Buick Excelle GT – Click above for high-res image gallery
One of the cars that we were expecting to see at the Beijing Motor Show last month was the Buick Excelle GT sedan. Unfortunately, General Motors opted not to show the car there, perhaps fearing it would get lost in the shuffle. The Excelle GT is still going on sale in China this summer and it has now been spotted out in the wild completely free of all the camouflage that has been covering it until now.
What is purported to be a new GT version of the Buick Excelle has been spotted out and about in China. The Excelle, you may recall, is a four door version of the Opel Astra. Buick has already said that the car will be coming to North America at some point, although we don't know exactly when or what badge it will wear. The current top engine in the Excelle XT is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four that pumps out 184 horsepower.
The clearest images yet of the upcoming Buick compact sedan have been captured in China. This is one of the numerous future models that was saw at the GM design center last summer and it is essentially nothing more than a sedan version of the new Opel Astra. At this point, we still don't know what the new model will be called in North America, although it is badged as the Excelle in China.
Now that General Motors has decreed that Buick will be one of its four core brands, its lineup will need to be fleshed out a bit. The Lucerne is going away momentarily and the mid-size Regal is on the way. However, that still leaves only three models, including the LaCrosse and Enclave. Earlier this year, GM took us on tour of the Buick design studio and showed off a six-vehicle lineup for Buick, with a new compact sedan as the entry point. That sedan is essentially just the Opel Astra with a Bu
The next-generation Buick Excelle has been spotted testing in the usual camouflage. The existing Excelle is only sold in China, but now that General Motors has decided that Buick will be one of its four core brands in the U.S. market, it seems likely that it could come over as part of an expanded lineup. The new Excelle is based on the same Delta II platform as other compacts - including the Opel Astra, Chevy Cruze and, of course, the Chevy Volt.
One of the refrains we've all heard in recent years is how strong Buick is for General Motors in China, where it's not cursed with the stigma of being a grandparent's brand in the States. While most of yesterday's attention was rightly focused on the industry-wide year-end U.S. sales bloodbath, Shanghai Daily reports that 2008 was a bummer for GM's joint venture with SAIC in China.
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