Follow @rpmgo

2012MY Buick LaCrosse Gets New Engines

2012 Buick LaCrosse

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.

Source: Buick via Carscoop

Opel Astra GTC-based Buick In The Works

Opel Astra GTC

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.

Opel Astra GTC

Source: Car and Driver

Buick Reaches The 3 Million Mark In China

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.

Source: Buick via Carscoop

Buick Outruns Lexus Sales

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.

Source: Kicking Tires

Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 1

The 2011 edition of the Chicago Auto Show will open its doors on February 9th, lasting until the 20th of the month. Here are some of the most important cars that will be exhibited at this important automotive event.

2011 Audi TT-RS

Audi will be bringing three new production models in the United States: TT-RS, 2012 Audi A6 and the 2012 Audi A7 Sportback. The sexy TT-RS is the most powerful and expensive TT model and will be offered with a 5-cylinder 2.5-liter supercharged power unit that outputs 340 hp. At first, the car will be sold with only a 6-speed manual gearbox. Later on, the German automaker will introduce other transmissions.

The A6 grabbed the EyesOn Design award a couple of weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show and will feature a V6 3.0-liter supercharged engine which will probably be linked to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The A7 Sportback will be offered with the same engine that churns 333 hp and will be linked to a 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox.

2012 BMW 1-Series Convertible

BMW will take to the Chicago Auto Show two of their newest models: the 2012 1-Series and the gorgeous 2012 6-Series. The first one will be available with new styling features that should be popular among American customers. The 128i and the 135i models will carry the 3.0-liter engine which is available in the 3-Series. The 128i will pack 230 hp under its hood while the 135i will be able to output 300 hp. If this isn’t enough, you could get the 1-Series M-coupe which will offer you 335 ponies to play around with.

If you like to drive with the top down, the 6-Series Convertible is the way to go. The car will feature a powerful V8 4.4-liter engine that cranks up 400 hp and is mated to BMW’s 8-speed automatic gearbox.

2012 Buick Verano

For those of you that prefer a car from the domestic market, the 2012 Buick Verano might be what you need. Placed below the Regal, the Verano will feature a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that outputs 177 hp and is linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. A couple of months later, the Verano will be available with a 2.0-liter.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Aveo is dead, long live the Sonic. Chevrolet will be taking to Chicago their new car which will come with a 1.8-liter engine that produces 135 hp and is mated to either a 5-speed manual (as standard) or with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car will also be available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged power unit that will be linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, outputting 138 hp.

2011 Chrysler Town & Country

Being a North American auto show, it is obvious why all of the local automakers will be bringing their latest models. Chrysler will roll out the 200, 300 and the all-new Town & Country models. The first one will be the company’s new mid-size sedan, replacing the now defunct Sebring. As far as the engine choices are concerned, the 200 can be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter, mated to a 4-speed / 6-speed automatic gearbox. The high-end 200 model will be equipped with a more powerful V6 3.6-liter that produces 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Presented at the Detroit Auto Show, the Chrysler 300 will be shown at Chicago next week. It will be available in three versions, as follows: Touring, Limited and the 300C. The first two versions will pack a V6 3.6-liter engine that produces 292 hp while the 300C will get a massive V8 5.7-liter that is good for 370 hp. The Town & Country will be available with a V6 3.6-liter engine which will be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The model will be available with the following trim levels: Touring, Touring L and Limited.

2011 Dodge Durango

Dodge will be bringing the Charger, Avenger, Journey and the Durango. The first one will feature two new sets of engines for the SE and R/T models. The SE will pack a V6 3.6-liter power unit that outputs 292 hp while the R/T will get a more powerful 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that will offer 370 ponies. Both of the engines will be linked to a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

The Avenger will be available in four trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, Lux and R/T. The car will have a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that will output 173 hp, fitted with a 4-speed automatic transmission for the Express trim while the Mainstreet and Lux get a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The R/T will benefit from a V6 3.6-liter engine with 283 hp and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Journey is a crossover/SUV which will be available in a 5-seater or 7-seater configuration. The model will be offered in five different trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, R/T, Crew and Lux. The entry-level Express will get a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that offers 173 hp and will be mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The rest of the trims will get a V6 3.6-liter that outputs 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Durango will be available in three different trim levels: Express, Crew and Citadel. All of them will benefit from the same power unit, which will be a V6 3.6-liter that produces 290 hp. The customers that choose the Crew or the Citadel trim levels can get a more powerful engine, in the shape of a 5.7 HEMI V8, good for 360 hp. Regardless of the engine, all cars will get a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

2012 Fiat 500

After a couple of years of waiting, Fiat will be delivering the lovely 500 model to the US market. For this reason, they will exhibit the car at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. The model will be available in three trim levels: Pop, Sport and Lounge. The engine will be a 4-cylinder 1.4-liter that will output 101 hp and will be linked to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Later on, Fiat will launch the 2-door convertible 500C model.

