Buick Announces New Verano

2012 Buick Verano

Just in time for rising gasoline prices, Buick has announced the new Verano, claiming it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus.  Going on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, this small car  features 10 standard air bag and an available heated steering wheel.

As expected Buick claims it will be the quietest compact sedan on the road, even quieter than many midsize and full-size cars.  It will get it’s power from two engines- A direct injected 177 horsepower Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder, with dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing is the standard engine.  A turbo engine will be available in the future.

2012 Buick Verano

The front suspension uses decoupled MacPherson struts for better isolation from extreme road conditions like large bumps and potholes. At the rear, a Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering,

Buick sales rose over 50% last year making it the brand with the highest growth in 2010.  Who would have guessed?  That’s what happens when you add desirable product to the line up.

The full press release and gallery is below.

DETROIT – The all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan, the brand’s third new model in the past two years and first in the compact luxury segment, will be revealed at the North American International Auto Show.

Verano goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, the latest model in a product renaissance that began with the Enclave and continued with the LaCrosse and Regal. Like them, Verano is distinguished by luxury and technology, including 10 standard air bags, an available heated steering wheel and a next-generation radio system with OnStar-powered connectivity that enables seamless communication between the Verano and the driver’s smart phone.

An Ecotec 2.4L and six-speed automatic powertrain combination is standard and delivers an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. torque (230 Nm), 0-60 mph performance of 8.0 seconds and an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. A 2.0L turbo engine will be offered in the future.

“Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick’s momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology,” said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick marketing. “It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus.”

Five elements infused in Verano that define its character:

Sculpted design – Refined styling with a sporty profile, blending Buick’s signature cues – including a black chrome waterfall grille, blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes and chrome accents

Luxurious interior – Premium seat comfort and support redefined for a compact sedan and matched with upscale, soft-touch materials and premium leather – all complemented by leading-edge infotainment and ambient lighting

Quiet tuning – The quietest compact sedan on the road – quieter than many midsize and full-size cars – Verano’s quietness is supported by acoustical laminated glass, triple door seals, refined chassis dynamics and specially manufactured 17-inch standard forged alloy multi-spoke wheels, which minimize road noise

Refined and responsive performance – Powerful and efficient Ecotec 2.4L/six-speed automatic powertrain matched with a refined, responsive suspension system, including a sophisticated Watts Z-link rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes with standard anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control

Purposeful technology – Convenience and safety features that enhance the driving experience and are rare for the segment, including 10 standard air bags, a next-generation radio, touch screen navigation and advanced connectivity technologies powered by OnStar.

Sculpted design

Verano carries the modern Buick design cues introduced on the Enclave and interpreted for the LaCrosse and Regal. They include a bold, detailed black chrome waterfall grille, prominent blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes, chrome accents, premium wheels and a tailored body-to-wheel relationship. An arching roofline connects a steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars to give the car a sporty profile that’s complemented by large, 17-inch standard multi-spoke forged alloy sterling silver-finish wheels. Two premium 18-inch wheel designs are available.

“Verano translates Buick’s sculptural design language in a new size, with all the refinement and attention to detail pioneered by the Enclave and LaCrosse,” said Dave Lyon, design director. “Beyond all that, it’s simply a great-looking car. It has great proportions and sophisticated details that will look great for years to come.”

Unique to Verano are translucent blue projector-beam headlamps, which give the car a distinctive, upscale appearance. A palette of rich colors enhances the premium look, including Claret Red Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat. Other exterior color choices include Black, Olympic White, Switchblade Silver Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic and Mocha Bronze Metallic.

Luxurious interior

Complementing Verano’s precisely crafted, premium-accented exterior is an interior marked by exceptional seat comfort and support, as well as premium soft-touch materials, including ambient lighting inspired by the LaCrosse. Metallic and wood trims and warm ambient lighting make the cabin an inviting environment.

Neutral and medium titanium colors are offered on interiors with leatherette/fabric seating surfaces, while ebony, cashmere and a unique Choccachino color are offered on the available leather-trimmed interiors. Verano uses the same premium leather material for the seats that is used on the LaCrosse.

