Instead of the 1.4-liter turbo four that produces 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque in the standard Encore, the new Sport Touring model features a newer, more powerful engine that GM says shares little with the existing unit aside from its displacement. The new 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection engine produces a more commanding 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, which is up a good 11 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over the existing engine.
It's still mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and features a stop/start system to optimize fuel efficiency. Buick wasn't willing to estimate where the mile-per-gallon numbers might land, though that information will be available closer to sale. Along with the upgraded engine, Buick is also throwing in 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, and the features from the Convenience package as well. The new Encore model follows just a couple of months after we first caught wind of a trademark filed for the Sport Touring name. At the time, it looked like it was set to be applied to the Regal and LaCrosse sedan, which could still follow as well.
New 1.4L turbo engine adds performance, exclusive exterior cues add distinction
DETROIT – Buick today introduced the 2016 Encore Sport Touring – a more spirited take on the brand's popular crossover. It is distinguished by unique exterior cues and driven by an exclusive, all-new 1.4L turbocharged engine featuring direct injection and stop/start technology.
The exterior features include a winged rear spoiler, 18-inch aluminum premium-finish wheels and body-color door handles, while the technologically advanced 1.4L turbo is part of a new, global family of small, power-dense engines developed to balance performance and efficiency with exceptional refinement.
Direct injection helps it generate an estimated 153 hp (112 kW) and 177 lb-ft of torque (240 Nm), for about 11 percent more horsepower and nearly 20 percent more torque than the Encore's standard engine – and a greater feeling of power on demand, particularly at low- and mid-range engine speeds. It's matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Stop/start technology contributes to reduced fuel consumption in stop-and-go driving. It automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.
"Encore is a driving force behind Buick's expansion and a catalyst for introducing a new generation of customers to the brand," said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick. "The all-new Encore Sport Touring broadens that base, giving customers more choices – along with more performance, more technology and more efficiency."
The 2016 Encore Sport Touring goes on sale this fall. All Encore models offer room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space. Standard features include:
- Blue-accented halogen composite projector-beam headlamps
- IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system with a seven-inch-diagonal, high-resolution, full-color display
- OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot, including a three-month/3GB data trial
- Rearview camera system
- Fold-flat front passenger seat that extends the cargo length and accommodates items up to eight feet long
- Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags
- QuietTuning with Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology
- Heated outside rearview mirrors with signal indicators
- Fuel-saving electric power steering
- Four-wheel disc brakes.
Encore Sport Touring also includes the Convenience package, which adds a 120-volt power outlet, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, fog lamps, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert and remote starting.
All-wheel drive, a premium Bose® audio system, navigation radio and a moonroof are available.
1.4L turbo details
The Encore Sport Touring's exclusive 1.4L turbo is based on an all-new engine family, sharing only its displacement with the Encore's standard 1.4L turbo engine. It features an aluminum cylinder block and head, which helps reduce mass for better performance and efficiency.
Engine efficiency is also bolstered through reduced friction, including low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump. Additional engine features include:
- A durable steel crankshaft for strength and reduced engine vibration
- Powder-metal steel connecting rods and hypereutectic-alloy aluminum pistons that are tough and contribute to quietness. They are used with low-tension rings that reduce friction
- A variable-flow oiling system that helps maximize fuel efficiency. The crankshaft-driven oil pump matches oil supply to engine load, changing its capacity based on the engine's demand for oil – eliminating energy wasted to pump unneeded oil
- Piston-cooling oil jets that minimize piston temperatures – helping to make the most of performance, refinement, efficiency and emissions.
The cylinder head has a water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated within the aluminum casting. Its single-piece design helps quicken engine warm-up, which contributes to better emissions performance. Improved durability results from eliminating the need for gasket sealing around the exhaust ports, as well as offering under-hood packaging advantages.
Along with performance and efficiency, the new 1.4L engine offers excellent refinement, with low vibration and noise levels – a hallmark of Buick's commitment to quiet vehicles. Highlights include:
- The camshaft drive-chain, with an inverted-tooth design, and chain architecture designed for low sound levels
- A lower, stamped steel sump at the bottom of the aluminum oil pan
- The front-end accessory drive features an overriding alternator coupler to remove the effect of crankshaft oscillations. It also allows a reduction in tensioning force, which reduces friction levels and improves efficiency
- Acoustically optimized covers for the top and front of the engine
- Crankshaft isolation with iron main bearing inserts.
FAST FACT: Encore sales increased 29 percent for the first six months of 2015.
Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instragram, on Pinterest or at www.facebook.com/buick