Join us tomorrow for the second part of the article.

2012 Buick Verano Revealed

2012 Buick Verano

The 2011 Detroit Auto Show is just around the corner but automakers are already starting their 2011 attack. The 2012 Buick Verano was just announced and in our humble opinion it is a “baby Regal” as there are many similarities between these two models. The new Verano is made on the Delta II platform developed for the Chevrolet Cruze and it is very close as far as the dimensions are concerned to the larger Epsilon II-based Regal model, making the Verano half Cruze / half Regal.

Standing at 181-inches long, the 2012 Buick Verano is only 9 inches shorter than its Regal sibling and only half inch shorter in height. In the front, you will notice the LaCrosse-inspired fascia which makes it very attractive, at least we think so. The new Verano borrowed the upward sloping lower character line on the sides from the Regal. The car comes as standard with 17-inch rims but for extra money it can be fitted with more generous 18-inch wheels, available on the higher trim levels and in two variations.

Similar with the Regal, the Buick Verano can be bought only with a front-wheel drive and like the first one; it uses a 2.4-liter direct injection power unit that churns 177 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque. The car will do 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with this engine. The Cruze however uses different engines, either a 1.4-liter turbocharged or a normally aspirated 1.8-liter.

2012 Buick Verano

Moving inside the car, the interior is the result of mixing the Cruze with the Regal as the Verano borrowed its styling from these two cars and added a few Buick-spec materials here and there to make it feel more familiar to the company’s fans. In comparison with the Regal, the Buick’s cabin is only approximately two cubic feet smaller and this should be quite enough for most of us taking into consideration that the Chevrolet Cruze offers plenty of room for four adults.

Some of the most important optional features available for the 2012 Buick Verano include the push-button engine start, the dual-zone climate control with standard air conditioning, heated steering wheel, heated leather-appointed seating, uplevel front and rear reading lamps, steering wheel radio controls, console armrest that slides and locks, electronic parking brake and power windows with express up/down in the front and express down in the rear.

In the front, the Verano utilizes a decoupled MacPherson struts suspension that allows a better isolation and provides greater separation of extreme road conditions. In the back, the car sports a technically advanced Watts Z-link design that aids during cornering the center of the axle, improving the car’s handling on both left-hand and right-hand turns. In comparison to a regular fully independent rear suspenson, the Z-link design requires less space and is lighter, making the car lower its curb weight.

2012 Buick Verano

In order to efficiently stop the car, the engineers at Buick fitted the Verano with four-wheel disc brakes that feature standard anti-lock as well as electronic brake distribution plus the StabiliTrak electronic stability control (with traction control). In the safety compartment, the 2012 Buick Verano offers 10 airbags as standard, OnStar with Automatic Crash Response and a collapsible pedal system.

Official pricing will probably be revealed once we get closer to the car’s official launch date which should be at the end of this year. The expected retail price of the 2012 Buick Verano should start from approximately $21,000 for the entry-level models and work his way up to about $26,000 for the top-of-the-range models. More information should be available next week when the car will be presented at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

2012 Buick Regal GS Announced

2012 Buick Regal GS

The Buick Regal GS concept was unveiled in January at the Detroit Auto Show and the officials said that the concept will become a production model in the near future. And they were right as the first truly performance Buick will be available starting with next year after a good amount of time since Buick had such a competitive model. Comparing the concept model exposed at the beginning of the year with the production model, we notice that nothing much has changed since then. The main differences you will notice are the smaller air intakes on the front fascia, the exhaust finishers on the back and the Recaro-like front seats.

Luckily, it has the other ingredients of the concept model, like the generous 20-inch rims, high performance Brembo front brake calipers, the rocker panel extensions, the integrated rear spoiler and the satin-metallic trim. More important, the engine is the same 2.0-liter four cylinders which is the same with the one found in the Regal Turbo model but the General Motor technicians raised the horsepower number and at the same time reduced backpressure thanks to a large exhaust system. Now the car offers 255 hp and a 295 lb-ft of torque which is 35 hp more than the power unit found in the Turbo.

2012 Buick Regal GS

Upon launch, the 2012 Buick Regal GS will be offered only with a 6-speed manual gearbox and later on they will introduce a new 6-speed automatic transmission. Initially, the concept promised a 0-60 mph sprint in less than 6 seconds, but now the officials at Buick lowered down their expectations of the car, saying that the Regal GS will do the mile-a-minute-mark in less than 7 seconds.

Unlike the concept version exposed in January which had an all wheel drive system, the production model has only front wheel drive which is a small disappointment in our opinion, but a plus is that the car will feature the all new HiPer Strut suspension system that benefits from a customized MacPherson geometry up front to maintain a better negative chamber in cornering and at the same time, reduce the torque steer.

The car will come as standard with 19-inch rims covered by all-season Goodyear Eagles tires and for extra money, you could get 20-inch wheels, but this time in combination with Pirelli P Zero summer tires.

Moving inside the car, it will be quite similar with other “Regal” cars, but it will come with metal pedals, a special flat-bottomed steering wheel, a satin-finished trim, white lightning for the instrument panel (when the GS mode is activated) and more-heavily bolstered front seats. Other standard features of the car include the following: xenon headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, backup sensors, keyless entry and start plus a powerful 320-watt Harman/Kardon sound system if you are not satisfied with the sound made by the powerful engine.

Compact Buick Verana arrives in 2012, hybrid Lacrosse also planned, report says

General Motors’ Buick lineup is becoming extremely solid, thanks to modern models like the Lacrosse or the Enclave, as well as with the leader of the new revolution, the 2011 Regal.

But GM isn’t done with the Tri-Shield brand, and according to Automotive News, will launch a compact sedan in 2012, called the Buick Verana.

We’ve already heard these rumors before, but this time it is extremely likely that Buick will get a more compact model in the range. Patent shots have already emerged, and the Opel Astra/Chevrolet Cruze-based Buick Excelle (pictured above) has already been launched in China.

Alongside the Verana, GM is also planning a hybrid Lacrosse model, which will attract green-minded people to the Buick range.



Leave a reply

General Motors promises new mild hybrid models in 2011

After the failed attempt at adding mild hybrids to its range, with the Chevrolet Malibu, the Saturn Vue and the Saturn Aura, General Motors has just announced that it will once again pursue this goal.

According to the company’s director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering, Larry Nitz, GM will launch at least one mild hybrid model in the USA and one in China. As you can imagine, it’s quite likely that the model will be from the Buick range, given the Tri-Shield’s popularity in Asia and its improving image in America.

As we mentioned above, GM gambled before on mild hybrid tech, with the Chevy Malibu, Saturn Vue and Saturn Aura getting such systems. Sadly, when the Saturn brand was shut down, mild hybrid research was deemed too risky, and efforts went to the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle.

Unlike full hybrids, mild ones just use the electric motor to offer a boost to the internal combustion engine, as well as facilitate a stop-start system.

Expect more details about what car will receive the technology to appear in the near future.



Leave a reply

Video: First 2011 Buick Regal ad isn’t shy about the car’s German roots

Buick is stepping into a new age, thanks to the upcoming launch of the 2011 Regal model.

As such, the Tri-Shield brand is slowly distancing itself from the traditional marketing methods, and trying some new things.

For the first Regal ad, the company decided to wave proudly the fact that the car is based on the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, one of the most popular models available in Europe and the UK. It also claims that the new Buick Regal is more than enough to warrant American Autobahns.

Curious to see the first commercial? Then hit the jump and check it out.


Leave a reply

Buick promotes 2011 Regal with parties in the ‘Moment of Truth’ campaign

The 2011 Buick Regal marks a turning point for GM’s Tri-Shield brand, which will gain a new identity and position itself as far away as possible from the ‘Buick is for old guys’ image.

As such, the marketing team has launched a new campaign, called the ‘Moment of Truth’. If you’re thinking this is just a new series of ads or billboards which will be appearing across the US, then you’re very wrong.