The instrument panel blends with an integrated center stack that houses the infotainment display, climate controls and radio controls. Flush-mounted components within the center stack have a gap tolerance of less than 1 mm, while the instrument panel-to-door panel gaps are less than 5 mm. Those tolerances are among the best in class.

Verano’s headliner cover is made of a knit material that is one of five layers of an acoustically designed headliner to help quiet the passenger compartment. The interior pillar and other moldings are color- and grain-matched to the headliner.

Additional interior standard and available features include:

Push-button engine start

Dual-zone climate control with standard air conditioning (automatic climate control available)

Heated steering wheel

Heated leather-appointed seating

Electronic parking brake

Console armrest that slides and locks

Power windows with express up/down in the front and express down in the rear

Steering wheel radio controls

Uplevel front and rear reading lamps.

Verano’s heated steering wheel and heated seats are linked with the remote start feature. In temperatures lower than 45 F (7 C), the steering wheel heater and seat heaters automatically activate.

Quiet tuning

Verano delivers the library-quiet driving experience for which Buicks have become known. Quiet-tuning systems, processes and components are built into every facet of the vehicle’s architecture. All are designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations.

Hydraulic ride bushings, for example, and an isolated engine cradle reduce or eliminate vibration pathways that could be transmitted to the passenger compartment. Similarly, a number of noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are employed throughout the body structure, including:

The steel front-of-dash panel is sandwiched between two damping mats

Nylon baffles are used in various hollow portions of the body structure and filled with sound-absorbing foam that expands when the body enters the paint oven

The headliner comprises five layers of thermal fiber acoustic material, including a premium woven fabric on the visible outer layer

Patches of sound-damping material are applied strategically throughout the body structure and melt into place when the body passes through the paint oven, allowing the patches to follow the contours of the sheet metal below

Sound insulation material between rear-body structural components that is made from recycled denim

Triple-sealed doors that feature fiberglass “blankets” serve as water, airflow and noise barriers. The doors are also beta-braced, meaning they close with a solid, precise sound and no resonance

Optimized windshield and side glass for quietness, with 5.4-mm-thick laminated windshield and 4.85-mm laminated side glass

The engine’s intake and exhaust systems are tuned for quiet performance

Isolated brake and fuel lines prevent vibrations.

Even the wheels and tires contribute to Verano’s quietness. The standard 17-inch aluminum wheels are manufactured in a unique way to enhance quietness, while the tires minimize road noise.

Refined and responsive performance

A power-dense Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder, with dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and E85 capability, is the standard engine in the Verano. It produces an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. of torque (230 Nm). Direct injection technology helps it produce more power with less fuel and lower emissions – including up to 25-percent reduced hydrocarbon emissions when compared with a multi-point fuel injection engine. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that helps the Verano deliver an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. Electric power steering and a more efficient transmission design help optimize fuel economy.

The front suspension uses decoupled MacPherson struts for better isolation, providing greater separation of extreme road conditions – large potholes, for example – from everyday driving conditions. At the rear, a technically advanced Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Verano’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension.

The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight contributes to Verano’s fuel economy, while the compact design enables more trunk space.

Steering inputs are executed by an electric power steering system, featuring a dual-pinion rack. Electric powering steering helps save fuel because it removes the conventional power steering pump from the engine’s driven accessories. Engineers tuned the speed-sensitive system to provide quick, direct reaction to steering actions and a strong on-center feel. The system has a ratio of 15.5:1 and requires only slightly more than two turns, lock to lock.

Stopping power is handled by a four-wheel disc brake system with standard anti-lock and electronic brake force distribution, as well as StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control.

Purposeful technology

Comprehensive connectivity is enabled by OnStar’s remote vehicle access, which makes keeping tabs on the vehicle a breeze from anywhere with a smart phone. Highlights include:

Passive entry

Heated steering wheel

Touch screen navigation system

Bluetooth connectivity (both phone and audio)

XM Satellite Radio

Bose sound system

Next-generation radio.

Downloading an OnStar app enables the use of remote vehicle features from anywhere in the world. With a few taps, customers can check the:

Fuel tank level and range

Fuel mileage

Remaining oil life

Tire pressure

Odometer reading.

