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Buick Envision spied fully disrobed in China

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:28:00 EST

The Buick Envision crossover is supposed to have its big reveal on August 28 and be on display at the Chengdu Motor Show, but apparently the new midsize crossover just can't wait to meet its public. Car News China caught a completely undisguised example parking outside of the convention center where the show is held.
The Buick designers are going right down the middle with the styling with nothing too flashy to turn off potential buyers. Still, it's a handsome CUV that kind of looks like a stretched Encore from some angles with vents along the hood, a large greenhouse and a prominent crease running down the side.
This new midsizer is hitting the Chinese market first and reportedly rides on GM's Delta platform that's also found underneath the Buick Verano. According to Car News China, prices there are between 160,000 yuan and 220,000 yuan ($26,000 - $35,800 at current rates). However, it's also rumored to eventually make its way across the Pacific to give Buick buyers in the US an option between the Encore compact crossover and larger Enclave.

Buick shows US dealers 2016 Cascada convertible

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:01:00 EST

The affordable four-seat convertible has become a largely forgotten genre in the States, especially with the death of the Chrysler 200 Convertible. Of course, there are still premium options from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz - not to mention more overtly performance-oriented droptop pony cars from Chevrolet and Ford - but if you want an affordable cruiser, you're kind of out of luck. That may be about to change, however, with renewed rumors of the Opel Cascada (pictured above) making it across the Atlantic wearing a Buick badge.
According to GM Inside News, Buick showed off the Cascada to US dealers last week, with renewed word that the company plans to bring it over from Europe for the 2016 model year. The US version will reportedly be practically identical to its German cousin in terms of styling, but the powertrain underneath is less certain. According to GMI, it may use the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that is available in Europe with either 168 horsepower or 197 hp.
The Cascada rides on GM's Delta II platform, which also underpins the Verano, and the latest rumor certainly provides even more evidence that the convertible is probably on the way. Speculation about the droptop started when GM CEO Dan Akerson said last year that the car was on his wish list to bring over. Then, the US trademark on the name was reserved earlier this year, and the release was speculated for sometime in early 2016.

Buick Envision cabin detailed ahead of reveal later this month

Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST

Buick teased the arrival of the China-market Envision last month and gave us a few specs, now it's teasing the midsize crossover's interior and features. Having said it will "set a new benchmark in terms of space, safety, performance and specifications," we're told that equipment like the heated leather steering wheel and Bose-sourced active noise cancellation are market firsts in the segment.
Elsewhere, light will shine on occupants through the panoramic roof during the day and via ice blue ambient lighting at night, and seating surfaces are being shown off with dual-stitched leather. Lane departure warning and parking assist help keep the bodywork in order, stop/start ignition fitted to the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 256 horsepower and 260 pound-feet will help keep fuel economy up. One more convenience for the model's core buyers: a tailgate that can be partially opened.
The Normal, Tour, Sport and Off-Road driving modes come courtesy of FlexRide, that last one - meant for extra-light-duty dirt work, naturally - appearing on a Buick for the first time.

What's in a trademark? Sometimes, the next iconic car name

Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:45:00 EST



The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a treasure trove for auto enthusiasts, especially those who double as conspiracy theorists.
Why has Toyota applied to trademark "Supra," the name of one of its legendary sports cars, even though it hasn't sold one in the United States in 16 years? Why would General Motors continue to register "Chevelle" long after one of the most famous American muscle cars hit the end of the road? And what could Chrysler possibly do with the rights to "313," the area code for Detroit?

GM SUV window switch recall urges owners to park vehicles outside

Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:30:00 EST

It's not unusual for there to be a lag between an automaker announcing a recall and the official documentation showing up on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. So it's no surprise that a recent GM campaign took about a month to appear in its official capacity. However, there appears to be some big differences between the two reports with potential safety implications.
In late June, GM announced that it needed to recall 181,984 examples of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x from the 2005-2007 model years, plus the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer EXT and 2006 GMC Envoy XL. The new documents paint a slightly different picture with 184,611 needing repaired and different model years listed.
The reason for the fix is still the same, though. It's possible for fluid to contact the master power window switch module in the driver's door, which can corrode the part. Eventually this could cause a short circuit, leaving the buttons inoperable and potentially leading to a fire. But the new NHTSA documents add an important note: "A fire could occur even while the vehicle is not in use. As a precaution, owners are advised to park outside until the remedy has been made."

