Buick Encore To Ride On Gamma Plus Platform71
GM Authority has learned has the Buick Encore compact crossover will utilize an extended version of General Motors’ Gamma vehicle architecture, internally known as Gamma Plus or Gamma Extended. The news may come as a surprise to many, as those who have seen the teaser image of the Encore have pointed to styling similarities with the Theta-based Vue.
Moreover, GM Authority sources have said that the vehicle will be “in the 170s [inches] in length” and will feature a longer wheelbase compared to its “regular” Gamma platform mates such as the Chevrolet Sonic.
Stay tuned to GM Authority for more Encore news in the coming weeks.
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Even extended, that platform is just too limited for a Buick compact car, let alone a cuv. If this was a chevy it would be fine.
Where the hell is GM taking Buick?
Yeah. How is a subcompact architecture even conceived for Buick’s second crossover? Even Audi’s subcompact Q3 uses the compact Golf platform because it’s a luxury product.
Seems to me that Buick is covering the extreme ends of the spectrum — large with Enclave, very small with Encore. Perhaps a compact and midsize will follow later…
I feel like GM is taking the Buick Reinassance overboard, If they do make another compact and midsize crossover and with the verano, regal, and lacrosse, they are expanding too rapidly. I think they should focus on making amazing cars rather than trying to make Buick a full line automaker. Two crossovers and 3 sedans are enough for Buick. I mean part of the appeal of Buick is that is sort of still has that luxury image with it. Buick should remain a niche automaker with great cars that are very distinctive, cars that even regular consumers know right away that these are luxury Buicks. Throwing anything at the brand just for sales is okay for chevy, but for Buick, it hurts its long term sales and reputation.
so is it about the same length as the Verano??
Nope. Will be significantly shorter. Verano comes in at 184 inches while the Encore will be in the 170s (that’s all we were told).
My guess is that it will be in the low 170s, making it a subcompact crossover. Not sure that’s what Buick needs right about now… It has the huge full-size Enclave and then a subcompact Encore? How about making one that’s a midsize (SRX/Equinox) or even compact (Vue)?
I guess what they’re trying to do is to set this vehicle and compare it to the Tiguan and then I guess set Enclave to maybe GX?? and then have a midsized compare to the RX but it wouldn’t make sense since the SRX is being compared to the RX
I agree, Buick does not need a sub-compact cross-over. I am 6′ 2″ and drive an Enclave. However, for my needs, it is just too long. Rather than a sub-compact or even a compact Cross-Over, Buick would be well served to chop a foot off the Enclave and then compete with the Infiniti FX 35, but with Front Wheel Drive and AWD. GM has really nothing in this catagory. The closest is the Cadillac SRX which is really too small. Nissan has both the Murano and the Infiniti. They now even have a larger J (?) model . Think about it, better mpg, still maintain large driver and passenger room, and, for more maneverable around town. By the way, a source at GM tells me Cadillac will be adding a model from the Enclave platform.
Hey, just a good common sense suggestion which I think would fill the Buick mold.
This is probably an attempt to not step on GMC’s toes. Since they are usually sold in the same place, I think the Encore is actually a great idea. It’s aimed at a demographic similar to the Verano: wealthy 17-25 yo women who are looking for a cozy, manageable, and docile upscale ride. These are not family women who need lots of seats and cargo room.
Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?
17 yo women don’t have money; they have someone else’s money and I very much doubt ‘Buick’ is on their mind.
Well, Kid G did say wealthy, but yeah they would never buy a Buick, if their rich then probably a Lexus or Mercedes.
Is that a Buick 3 shield logo inside the headlight in the middle of high beam?
Yep, I think its a pretty nice touch.
Your absolutely right give us strong branded vehicles that set Buick apart but don’t scream “let’s fill this or that niche”.
Buick demographic: 35 to 65 established consumer, home owner. Who has an expectation of quality with vehicle purchase. Has purchase a GM product in the past and is familiar with the Buick renaissance as of late. Sorry 25 year olds are not familiar with the Buick brand and shun it because there moms rendevie’s trany craped out at 85,000 and the dealer pissed off there parents because there customer service blows. So now the family buys Lexus products and he or she has a 2002 Toyota Celica or Mazda 3.
