• Jan 10, 2011
2012 Buick Verano – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you were wondering how General Motors was planning to differentiate the 2012 Buick Verano from its Chevy Cruze counterpart, wonder no more. According to Buick, its newest addition will offer the quietest ride in its segment thanks to heaps of laminated glass, triple door seals and a host of other muting technologies. Buick calls the cabin "library quiet," though there's no word as to whether the interior smells of old books. They've also made sure to throw in the same levels of refinement as found in the likes of the Lacrosse, and drivers can expect to find the same high-quality leather and a host of tech goodies as the bigger four-door.

That's all fine and good, but we're more excited about what Buick has thrown under the hood of the 2012 Verano. Buyers who opt for the base car will be met with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 177 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, Buick is shooting for around 31 mpg highway. The really juicy news is that the Verano will also be available with the same turbo 2.0-liter four cylinder found in the Regal Turbo, and again with your choice of six-speed manual or automatic! That means this significantly smaller, lighter four-door will be available with a full 220 horsepower. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Live photos copyright ©2011 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL
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Compact Luxury Entry is Buick's Third New Model in Two Years

DETROIT – The all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan, the brand's third new model in the past two years and first in the compact luxury segment, will be revealed at the North American International Auto Show.

Verano goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, the latest model in a product renaissance that began with the Enclave and continued with the LaCrosse and Regal. Like them, Verano is distinguished by luxury and technology, including 10 standard air bags, an available heated steering wheel and a next-generation radio system with OnStar-powered connectivity that enables seamless communication between the Verano and the driver's smart phone.

An Ecotec 2.4L and six-speed automatic powertrain combination is standard and delivers an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. torque (230 Nm), 0-60 mph performance of 8.0 seconds and an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. A 2.0L turbo engine will be offered in the future.

"Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick's momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology," said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick marketing. "It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus."

Five elements infused in Verano that define its character:
* Sculpted design – Refined styling with a sporty profile, blending Buick's signature cues – including a black chrome waterfall grille, blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes and chrome accents
* Luxurious interior – Premium seat comfort and support redefined for a compact sedan and matched with upscale, soft-touch materials and premium leather – all complemented by leading-edge infotainment and ambient lighting
* Quiet tuning – The quietest compact sedan on the road – quieter than many midsize and full-size cars – Verano's quietness is supported by acoustical laminated glass, triple door seals, refined chassis dynamics and specially manufactured 17-inch standard forged alloy multi-spoke wheels, which minimize road noise
* Refined and responsive performance – Powerful and efficient Ecotec 2.4L/six-speed automatic powertrain matched with a refined, responsive suspension system, including a sophisticated Watts Z-link rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes with standard anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control
* Purposeful technology – Convenience and safety features that enhance the driving experience and are rare for the segment, including 10 standard air bags, a next-generation radio, touch screen navigation and advanced connectivity technologies powered by OnStar.

Sculpted design
Verano carries the modern Buick design cues introduced on the Enclave and interpreted for the LaCrosse and Regal. They include a bold, detailed black chrome waterfall grille, prominent blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes, chrome accents, premium wheels and a tailored body-to-wheel relationship. An arching roofline connects a steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars to give the car a sporty profile that's complemented by large, 17-inch standard multi-spoke forged alloy sterling silver-finish wheels. Two premium 18-inch wheel designs are available.

"Verano translates Buick's sculptural design language in a new size, with all the refinement and attention to detail pioneered by the Enclave and LaCrosse," said Dave Lyon, design director. "Beyond all that, it's simply a great-looking car. It has great proportions and sophisticated details that will look great for years to come."

Unique to Verano are translucent blue projector-beam headlamps, which give the car a distinctive, upscale appearance. A palette of rich colors enhances the premium look, including Claret Red Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat. Other exterior color choices include Black, Olympic White, Switchblade Silver Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic and Mocha Bronze Metallic.

Luxurious interior
Complementing Verano's precisely crafted, premium-accented exterior is an interior marked by exceptional seat comfort and support, as well as premium soft-touch materials, including ambient lighting inspired by the LaCrosse. Metallic and wood trims and warm ambient lighting make the cabin an inviting environment.

Neutral and medium titanium colors are offered on interiors with leatherette/fabric seating surfaces, while ebony, cashmere and a unique Choccachino color are offered on the available leather-trimmed interiors. Verano uses the same premium leather material for the seats that is used on the LaCrosse.

The instrument panel blends with an integrated center stack that houses the infotainment display, climate controls and radio controls. Flush-mounted components within the center stack have a gap tolerance of less than 1 mm, while the instrument panel-to-door panel gaps are less than 5 mm. Those tolerances are among the best in class.

Verano's headliner cover is made of a knit material that is one of five layers of an acoustically designed headliner to help quiet the passenger compartment. The interior pillar and other moldings are color- and grain-matched to the headliner.

