Buick Excelle GT Sedan Intros in China and Shows Likely North American Design

Staff - CAP staff
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If you want to see what Buick plans to offer us atop the Chevy Cruze (Opel Astra) platform architecture, look no further than the photos of the 2011 Buick Excelle GT sedan. This car, preparing to be released in China via Shanghai GM, a joint venture between General Motors and China's SAIC Motor Corp., will arrive at dealers throughout the world's most populated country later this month.

The Excelle GT will be outfitted with a 145 horsepower naturally aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine in base form, or if that's not enough a more energetic turbocharged 1.6-litre four puts out 181 horsepower.

Buick plans to change the name from Excelle to something else before debuting the car here, which is a good thing. After all, no car company would ever want to be associated with a model as troublesome as Hyundai's old Excel, a distant memory that the South Korean brand, now one of the more reliable on the planet, likely wants to forget as well.

Oddly, however, the rumour mill is touting Verano as a possible substitute! Is it just us, or does Verano kind of stir up memories of Suzuki's Daewoo-built Verona? Hmmm… Buick might want to rethink this name as well, if the rumours are indeed true. Once again, it's never a good idea to graft associations with an industry loser, and a recently defunct one at that.

Buick would be better off digging up and dusting off Skyhawk! Or what about Skylark or even Somerset? Century might still work, too. With such a rich history of great nameplates Buick certainly can do better than Verano, if the rumours are true. Regal, Buick's latest offering testifies to this.

All we hope for is that when it comes time for Buick to offer a standalone version of the Volt series hybrid (probably styled after the Opel Ampera which is due for launch in 2011) that they call it Electra.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Buick, Compact,

Organizations: North American, Buick

Geographic location: China

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