classic locks. Then the better locks. Then alarms. Then better alarms with driving-wheel blockers. Then all of them together.
Everybody though of a way to stop the car thieves, but nobody though about the biggest danger to a car’s security: its owner. How many times have you locked your car keys into the car. How many phone calls back home and delays you had to go through before you got them back?
Buick came out with a clever feature to its 2011 LaCrosse Luxury Sedan. On top of the all-wheel-drive, V8 engine and 182 HP, this car can link to your smartphone through an application and unlock the car without the keys. Oh, and by the way, you might consider the dual seat-mounted DVD screens too.
The success or failure of a car is greatly influenced by its name. Cars are not all about engines, gearboxes, gadgets, safety features and the rest of the lot. Marketing plays an important role in this industry and by naming a car LaPuta (“the whore” in Spanish) like Mazda did, no wonder that it was an epic failure for the Japanese automaker.
10. Subaru Brat
Manufactured between 1978 and 1987, the Subaru Brat is not only a car with an ugly name, but it also has one of the most awful designs we’ve seen from Subie. Brat stands for “bi-drive recreational all-terrain transporter.” Think of the car as a Japanese version of the El Camino. Despite its awful name, the car was pretty good thanks to its all-wheel drive capabilities. But let’s face it; wouldn’t you be embarrassed if someone asked you what car you drive?
09. Oldsmobile Intrigue
Oldsmobile launched the Intrigue in 1998 and discontinued it four years later. It was a front-wheel drive mid-size sedan, but there was nothing intriguing about it. It was developed for passionless and boring people, featuring a very dull design, making it perfect for a rental car and we all know that rental cars are anything but intriguing.
08. Dodge Swinger
The Dodge Swinger was launched in ’69 (obviously) so we have to understand the automaker for giving the car this name. Aside from its rather embarrassing name, the car was pretty awful. It was in fact a two-door version of the Dodge Dart, another automotive “masterpiece”.
07. Renault LeCar
The North American version of the Renault 5 was called “LeCar”. I don’t understand why the French automaker decided to change the car’s name when it took it stateside. Nothing is wrong with an alphanumeric car name and you’ll rarely see one in top 10s like this one. Even worse than that are the oversized “Le Car” decals on the doors.
06. Daihatsu Charade
It really was a charade with its cheap looks, uncompetitive price. No wonder they sold only a few units between 1988 and 1992, despite being under the guidance of Toyota.
05. Buick LaCrosse
If you didn’t know, “LaCrosse” is a unique French word that means “a teenage masturbator”. Maybe they meant to say “la crosse” rather than “lacrosse”. No wonder Buick sold only a couple of units in French-speaking Quebec. In addition, this also can be translated “to trick someone”, yet another unfortunate meaning.
04. Mitsubishi Pajero
“Pajero” is a Spanish slang for the word “wanker”. However, Mitsubishi was clever enough to give the car a different name when it brought it in Spain as they named it “Montero”. However, there are lots of Spanish-speaking drivers that own a wanker which is pretty funny if you think about it.
03. Nissan Moco
Nissan made a very good decision not to bring the car in Spain as it would have been an embarrassing thing to do, taking into consideration that “moco” there means snot or booger. Luckily, Nissan sold the car only in Japan.
02. Mazda LaPuta
We mentioned this one in the first paragraph so it “deserves” its own place in the top. It was a great little car, excellent for city driving. Mazda launched it in 1999 and manufactured it for seven years, the model being discontinued in 2006. The company chose this name after Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”. However, “la puta” in Spanish means prostitute.
01. Ford Probe
Back in the 1980s, Ford was about to transform its iconic Mustang in a V8-free, FWD model, co-developed with Mazda. They changed their mind after fans of the pony car got angry at the prospect of a car totally different from what they were used to. However, Ford released a model that at first they wanted to be the new Mustang. It did not take very long after the car was launched to think of the word “probe” and its multitude of connotations, including the embarrassing one of course.
If we were to believe our colleges from Car & Driver, Buick will get yet another Opel-based model, this time the sexy Astra GTC. We should expect to see a 3-door coupe/hatch that will rival Hyundai’s Veloster model. In addition, a convertible version is also under development, but nothing is certain at the moment.
Opel Astra GTC
Under the hood we will probably see the same engine as the Opel will get, a turbocharged 2.0-liter power plant that delivers 286 hp (250 PS / 213 kW). The Astra GTC’s engine will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and it will also feature a front-axle limited slip differential. Other features include the FlexRide suspension that sports a compound crank rear axle and a Watt’s link.
General Motors introduced its Buick sub-brand in China back in 1999 and since then they’ve managed to sell more than 3 million cars. The rise of the middle class in China is becoming more and more important for GM, especially if we take into consideration that Buick’s largest market can be found there.