Additional interior standard and available features include:
* Push-button engine start
* Dual-zone climate control with standard air conditioning (automatic climate control available)
* Heated steering wheel
* Heated leather-appointed seating
* Electronic parking brake
* Console armrest that slides and locks
* Power windows with express up/down in the front and express down in the rear
* Steering wheel radio controls
* Uplevel front and rear reading lamps.

Verano's heated steering wheel and heated seats are linked with the remote start feature. In temperatures lower than 45 F (7 C), the steering wheel heater and seat heaters automatically activate.

Quiet tuning
Verano delivers the library-quiet driving experience for which Buicks have become known. Quiet-tuning systems, processes and components are built into every facet of the vehicle's architecture. All are designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations.

Hydraulic ride bushings, for example, and an isolated engine cradle reduce or eliminate vibration pathways that could be transmitted to the passenger compartment. Similarly, a number of noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are employed throughout the body structure, including:
* The steel front-of-dash panel is sandwiched between two damping mats
* Nylon baffles are used in various hollow portions of the body structure and filled with sound-absorbing foam that expands when the body enters the paint oven
* The headliner comprises five layers of thermal fiber acoustic material, including a premium woven fabric on the visible outer layer
* Patches of sound-damping material are applied strategically throughout the body structure and melt into place when the body passes through the paint oven, allowing the patches to follow the contours of the sheet metal below
* Sound insulation material between rear-body structural components that is made from recycled denim
* Triple-sealed doors that feature fiberglass "blankets" serve as water, airflow and noise barriers. The doors are also beta-braced, meaning they close with a solid, precise sound and no resonance
* Optimized windshield and side glass for quietness, with 5.4-mm-thick laminated windshield and 4.85-mm laminated side glass
* The engine's intake and exhaust systems are tuned for quiet performance
* Isolated brake and fuel lines prevent vibrations.

Even the wheels and tires contribute to Verano's quietness. The standard 17-inch aluminum wheels are manufactured in a unique way to enhance quietness, while the tires minimize road noise.

Refined and responsive performance
A power-dense Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder, with dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and E85 capability, is the standard engine in the Verano. It produces an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. of torque (230 Nm). Direct injection technology helps it produce more power with less fuel and lower emissions – including up to 25-percent reduced hydrocarbon emissions when compared with a multi-point fuel injection engine. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that helps the Verano deliver an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. Electric power steering and a more efficient transmission design help optimize fuel economy.

The front suspension uses decoupled MacPherson struts for better isolation, providing greater separation of extreme road conditions – large potholes, for example – from everyday driving conditions. At the rear, a technically advanced Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Verano's handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage's capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension.

The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight contributes to Verano's fuel economy, while the compact design enables more trunk space.

Steering inputs are executed by an electric power steering system, featuring a dual-pinion rack. Electric powering steering helps save fuel because it removes the conventional power steering pump from the engine's driven accessories. Engineers tuned the speed-sensitive system to provide quick, direct reaction to steering actions and a strong on-center feel. The system has a ratio of 15.5:1 and requires only slightly more than two turns, lock to lock.

Stopping power is handled by a four-wheel disc brake system with standard anti-lock and electronic brake force distribution, as well as StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control.

Purposeful technology
Comprehensive connectivity is enabled by OnStar's remote vehicle access, which makes keeping tabs on the vehicle a breeze from anywhere with a smart phone. Highlights include:
* Passive entry
* Heated steering wheel
* Touch screen navigation system
* Bluetooth connectivity (both phone and audio)
* XM Satellite Radio
* Bose sound system
* Next-generation radio.

Downloading an OnStar app enables the use of remote vehicle features from anywhere in the world. With a few taps, customers can check the:
* Fuel tank level and range
* Fuel mileage
* Remaining oil life
* Tire pressure
* Odometer reading.

Other remote-access features include remote vehicle locking/unlocking, remote vehicle start and a vehicle locator.

The next-generation radio system includes a navigation system, along with USB and auxiliary input jacks, and includes full Bluetooth with streaming audio, structural speech recognition, SMS texts and more. Additional connectivity features include text-to-speech conversion of SMS texts, smart phone app integration (Pandora, Stitcher, etc.) and Gracenote music organization for external devices (USB drives, etc.), including Playlist Plus and Album Art features.

Safety is another component in Verano's technology story. Primary features include:
* Ten standard air bags, including frontal, head curtain side air bags, front and outboard rear-seat side-impact air bags and new knee air bags. The head-curtain side air bags deploy in a rollover crash
* StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes
* Collapsible pedal system, which allows the pedals to detach during a crash to reduce the risk of leg or ankle injuries
* OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.

Verano has a strong, unitized body structure that incorporates 60-percent high-strength steel in key areas to enhance strength and crash protection. It is used to help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. Safety development included testing at GM's rollover test facility.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sharp looking car, and offering a 220HP engine in it is a great idea. Buick just has to get the marketing right for this car and it could be a pretty big seller for the brand.