Next Buick Regal coming in 2017, could be imported from Germany

Sun, 03 Aug 2014 11:03:00 EST

The Buick Regal is based on the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, a pair of sedans from General Motors' European and British outfits. In fact, over 46,000 Regals from model years 2010 and 2011 were screwed together on the same lines as the Insignia twins, before GM's Oshawa, Ontario factory took over production fully. Considering this closeness, rumors that claim the next-generation Regal - due for 2017 - could move back to Europe aren't terribly surprising. Here's why, according to Automotive News.
Oshawa is home to three other vehicles, aside from the Regal - the Chevrolet Camaro, Impala rental queen and the Cadillac XTS. We already know next-gen Camaro production is headed to Lansing, MI, and that the fleet-only Impala will (finally!) die in 2016. As for the XTS, as AN explains it, sales are so slow that GM will either kill it or just shuffle its production volume elsewhere.
Taken along with the fact that Unifor, the Canadian labor union repping workers at the Oshawa factory, claim GM hasn't made any guarantees about future production at the nearly 60-year-old factory, it seems fairly clear that the Regal's current factory is going to be put out to pasture.

Next-gen LaCrosse, Cascada convertible coming to Buick showrooms in 2016

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:03:00 EST

It's difficult to overstate how significant the post-bankruptcy years have been for General Motors' Buick brand. Arguably the most improved American automaker, Buick has rounded out its range with an excellent compact in the Verano, a well-balanced midsizer in the Regal and a segment-busting mini-CUV, with the Encore.
Seeking to keep that momentum going, the next several years will see the brand address a trio of its most obvious issues. First and foremost will be a replacement for the aging LaCrosse, a vehicle whose only bit of attention since its 2009 debut was a very light refresh in 2013.
According to Automotive News, we should expect the next-generation LaCrosse to arrive late next year or early in 2016, as a 2016 model. AN expects big design changes, as Buick attempts to further the LaCrosse from its popular platform-mate, the Chevrolet Impala. The changes won't be so radical, though, as to do away with its front-drive architecture, as the latest version of the Epsilon platform will underpin the next LaCrosse. The 3.6-liter V6 is likely to carry on, although a smaller, budget-minded offering is also extremely likely (we'll eat our hat if it's not the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the Regal, Verano and Cadillac CTS et al.).

GM announces 6 recalls covering nearly 720k cars

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:30:00 EST

General Motors has announced yet another sprawling recall campaign, with six separate elements covering 717,950 vehicles on US roads. At this point in 2014, it's starting to seem like there are more days with a GM recall than without. Perhaps most troubling about this latest volley, though, is that every vehicle is from the past few years, indicating that GM's quality woes may not be limited to pre-bankruptcy vehicles.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, and includes the 2011 to 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2010 to 2012 Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and the 2011 to 2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse. Only vehicles with powered, height-adjustable seats are covered. In these particular cars and crossovers, the bolt that secures the height adjuster actuator may loosen of its own accord and in some cases fall out completely. If this happens, the seats will be able to move both up and down. GM claims the vehicles are safe to drive, provided drivers don't vertically adjust their seats. This particular issue has caused one crash and three injuries.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, including the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac SRX and the Buick Regal and LaCrosse.

Buick Envision CUV displays full-frontal nudity

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:58:00 EST

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.

eBay Find Of The Day: 1946 Tucker Torpedo Prototype II hides a secret Riviera

Thu, 10 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST

The Tucker Torpedo is one of the great what-if stories of automotive history. Preston Tucker hoped to revolutionize the industry with a car unlike any other on the road at the time. However, due to a variety of problems, he only managed build 51 vehicles before closing shop. Over time, they have become highly sought-after; In 2012, one sold for $2.65 million at auction.
That brings us to this Tucker "replica" that you see above because it might be one of the ugliest monstrosities ever put together. However, we might extend some leniency to the creator, as the vehicle isn't actually trying to replicate the classic look of the 1948 Tucker Torpedo. Instead, it is attempting to reproduce an earlier prototype from 1946 that actually features that weird, trident nose. According to the seller, his uncle built the car as a labor of love and supposedly used actual plans from Tucker as inspiration.
Underneath all of the crazy changes is a 1971 Buick Riviera powered by a 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) Buick V8. Some of the replica's odder modifications include the front fenders that turn with the wheels and the fin running down the back. All three headlights work, but the one in the middle is only for the high beams. Oddly, the small hinged sections on the roof are meant to open to avoid hitting your head when getting in or out. Maybe the seller's uncle was a very tall guy?