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Auto blogWed, 15 Oct 2014 13:33:00 EST
People are a weird sort. Even after registering over 70 recalls through the first three-quarters of 2014, General Motors saw its best Q3 results since Jimmy Carter was in the White House, registering over 2.4 million global sales between June and September on the back of strong results in the US and China.
US sales were marshaled by good results for GM's pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which bumped the manufacturer's truck market share to 35.6 percent, up nearly three points from Q1 2014. Buick has seen healthy growth as well, with the Encore dominating its segment for the sixth month running.
It was China, though, that really bolstered GM's sales, as the company's efforts to top last year's record-setting 3.16 million units continued apace. Small SUV sales saw massive growth, with Encore, Chevrolet Trax and Captiva figures jumping 90 percent in Q3. Brand-wise, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick all saw sales gains in the PRC, with each recording double-digit year-over-year jumps. Cadillac sales alone were up 63 percent compared to the first nine months of 2013.
Earlier this month, Shanghai GM gave us a glimpse of the production version of the Buick Envision concept revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show back in 2011. And now it's released the first unveiled shot and initial details of the crossover to slot in the considerable gap between the Encore and Enclave.
The new Envision is set later this year to reach Chinese showrooms, where it will be called the Ang Ke Wei, after which we're expecting it to arrive Stateside. The production-ready Envision is about the size of the Chevrolet Equinox or GMC Terrain, but is differentiated by a more upscale treatment and Buick's signature waterfall grille, flanked by Xenon headlamps and LED running lights and riding on 19-inch wheels.
Power comes from GM's familiar 2.0-liter turbo four with direct injection and stop/start ignition, driving 256 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. That's about all that GM's Chinese operation has announced at this point - it's not even clear what platform the vehicle is on - but you can check out the press release for yourself below.
Inside Line reports Buick is planning to bring back some of the more storied names from the company's past, including the Grand National, GNX and the T-Type. Those cars rose to prominence in the 1970s and '80s to become performance legends of their day.
The new models will reportedly make use of the rear-wheel drive platform that currently underpins the Cadillac ATS and all would arrive as sedans - according to an unnamed source familiar with the initiative. Odds are the T-Type and the Grand National would share a driveline, with honest money being on a new twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 as the engine of choice. Word has it the mill will be good for anywhere from 350 to 400 horsepower.
That leaves only the GNX. Inside Line seems to think that machine could get down the road with some help from the all-new GM LT1 small-block V8. The engineers behind the ATS platform have already told us the engine bay is large enough for to accommodate the big eight pot, and since GM is most certainly working on an ATS-V, a slightly less powerful, less luxurious Buick iteration makes some kind of sense. We can't wait to see these things in the light of day.