Last week, Buick confirmed that two new models will be joining its lineup next year, but while patent sketches were available for the new compact sedan, no pictures exist of the new 2012 Buick compact crossover. Using what little information there is to go off of, Autotropolis has come up with a best guess design for the upcoming crossover that may or may not go by the name Buick Encore. This rendering is based off previous reports, known facts and recent spy photos.
What is known about the new crossover is that it will use the same General Motors Theta platform as the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox and it will not resemble the now-extinct Saturn VUE. Instead of making the same rebadging mistakes it had in the past, GM will give the new crossover a styling that is said to resemble a baby Buick Enclave. The fastest and easiest way for GM to accommodate both of these is to use an existing design, so GM will likely turn to the Chevrolet Captiva body design which is a Theta-derived compact crossover available in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
For a styling to go up against luxury crossovers like the Lexus RX, the new Buick crossover will likely get a very distinguishable exterior design including Buick signature cues like the large waterfall grille and the hood-mounted portholes. Spy shots recently surfaced on the Internet showing what looks like a Captiva driving around with a camouflaged front end meaning that most of the changes will be made up front. One thing that is sure to be present on the new Buick crossover is plenty of exterior chrome.
Like the sister Theta platform vehicles, the new Buick crossover will likely be powered by the existing engines on the platform which include the 2.4-liter inline-four and the 3.0-liter direct-injected V-6 with both available in front- or all-wheel drive. The fuel-efficient inline-four is capable of 32 miles per gallon on the highway, while the V-6 delivers 264 horsepower and a respectable 25 mpg on the highway.
Both the crossover and sedan will likely go on sale later next year as 2012 model year vehicles giving BuickÂ six vehicles which is the most it's had since 2005.
Rendering by Jeffrey N. Ross