Following the recent unveiling of the updated Buick Verano sedan, Buick’s China arm has released a lone teaser image of the hatchback variant ahead of its formal debut.
The lone teaser image appears to show that this new Buick will follow the trend of recent offerings and be essentially a rebadged Opel model. In this case, it is based off of the recently unveiled Opel Astra and hopes to mirror that model’s strong sales when it eventually lands in Chinese dealer lots. The rear styling doesn’t differ too much from the Opel version which means the slick tailights, blacked our C-pillars, and the roof mounted spoiler are carried over virtually intact. This is actually a good thing since we here at Autoinfoquest are big fans of the Astra’s new suit of clothes. Shots of the front fascia were not released, but look for it to be a mirror image of the Verano sedan’s schnoz.
Performance for the Verano hatchback will come from a pair of four cylinder engines with the base model featuring a naturally aspirated 1.5 liter engine. Buyers that choose the more performance oriented GS model will be pleased with the turbocharged version of the 1.5 liter which makes a commendable 166 horsepower with front-wheel drive standard fare across the board. The transmission choices however will vary depending on model with lower trims featuring either a standard six speed manual gearbox or an optional six speed automatic. GS versions will come equipped with a seven speed dual clutch transmission but we lament the lack of a stick especially in a performance oriented hatchback.
As for the U.S, our version of the all new Verano will make it’s debut either at the Los Angeles Auto Show, or early next year in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show. The next generation Verano will share GM’s all new D2XX platform with the recently unveiled Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, as well as the fore-mentioned Astra. In the case of the Verano, it is expected to help it be lighter and more agile than the current model.
This would be especially true for Turbo variants like the one i personally own where the lighter platform can help improve acceleration and handling behavior, while making it more fun to drive at the same time. We also wish that the GS hatchback would arrive in the U.S. since it would be a compelling contender to the GTI, and give the brand a clear rival to both the fore-mentioned hatchback, as well as its sedan sibling the Jetta GLI with the GS sedan.
With Buick a strong powerhouse in terms of sales for GM’s China operations, it is no secret that the company aims to maintain its strong grip on the Chinese market by unveiling an updated version of its Verano sedan (known in China as the “Wei Lang.”)
Regardless of what you like to call this latest iteration of Buick’s entry level sedan, the exterior styling promises to channel influence from the Riviera and Avenir concept cars though the lone teaser image that Buick released does make finding the resemblance somewhat difficult. It does reveal however that the upcoming Verano will receive slightly tweaked tail lights as well as new body creases that mirror those seen on the bigger Regal sedan. While this is certainly a change from the current Verano (this author owns a 2013 Verano Turbo) it appears that GM engineers still did not equip the trunk with a lid mounted release button which will force owners to continue either using the keyfob or the trunk release button in the cabin to get it open an odd omission especially in a car that can surpass $30,000 fully equipped.
Buick did not release any interior images with today’s release, but look for a significant improvement in overall ergonomics especially with the center stack where less buttons as well as a reworked touchscreen based infotainment system aim to make the cabin look more upscale while also reducing driver frustration at the same time. In addition revised interior materials, as well as a fresh design theme should allow the car to stand out better against rivals such as the Audi A3, Mercedes CLA, as well as the BMW 2-Series.
Buick was also mum on what performance hardware will motivate the car only promising that the new model meets benchmarks for “performance, safety, and comfort.” However, as is the case with the current Verano/Excelle, look for the final engine offering to change depending on what market it is being sold in with U.S. versions most likely being equipped with engines borrowed from the next generation Cruze. It is unclear if the Verano Turbo would still be offered with this update, but we hope it will feature bolder styling as well as a more performance oriented interior to make it stand out from mainstream Verano variants.
Buick will be unveiling the full details of the Wei Lang at a special media event on April 19th with more information expected to slowly trickle out over the next few days. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest developments on the upcoming Verano/Wei Lang as the become available.