Alex I think most are getting off track on the new buick, as you know most luxury brands are downsizing their offerings such as lexus and audi, and you have the koreans going upmarket with their small offerings and they don’t get their loyal followers upset they look at it as incremental business and good for the company. there are product cycles and right now the gamma is in its exxpansion position and new product release , while the midsize utes are not just yet wait a little bit and the midsize ute will come along. this is a really good driving smaller ute that has all the luxury buicks have become to be known for. i do not think people will think this is small when they see it and sit in it. this will be on the low side of mid size or just below not sub compact as some have said. hope this helps
There is nothing wrong with this. They might catch some of the “niche” customers out there. They are taking a subcompact and extending it. They might steall some sales from potential Nissan Juke, MINI Countryman, etc buyers. This is the new Buick after all. We keep hearing they are targeting Acura and Lexus, but really, are they? I think GM is using Buick as an experiment. I mean seriously, im 34 and they got me hook line and sinker with the Regal GS. And Buick’s sales hear in the states haven’t been too shabby as of late. No, I don’t think this is a bad idea and I don’t think they are expanding their line up too quickly. Look at how quickly MINI has expanded their line up. Maybe Buick will find some success with this tactic.
Not sure if I see the need for this as a Buick, but in general GM absolutely needs a smaller CUV. As Tim said, GM has nothing to compete with the likes of the Juke, Mini Countryman, Subaru Impreza, Suzuki SX4, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota CRV. There are a lot of people (myself included) that don’t want something as large as an Equinox. Going forward, all vehicles are going to have get smaller, lighter, and/or become light hybrids to meet the upcoming EPA requirements. This is the future for all manufacturers…as consumers, we need to recalibrate.
“Going forward, all vehicles are going to have get smaller, lighter, and/or become light hybrids to meet the upcoming EPA requirements. This is the future for all manufacturers…as consumers, we need to recalibrate.”
For years and years I’ve had to fight against the mentality of some Yank car enthusiasts who maintain and demand that US automakers stay the course with unworkable and unchanging product plans that were deeply rooted in product plans there were suitable 40 years ago! They live in a damn bubble and still think that it’s the late 60’s and everyone (RE: EVERYONE) wants a massive bloated RWD coupe with poor handling dynamics. It was a waste of energy to even bring up safety and fuel economy becasue those factors “didn’t matter then and shouldn’t matter now”. I even had one tell me the CTS was the worst thing to happen to Cadillac because it didn’t reflect Cadillac’s “tradition” of making pink-finned boats.
They are automotive reactionaries. Considering how much the world and GM has changed in the last 10 or even 30 years, I can rest assured that they are dying off as they slowly start to read the writing on the wall.
Well said, Grawdaddy.
But what I’m wondering about, though, is why Buick would make a compact luxury CUV on a subcompact architecture. They couldn’t use the Delta and make it a CUV variant of the Verano? I’m concerned that a modified platform made for subcompacts is not going to stand the test of refinement and luxury needed in the upmarket segments.
And I’m in no way hoping for or condoning a gargantuan vehicle of the 60s and 70s. In fact, I would bet that using the Delta would result in a vehicle of slightly larger dimensions that weighed in about the same as this one…
Well that’s the thing. A jacked up Delta would fit the bill for a compact Buick CUV.
But unless I’m mistaken, Gamma has SWB and LWB version. So when I think of a raised Gamma CUV, I think of the Chev Trax concept of 2007; perhaps with a measure of Chev Groove concept thrown in.
Not to name-drop, I remember seeing a blurry image of what might be the Encore’s Opel twin on GMI. Unless my eyes decive me, it looked too small to be a raised Delta CUV.
Technically, Gamma has 4 versions.
1. The one under the Spark/Beat/Groove — i don’t even know if it’s considered full Gamma by GM due to the cheap nature of those vehicles and the associated cost-cutting.
