We’ve been patiently (or restlessly) waiting for a compact Buick crossover — something that would fit nicely between the subcompact Encore and the full-size Enclave. And lo and behold, such a vehicle has been spotted undergoing testing.
The CUV in the photos will likely carry either the Buick Envision, Enspire, or Anthem name — all of which GM has trademarked or is in the process of trademarking, and will ride on the D2UX variant of GM’s next-generation D2XX vehicle architecture that, as part of GM’s global platform consolidation strategy, will merge the compact Delta car architecture with that of the compact/midsize Theta CUV architecture to underpin as many as 12 nameplates. In addition, the compact Buick CUV seen in the spy pics will share its platform with the next-generation Chevrolet Equinox, and given GM’s alignment of the Buick and Opel/Vauxhall brands globally, we expect the Buick to be analogous to the next-gen Opel/Vauxhall Antara, much in the same way that the Buick Encore is equivalent to the Opel Mokka, and the Regal is to the Insignia.
Notably, Buick almost released a compact CUV back in 2009. Based on the discontinued Saturn Vue (and its Theta platform), the vehicle was cancelled before having the chance to see the light of day due to poor pre-debut feedback, and the automaker then decided to repurpose the Vue as the fleet-only Chevrolet Captiva Sport.
The D2UX-based prototype unit seen in these pictures sports door-mounted mirrors, what appear to be projector-beam headlamps, and a peculiar cylindrical-looking device mounted to the crossover’s roof racks. While it’s difficult to determine its purpose, Autoblog mentions that the device looks similar to the 360-degree Lidar camera equipment utilized by Google in its autonomous fleet of vehicles, leading some to venture that General Motors might be collaborating with Google on autonomous car technology… or possibly even developing it by itself. Captivating… unless you’re one of those crazy people that loves to drive.
Check out the photos at Autoblog… complete with the driver flipping the camera crew the bird.