In 2010, Buick’s sales in China rose by an impressive 23% to a new all-time record of 550,010 units. In the United States, they’ve sold 51.9% more cars, reaching 155,289 vehicles. Buick has a network in China consisting of more than 400 dealerships that sell cars like the Regal, Enclave and the La Crosse. In addition, they also commercialize China-only models, like the Excelle XT, which is based on the Opel Astra, the Holden Caprice-derived Park Avenue and the new GL8 MPV.
Last year, General Motors managed to sell 1,033,307 cars in China, and became the country’s largest passenger carmaker that was able to sell more than one million cars in a single year.
This week at the Shanghai Auto Show, Buick has unveiled its Envision Concept that previews a future crossover for the Chinese market. As you can see from these images, it features a rather bold design with scissor doors, and has a solar roof panel, along with big 22-inch aluminum rims.
Buick Envision Concept
While the exterior look of the car is a little bit too much, the cabin features a minimalistic design with gorgeous Italian leather seats, metallic accents and a maple wood trim. Other goodies include a 3D head-up display, hidden air vents, an infotainment with Internet connectivity, along with ice-blue lightning.
Buick Envision Concept
The car is powered by a plug-in electric hybrid system that combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with two electric motors that have been installed in the 8-speed automatic transmission. We don’t have any information about the Envision’s performances, but General Motors said that the car operates in EV mode at low speeds and after the lithium-ion battery is depleted, the gasoline engine acts like a generator in order to recharge it.
Buick Envision Concept
The concept benefits from a lightweight chassis that has been made out of carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium. It features an active damping suspension and an AWD system that can modulate the torque output to each of the four wheels.
There comes a moment in a car maker’s life when it decides to make a new statement about its values. That moment is marked by the release of what advertisers call a “brand anthem”. It’s usually a quite lengthy TV spot, when someone talks in a quiet voice, while different scenarios unfold.
Buick decided to rely on a new definition of luxury, conceived for the normal people, as they say. This is an attempt from the car maker to lower the age segment they’re trying to hit. Also, they’re hitting the refresh button on their definition of lifestyle and what matters in life, so that it can fit a more convenient perspective and catch the buyers’ eye. Let’s see what they’ve done:
Although rollovers are among the rarest of car crashes, the engineers over at Buick thought that providing maximum protection against them is a good idea, and I totally agree with them as in my opinion a car can never have too much safety features. The 2011 Buick Enclave managed to grab a five-star overall vehicle safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and it was also awarded with a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The Enclave has been fitted with the StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control, rollover mitigation, anti-lock brakes and Panic Brake Assist – all helping the drive avoid such crashes. The sensors are able to predict in a fraction of a second whether a rollover is likely to happen. If it indeed senses a rollover, this system will send a signal to deploy the front seat safety belt pretensioners and head curtain side airbags in order to protect the passengers. These pretensioners will reduce safety belt slack, while the load limiters moderate the load of the safety belt on the occupant in a crash.
From NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts report that was conducted in 2009, rollovers accounted for 2.2% of all car crashes, while fatalities from these crashed amounted to 35.4% of all traffic deaths.
The Buick LaCrosse sedan will be offered with the eAssist micro-hybrid technology as standard, starting with this summer. This version of the LaCrosse will use a variety of systems and body modifications in order to allow the car to do 37 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city.
The car will be powered by a 2.4-liter Ecotec direct injection engine that will produce 182 hp, mated to a 6-speed gearbox. This eAssist system consists of an 115V lithium-ion battery and a 15 kW electric motor that enable regenerative braking every time the throttle pedal is released. All the electricity that is produced powers the electrical systems of the vehicle in order to save precious fuel.
This system also has the engine shut-off mode that can improve fuel efficiency by cutting fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions. Aside from this new system, the LaCrosse will come with upgraded underbody aerodynamics and electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds in order to push more air over the car, increasing aerodynamic efficiency. In addition, the car will roll on low-resistance tires.
This eAssist system will also be implemented on the Buick Regal towards the end of this year.
You probably know by now that Lexus is the best-selling luxury brand in the United States. As far as Buick is concerned, only the Chinese buy their models and the continuous growth of their delivers allowed the automaker to outsold Lexus two months in a row, without showing any signs of slowing down in the near future.
According to Kicking Tires, Buick managed to sell more cars last month than Audi, Mercedes and Acura. The only luxury automaker that did better than Buick was BMW – the German company managed to sell 800 units more.
Buick’s achievement is even more impressive if we look at their lineup where we will find that they offer only four models: Enclave, Regal, Lucerne and LaCrosse; as opposed to Lexus for example, which offers nine models in the United States.
Before you think that the reason why they are doing so well is because the cars are cheap, you need to know that since 2003, the average transaction price of a Buick has increased by a whopping $11,113, at least that is what Nick Richards said, the company’s spokesman.