Currently, GM’s largest crossovers are comprised of the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. Based on the Lambda architecture, the trio of full-size CUVs is the largest in the industry, and has been quite the sales success for The General. Ironically, the automaker has been marketing the vehicles as midsize crossovers, even though they clearly fit into the full-size space. But that discrepancy might go away with the second generations of each model.
That’s because the current Lambda platform, which is related to the Epsilon architecture, will be folded into the E2XX midsize vehicle program — the direct replacement for the current Epsilon/Epsilon II. The efforts are part of GM’s initiatives to reduce complexity by cutting the amount of platforms and engines used in half by 2018.
|EPSILON||CURRENT MALIBU, IMPALA, REGAL/INSIGNIA, LACROSSE|
|LAMBDA||CURRENT TRAVERSE, ENCLAVE, ACADIA|
|POSSIBLE BUICK REGAL AND OPEL INSIGNIA|
|POSSIBLE OPEL FLAGSHIP SEDAN|
To note, E2XX is set to underpin the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu and Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and (possibly) the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal, along with an upcoming Opel flagship. In doing so, E2XX will also serve as the basis for the next-gen Traverse, Acadia, and Enclave. As that happens, however, the vehicles’ dimensions might shrink from their current full-size status. Kind of.
Sources tell us that GM is currently considering making two kinds of crossovers from the midsize E2XX architectures. The first would be a “true” midsize crossover with two rows — along the lines of the Toyota Venza, Ford Edge, and Hyundai Santa-Fe Sport. The second would be a longer variant of the same crossover with three rows — along the lines of the current-generation Traverse, Enclave, and Acadia, as well as the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Santa-Fe. If that strategy seems at similar to that employed by Hyundai with the new (midsize) Santa-Fe Sport and (full-size) Santa-Fe, that’s because it is. The Korean automaker has been enjoying notable market success with such an approach, and has been constrained by production capacity of its vehicles.
We’re told by sources that GM is currently exploring the engineering and marketing feasibility of the midsize and fullsize CUV approach from the E2XX platform, and that a decision has yet to be made. One of the various benefits of the strategy is that the midsize variants will be capable of being sold globally, including in Europe, where full-size utilities have limited appeal. For now, it seems that the E2XX platform will absorb Lambda and spawn a CUV. How many CUVs it will spawn, however, is still up in the air.