Details Emerge on Future Buick Verano Powertrains, Including Hybrid and Turbo Models
We got our first look at Buick’s Chevy Cruze–based Verano back at the Detroit auto show in January, where it was shown with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The production Verano will arrive later this year with something more vanilla, however: GM’s direct-injected 2.4-liter four-pot producing 177 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque and mated to a six-speed automatic. In testing that Verano, we found the engine to be quiet and competent, but not quick. Fortunately, the turbo and some more powertrains are on the way.
A graphic culled from supplier information and published in Automotive News (subscription required) reveals that the 2.4 will hang around only through the car’s first major refresh, which is scheduled for April 2015. After that, the Verano’s base motor becomes a 2.5-liter four, which we presume will be similar to the one found in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, where it will make roughly 190 hp and 180 lb-ft of twist.
The midcycle refresh will reportedly also bring a hybrid version of the Verano—likely using a mild-hybrid system like that in the upcoming Chevy Malibu Eco, and eAssist versions of the Buick’s LaCrosse and Regal. Those cars use a 2.4-liter four-cylinder fitted with an electric motor/generator in place of the alternator and hooked to a small battery pack. The cars can’t run on electricity alone but instead get a boost when needed under acceleration or on inclines, while the motor/generator recovers energy that’s normally lost. According to the supplier graphic, the hybridized Verano will get its gas power from a 2.5-liter four.
As for the aforementioned 2.0-liter turbo engine that Buick had promised, we have confirmation that it will appear next fall, although our sources were mum on the specifics. It’s not clear which tune of the engine the Verano will get, although the Regal Turbo’s 220-hp version seems likely. It’s also unknown whether the model will in fact be called Verano GS.
Also “on the table,” according to our insider, is a possible Buick-badged Volt spin-off. Such a car would be the Volt to Buick’s Cruze, offering a different package for the Voltec range-extended electric system. GM could charge more for it than it does for the $40K Volt, but not as much as for Cadillac’s upcoming range extender, the ELR, which will likely cost more than $60K when it arrives sometime mid-decade.
By Steve Siler