The upcoming “baby Enclave” that we discovered last month is not the only new Buick crossover in the brand’s future. Based on research performed by GM Authority, General Motors is working on another all-new Buick CUV that will expand the brand’s utility portfolio beyond the Encore, Envision and Enclave.
Program Code E2UB
We have recently discovered that GM is developing a future Buick crossover under the E2UB program code, which deciphers as follows:
- E2: E2 platform
- U: crossover utility vehicle body style
- B: Buick brand
Notably, the E2 platform is the basis for the recently-launched Cadillac XT4, which was assigned program code E2UL (where L stands for Cadillac, since C is reserved for Chevrolet).
Despite this future Buick crossover sharing its bones with the Cadillac XT4, it will be positioned to occupy a different vehicle segment.
An IHS Automotive document obtained by GM Authority states that the E2UB model will be a D segment vehicle. In that regard, it will slot above the C-segment Buick Envision but below the upcoming mid-size Buick crossover that we’ve termed baby Enclave.
Though we have yet to spy a prototype of this future Buick crossover at the time of this writing, we can still surmise a few things about its size.
We have reason to believe that this upcoming Buick CUV will sport the same, 109.4 inch-long wheelbase as the Cadillac XT4. That’s roughly one inch longer than that of the current, first-generation Buick Envision. And that brings us to its length.
We also believe that this Buick model will be longer than the XT4, partly because the XT4 is positioned as a C-segment vehicle, while its hypothetical Buick platform mate will be in the larger (and more premium) D segment. Because of this, we believe that the new Buick crossover will likely be longer than the XT4, much like the GMC Acadia is four inches longer than the Cadillac XT5, despite both sharing the same C1 platform.
Ultimately, we predict a length of about 185 inches for this future Buick crossover. That size will enable this new Buick crossover to slot above the Envision in size and price but below the forthcoming midsize Buick crossover (the baby Enclave).
Buick itself may have signaled the size and design direction of the E2UB with the Enspire Concept that it unveiled earlier this year in China. Though the brand did not disclose the concept’s dimensions, the show car seems to sync up directly with the size and positioning of the future Buick crossover in question.
In fact, the Buick Enspire concept signaled a model that goes a step beyond the Envision, albeit with smaller dimensions as those on the “baby Buick Enclave”. As such, the E2UB model will likely be heavily inspired by the Enspire show car (no pun intended).
The IHS document shows that the new Buick crossover is being developed by SAIC-GM – General Motors’ joint venture in China that was also responsible for the development of the Enspire concept. This is an important data point in determining what will power the new CUV.
Of course, a range of gasoline engines, including the new GM 2.0L Turbo LSY TriPower engine, are a shoe-in. But what about electrified options? As it turns out, thinking about that very question can reveal some interesting answers.
Though GM/Buick have not announced any plans to produce an electrified version of the Enspire concept, let alone plans to bring the Enspire concept to market, reading the tea leaves signals that an all-electric version of the E2UB Buick crossover is very much possible.
That’s because Buick, as GM’s primary brand in China, will most definitely play an integral role in GM’s previously-stated objective of bringing at least 20 new electric vehicles to market by 2023. To that end, IHS believes that the Buick E2UB crossover will go into production in China in September 2019. That date coincides with the automaker’s plan to bring to market two EVs by 2020.
We already know that the first of these two is the battery electric version of the new Buick Velite 6 that will debut next year in China. The second, however, could very well be an EV variant of our hypothetical Buick crossover.
Though we’re far from seeing any official information regarding the pricing of this still un-announced future Buick crossover, we believe that it will start in the $35,000 range and slot in the lineup, as follow.
|Vehicle:||Encore||Envision||Enspire||Enclave "Sport (E)"||Enclave|
|Passenger Capacity:||5||5||5||5 / 7 1 (E)||7|
|Rows:||2||2||2||2 / 3 2 (E)||3|
|Starting Price:||23,000 (C)||$31,000 (C)||$35,000 (E)||37,000 (E)||$40,000 (C)|
- C – Confirmed
- E – Expected
- 1 – 5 passenger seating capacity standard / 7 passenger seating capacity optional
- 2 – 2 rows of seating standard / 3 rows of seating optional