      I also applaud Buick for offering the Verano in some very upscale-looking paint colors. The browns and tans that I have seen it in give it quite a classy look and help separate it from the lower-end Cruze.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "because if you told me this thing was an Opel, I'd already have a downpayment on one." - James

        It is an Opel. It's a three-box version of the mk6 Astra with some styling differences at the front. The Verano's interior, however, is standard Astra.
        • 4 Years Ago
        220 HP, manual, and Buick quietness ... that's enough to make me visit the dealership. Looks like a perfect small, luxury car for driving around town. I hope this turns around Buick's image, because if you told me this thing was an Opel, I'd already have a downpayment on one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dear Lord! Could my next car be a Buick? I think it might. I really like this. It's a little small but from an economy stand point I see it as a great winter car for me. With a 6 speed stick I think I could live without my V8 beast for a few months.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ James

        You'll be the less than 1% take rate for a manual. Buick customers aren't coming in clamoring for a manual.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Century-Limited Edition; Purchased new in 2002 is probably the most reliable automobile have ever owned. (Still do) Besides regular service (oil changes,filters and the like) I have only replaced 2 items in more than 8 years; New tires in 2006, and first battery this past sept (2010)...Everything else is original equipment and has worked fine
      since new. I agree that most owners of such vehicles (buicks especially) are senior citizens and over 60. (As i am) A 300 cu inch V6 it has ample power and decent mpg
      (23 mpg) as well. And uses regular grade gasoline. Would I purchase/lease another buick model? I don't think so; a 4cyl they use in sub compact chevys (no power).
      And to order one (regal example) would cost me over 30k and would require me to
      purchase preminum fuel (for the turbo).. Better off to buy 2011 Sonata or Optima with
      a turbo that runs on regular gas for about 25k....
      • 4 Years Ago
      As good as this car may (or may not) be, it simply doesn't look the part. They very well could have named it the Skyhawk.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or does this have the gussied up profile of a Dodge Neon?
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's officially official. The GM corporate steering wheel is beginning to show it's age and is extensively overly used.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's a steering wheel, these does not influence a person's decision whether or not to buy a vehicle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Eh, shut up Willie
      • 4 Years Ago
      do you guys realize this 2.0 engine packs 258 lb-ft of torque? that's rather impressive and it should move this small car with authority
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ouch. There's a big chunk or bumper missing. Very tacky.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "If you were wondering how General Motors was planning to differentiate the 2012 Buick Verano from its Chevy Cruze counterpart, wonder no more."

      No I wasn't wondering, Autoblog. Because it's a derivative of the mk6 Astra, not the Cruze. What it does share with the Cruze is its Delta II basic platform.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I feel this car is akin to a tub of margarine; you taste it and think 'this is almost right, but not quite', and end up just wishing you had gone for the butter instead. There is nothing wrong with this car, in fact, there is a lot about it I like; however, I cannot help feeling as though the designers got together and made so many changes to what was probably a very nice sketch that it just ended up looking average. The lines and overall design of the Regal are fantastic, the same can be said (though to a slightly lesser degree) of the Lacrosse, but this attempt just seems cartoonish to me. Hopefully it has more presence in person.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree, nothing was wrong with the Astra from the outside. However they had to slap a trunk onto a car that wasn't designed for one. Also they had to put a "Buick" front clip when one wasn't required.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The bones of the platform, so it's going to have less shape to work with, but then, recall the last-gen baby Jag, along with the 1-series and you'll see that all of the small cars have styling issues. Some, more than others.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That is good news... but if Kia can make a 280hp out of the same displacement engine Buick should too :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        My bad, missed that this thing is getting the 2.0L turbo.

        This is mildly disappointing HP, I agree. Great looking car, though.
        • 4 Years Ago

        The Solstice GXP and Sky Redline made 260hp out of GM's LNF engine. Same engine used in the Cobalt SS Turbo and HHR SS. Notice how these models were the hotted-up versions? The Verano with the 2.0L turbo isn't a hotted-up Verano.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM can make 291HP from this 2.0 engine, it was sold a couple years ago as an option in the HHR SS, Solstice GXP, Sky Redline and Colbalt SS. It requires premium fuel though, the Hyundai's figures are on regular gas.

        This engine has multiple tunes, much like VW/Audi's 2.0T does.
        • 4 Years Ago
        May be a hangover from the slugbox rating. The HHR Turbo was rated significantly lower on the auto than the manual version. Same with the PT cruiser.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree... I think the Soltice and Skye's high end models offered 2.0
        liter turbo 4 bangers that achieved around 280hp... not sure why
        Buick's versions have been de-balled??
        • 4 Years Ago
        You have it backwards. The Kia/Hyundai 2.4L GDI engine has 198-200 HP. The 2.0L TURBO has 274. Emphasis on TURBO
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now they have a good spot for the 2.0 turbo. Now they need to throw a decent 6 (as an option) into the regal so it can overshadow its competition.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Amazing performance, technological, and interior quality. Buick, I think this will be an big seller! and it looks stunning!
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