In order to highlight the new ‘hip and groovy’ Buick, the company will be hosting parties across the USA, where participants will be given flip cameras and asked to record their feelings about the party and about Buick itself.

So, people from Miami, New York, Philadelphia or Chicago, get ready to party with Buick!

Seriously now, the campaign might be onto something, as the majority of its new audience target, the 35-40 year olds, don’t exactly think too fondly of Buick or aren’t even aware of the new products.

The new campaign will be kicked off at the end of June, so get ready for partying, new Buick style.


Buick Excelle GT sedan revealed in China, prepares for US debut in 2011

General Motors and its Chinese partner, SAIC, have officially revealed the new Buick Excelle GT sedan, under their joint venture company, Shanghai GM.

We were already treated to a few spy photos before the Beijing Motor Show, but this time these are the actual press photos. The Excelle GT sedan sits on the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze or the Opel/Vauxhall Astra.

It previews not only the future sedan version of the Astra, but also the small compact sedan GM is preparing for the US market. We’ve already seen patent sketches of that model, and notwithstanding a few design touches, it’s the spitting image of the Chinese Excelle GT sedan.

The model will be launched with two engines, a 145 HP 1.8-liter naturally aspirated unit and a 181 HP 1.6-liter turbocharged one.

Expect the US version to appear next year, but with another name, instead of the Excelle GT.


Chevrolet Volt to debut as a Buick in China next year

Chevrolet Volt to debut as a Buick in China next year

The Chevrolet Volt is General Motors’ big bet for its upcoming future. That’s why it is hedging its wagers and will release the extended range electric vehicle under its multiple regional brands.

We already know it’s going to become the Opel (or Vauxhall) Ampera for the European and UK market, but also as a Holden Ampera, for the Australian one.

Now, according to a new report, despite the fact that GM registered a patent for the Opel Ampera in China, it will brand it as a Buick in the Asian country. Why would it do that? Brand recognition, as Buick is GM’s best selling brand there. Also, seeing as how other Opel models were branded as Buicks (the Astra became the Excelle or the Insignia became the Regal), this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary.

No word on if it will retain the Ampera name, but things are going to become much clearer as we approach the 2011 release date of the ER-EV in the Asian country. For what it’s worth, all of the Volt/Ampera models, no matter the brand, are still going to be made at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan.


2011 Buick Regal might get wagon and hatchback variants plus diesel engine

The 2011 Buick Regal is quickly becoming the turning point for the Tri-Shield brand and a bold experiment for General Motors.

It seems that the badge-engineered Opel Insignia will share a lot of things with its European cousin. We’ve seen the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and the six-speed manual confirmed for the upcoming Regal, but some even bigger news have now been revealed by Car and Driver.

According to the magazine, the Regal will also receive the two other body styles of the Insignia, a slightly shorter five door hatchback form and a full pledged wagon version. While both are rumored to join the sedan at one point in time, we don’t know how much customers are going to have to wait.

Besides the new body forms, a special treat is prepared to US diesel fans, as such a unit will make its way onto the Regal in the future. No figures were given, but it will certainly boost the green credentials, alongside the flex-fuel capable gasoline engines.

Factor in the performance oriented Regal GS, and the new Buick model is set to really blow away the competition. What do you think? Share your thoughts below.


1 comment

Leave a reply

Buick Regal GS performance model arrives next year, GM says

Buick is on its way to a brighter future, as after the launch of the very successful LaCrosse, it is already shipping the new Regal into dealerships across the USA.

Now, another step towards the rejuvenation of the Tri-Shield brand has been taken, as GM’s vice chairman of global product development, Tom Stephens, confirmed to the Detroit News that a Regal GS performance model will be arriving next year.

The new Regal received a lot of positive feedback for its design (even though it was a rebadged Opel Insignia) but the Regal GS concept we saw at the beginning of the year at the Detroit Auto Show really blew everyone away.

The concept, based on the performance Opel Insignia OPC, sported a more aggressive look and, according to some voices, a 255 HP turbocharged 2.0-liter engine coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox and all-wheel drive.

Hints that it might be making its way to production were dropped, but now we have the official word. So, will the Regal or Regal GS make you change your opinion about Buick? Share your thoughts below.



Leave a reply

Page 1 of 3123»