Other remote-access features include remote vehicle locking/unlocking, remote vehicle start and a vehicle locator.

The next-generation radio system includes a navigation system, along with USB and auxiliary input jacks, and includes full Bluetooth with streaming audio, structural speech recognition, SMS texts and more. Additional connectivity features include text-to-speech conversion of SMS texts, smart phone app integration (Pandora, Stitcher, etc.) and Gracenote music organization for external devices (USB drives, etc.), including Playlist Plus and Album Art features.

Safety is another component in Verano’s technology story. Primary features include:

Ten standard air bags, including frontal, head curtain side air bags, front and outboard rear-seat side-impact air bags and new knee air bags. The head-curtain side air bags deploy in a rollover crash

StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes

Collapsible pedal system, which allows the pedals to detach during a crash to reduce the risk of leg or ankle injuries

OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.

Verano has a strong, unitized body structure that incorporates 60-percent high-strength steel in key areas to enhance strength and crash protection. It is used to help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. Safety development included testing at GM’s rollover test facility.

About Buick

Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan and Regal sport sedan. The new Buick Verano compact sedan and a small crossover will join the portfolio in the next few years. Buick’s sales continue to increase in North America, and it remains a best-selling brand in China, with continuing record growth. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.

2012 BUICK VERANO PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Models: 2012 Buick Verano
Body style / driveline: four-door, 5-passenger front engine transaxle; front-wheel-drive compact car
Construction: steel body-frame integral with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, hood, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias
Manufacturing location: Orion Township, Mich.
Key competitors: Lexus IS 250, Audi A3

Engines

Ecotec 2.4L DOHC I-4 (LEA)
Displacement (cu. in. / cc): 145 / 2384
Bore and stroke (in. / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98
Block material: precision sand cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: SPM cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing for intake and exhaust
Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery: direct injection and electronic throttle control
Compression ratio: 11.2:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 177 / 132 @ 6200 rpm (estimated, SAE certification pending)
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 170 / 230 @ 4800 rpm (estimated, SAE certification pending)
Recommended fuel: regular unleaded or E85
Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter; variable valve timing; positive crankcase ventilation evaporative system
Estimated fuel economy 
(city / hwy): 22 / 31

Transmissions

Hydra-Matic 6T45 6-speed automatic
Type: six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive transmission
Gear ratios (:1)
First: 4.58
Second: 2.96
Third: 1.91
Fourth: 1.45
Fifth: 1.00
Sixth: 0.75
Reverse: 2.84
Final drive: 3.23

Chassis/Suspension

Front: independent, MacPherson strut-type with side-loaded strut modules, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings
Rear: specifically adapted compound crank (torsion beam) with double-walled, U-shaped profile at the rear, Z-link (tunable control arm)
Traction control: all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention
Steering type: rack-mounted electric power steering
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.8
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (feet / meters): 36 / 11
Steering ratio: 15.5:1

Brakes

Type: power-assisted four-wheel disc electronic brake force distribution and ABS
Brake rotor diameter – front (mm / in.): 300 / 11.8 vented; single-piston w/steel caliper
Brake rotor diameter – rear (mm / in.): 292 / 11.5 vented; single-piston w/steel caliper
Total swept area (cu cc; pad area): TBD

Wheels/Tires

Wheel size and type: 17-inch forged alloy (std.)
18-inch alloy (opt. – two designs available)
Tires: 225/50R17 ALS 
235/45R18 ALS

Dimensions 
Exterior

Wheelbase (in. / mm): 105.7 / 2685
Overall length (in. / mm): 183.9 / 4671
Overall width (in. / mm): 71.4 / 1815
Overall height (in. / mm): 58.4 / 1484
Track width front (in. / mm): 60.7 / 1544
Track width rear (in. / mm): 61.3 / 1558
Curb weight (lb / kg): 3300 / 1497

