2011 Detroit Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2012 Buick Verano, the upscale companion to the Chevrolet Cruze, will feature a 177-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic.
- A 2.0-liter turbo engine will be offered in the future.
- Portholes — a familiar Buick styling cue — are part of the Verano's exterior touches.
DETROIT — GM has turned to the tried-and-true with its 2012 Buick Verano, showing off a compact sedan with the automaker's familiar Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and such longtime Buick touches as portholes. The Verano, which targets smaller offerings from Lexus and Audi, will be officially unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
GM said the Verano — an upscale companion to the Chevrolet Cruze — will get a standard 177-horsepower 2.4-liter engine when it debuts late next year. The automaker also uses the 2.4-liter engine on such mainstays as the Chevrolet Malibu. A 2.0-liter turbo engine will be offered on Verano in the future, it said, but gave no technical specifications. Buick claims the standard engine in the Verano gets the car from zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds. The EPA has yet to rate the Verano, but the sedan is expected to return an estimated 31 mpg on the highway.
Exterior design cues on the Verano include a black chrome waterfall grille, blue translucent projector-beam headlamps, chrome accents and portholes. Portholes have resurfaced recently as a Buick styling cue. They date back to 1949 and such cars as the 1949 Buick Super Model 56C convertible coupe. More recently, the GM brand salvaged the portholes to appear on the 2006 Buick Lucerne.
The Verano — which slots into the Buick lineup below the Regal — will also feature standard antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control and 10 standard airbags. It is equipped with standard 17-inch forged alloy wheels; two 18-inch wheel designs are available.
Pricing has not yet been announced on Verano, but GM said earlier that the car will be priced between $21,000 and $26,000.
A version of the Verano went into production earlier this year in China, where it is sold as the Buick Excelle GT. The Verano and Excelle GT are based on the GM Delta II global compact platform that underpins the Cruze and the Opel Astra.
Edmunds.com says: The first detailed look at the compact sedan that Buick hopes will lure younger buyers into the fold. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent