Buick concluded it would go blue last year with its “Buick Blue” strategy in China, which began with the LaCrosse Hybrid and introduction of the Velite concept. Now, the next pieces of the “Blue” puzzle have fallen into place. Buick China announced it will introduce extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) technology, new small-displacement engines and a nine-speed automatic transmission this year in new or refreshed vehicles.
The EREV technology consists of GM’s EVT variable transmission permanent-magnet electric motors drive unit, a hybrid-exclusive direct injection engine and a liquid-cooled lithium battery pack. This technology can power the vehicle solely with electric power or utilize the onboard engine to extend range. The electric driving range is estimated to be 62 miles, while the range extender boosts overall range to 435 miles.
The bigger news is the announcement of two, all-new engines. Buick will introduce a 1.0-liter and a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine this year, based on new architecture. These two engines are said to specialize in low fuel consumption, high performance and reduced noise and vibration. The two engines will make use of the latest powertrain technology from GM, including a system that combines a turbocharger and twin injectors.
GM has committed to launching 20 new or refreshed vehicles in China by the year 2020, and Buick will be on deck for a few; the brand will introduce a PHEV and BEV in the next two years.