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3
Headroom (in. / mm): 38.3 / 973 (front without sunroof) 
37.2 / 945 (front with sunroof) 
37.8 / 960 (rear without sunroof) 
37.8 / 960 (rear with sunroof)
Legroom (in. / mm): 42 / 1068 (front) 
33.9 / 861 (rear)
Shoulder room (in. / mm): 55.1 / 1399 (front) 
53.8 / 1343 (rear)
Hip room (in. / mm): 53.7 / 1364 (front) 
51.9 / 1320 (rear)
Passenger volume (cu. ft. / L) : 95 / 2690
Cargo volume (cu. ft. / L): 15.2 / 430 (maximum with tire inflator kit and without Bose Premium Audio)

14.3 / 405 (with spare tire/jack kit and without Bose Premium Audio)

14 / 396 (with spare tire/jack kit and Bose Premium Audio)

Capacities

Trailer towing maximum (lb. / kg): 1000 / 454
Fuel tank (gal. / L): 15 / 57
Cooling system (qt. / L): TBD

Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

4 Comments

  1. TV says:

    I might be a bit low on my earlier guestimate. Regal goes from a base price of 27K to 38 grand for a loaded turbo. A nicely equipped LaCrosse (not completely loaded) is 40K. A maxed out Cruze goes for a hair over 26. Verano will have more tech and features, better materials and an upscale badge so it might climb to 33-34 considering its brothers. But then again, there’s the Korean competition to consider. A loaded Kia Optima SX which is a very nice car is 31. It’s larger but not as quiet (I’m assuming) and doesn’t have the brand perception. Yet.

    I’m not an auto exec but an interesting strategy would be to price Verano on the low side to get a lot of them into the hands of younger buyers (relatively in this case) to start building back volume for the brand. We’ll see next fall I suppose. Now they need a compact crossover to complete the lineup.

    I’ve seen the Insignia (Regal here) wagon and it’s a shame that it isn’t automatically coming over. It looks better than the Regal sedan to my eye. Great looking car. It could help to change American’s views about wagons.

  2. TV says:

    The press release is not specific that it’s targeting those two, it may be that they’re targeting the CT 250h and A3. Gunning for Audi really demands AWD IMHO and crisp handling. Verano seems more Lexus really, but not directly model to model since CT is a hybrid, IS is rear drive and ES is much larger. If GM matches the drive dynamics of the CT the Buick could actually be pretty fun.

    Apparently Buick is having no problem selling the Regal. An acquaintance of mine went to look at one and the local dealer had sold nearly all he had. He was told it would be a while before he could get the turbo motor because it was very popular. And they were not budging on MSRP. Crazy. It actually made the car more desirable for this guy. Something else crazy? I just talked to a couple that traded in their Audi Q7 for a Buick Enclave. These are image concious people in their late 30s and while they feel a bit sheepish about the brand, they said they liked the Buick better and went with it.

    Let’s assume Verano will go for 4-5 grand more than the Cruze (same architecture). If it does, that means a loaded Buick will go for 31K, and that’s more than competitive with Lexus and Audi. In the past I would have been skeptical about a car like this but judging by recent sales figures and the photos (which avoids being a refreshed Cruze) this has the potential of being pretty popular. The Cruze is already Buick quiet, imagine what the Buick will be like. It seems Buick has it’s mojo back. We’ll see…

    • raschmidt says:

      if the Verano were to go for 31k loaded (and i’m assuming about 24-25k base?), that’d put it squarely in Regal/LaCrosse territory wouldn’t it? It just seems like a younger buyer would want to go for a Regal at that price as its got a fairly recognizeable name, and as Buick says its a “sport” sedan, while an older buyer would go for the LaCrosse since its a bigger car.

      It just seems strange that Buick has 3 sedans all priced within 5-10k of each other, though if Ford can move enough Flex’s, Explorers, and Edge’s at 27-32k, maybe thats just where the market is.

      I will say that the Regal turbo and GS are pretty appealing, I saw some spyshots of a LaCrosse wearing the 20in wheels of the GS, which makes me kinda interested if a 310 hp Camaro v6 might make its way into the LaCrosse with their AWD powertrain. The styling looks soooo much better than the current TL!

  3. raschmidt says:

    wasnt the regal an IS250/A4 competitor too? I think the Regal shoulda been more upscale, maybe an 335i/S4 competitor with the 2.0T and AWD standard to give this car some more room.