2. The one under Corsa and Meriva, which is older and different than the one under
3. Sonic — this is the SWB
4. Encore — this is the LWB
The Encore won’t look like a teensy car (like Spark), but I just don’t think it’s the right vehicle mechanically for a brand that’s trying to move upmarket. At the end of the day, all the features and sound deadening materials in the world don’t help a smallish vehicle based on a subcompact architecture meant for mainstream (non luxury) cars.
But I’ve yet to drive one, so I have to reserve my judgement.
I mean I can accept and understand a compact lux car or cuv. The segment itself has been around for ages and if demand at present holds, the segment will stay.
At the present, I can’t say a subcompact car would do well for Buick, although I won’t rule it out entire: it is posible that people might want subcompact luxury cars.
Perhaps the goal is to make compact from a subcompact platform… But my question is “why?”.
GM always does this. They make tweener vehicles that sit in between classes. Equinox/Terrain is a prime example. So is the CTS, STS, and LaCrosse. If the goal is to make a midsize platform SUV, why not use a midsize platform? If the goal is to make a compact SUV, why not use a compact platform? Every other manufacturer has no problem with this, but GM — for some reason — finds these strange solutions to problems that don’t exist! This makes them less competitive, in the long run; here’s one example:
About the length of my Pontiac Vibe. GM has no CUV in this size range right now. I’m interested.
@David, Isnt the the matrix 180 in, I mean half a foot can make a big difference even though it doesnt sound a lot.
Though of course we cant really say anything till the reveal and after getting all the details, but I have a feeling that GM messed up on the Encore(I am hoping to be proven wrong but I doubt it). I mean the delta would or maybe even theta would have almost been perfect for this kind of car, Like Alex said, by using Gamma they created a problem where none existed before, it reeks of “Old” GM. Either the Encore will be a one generation product or it will change platforms and get bigger for the next redesign in a couple of years..
Another possibility would be that the Encore will be joined in the future by a true midsize and a true compact vehicle… But then, who needs a subcompact?
What we’ve been told (by an unconfirmed source) is that this is actually an Opel model more than it is a Buick, and that Buick will get a midsize model of its own based on Theta when the next-gen Antara comes out. The Antara will have two models — a SWB and a LWB, the latter having 3 rows.
Keeping this in mind, the Encore makes sense…
From the specs on my 2009 Vibe GT: Length: 172.1 in.
Sorry, I didnt realize that the matrix and vibe probably have different lenghts.
The Encore is an absolutely perfect next car for people of all ages that loved the Vibe and now want a quiet luxury vehicle that’s not too big.
Seems like you’re speaking from experience, bud. Have you driven or seen it already? 🙂
It seems like the new Encore will be very similiar in size to the Kia Sportage, which is about 175″ long. Looking forward to seeing it.
So then how come Chevrolet didn’t think about having the Gamma Plus crossover to deal with CR-V? considering Equinox is larger than CR-V
A Chevy “variant” is on its way too. But it still brings up the “why” question.
Why use a subcompact platform to build a compact CUV? Is it for the sake of being different?
Use the Delta to build it and call it a day! Then use the Theta for a midsize, and Lambda for full size. The new Escape is not going to use the Fiesta platform, it will use a true to heart compact architecture from the Focus!
That’s the thing…. and it’s funny how Opel has the Corsa Crossover though using Gamma
Are you referring to the Meriva? If so, it’s much more of a small van than a crossover. In fact, the original thought was to call it Merivan (with the “n” on the end). Word is that Opel will get an Encore twin for itself very soon, though. The Meriva is needed to take on the B-Max from Ford.
i think there was a spyshot of the Corsa Crossover.
The Makka may be it… do you have a link?
I don’t see how it really matters which platform a vehicle is on if it’s going to be relatively the same size anyway.
It matters for two primary reasons, both of which reflect primary concerns to the consumer:
1. Using a platform made for a small (subcompact) car to build a luxury car doesn’t bode well for the luxury experience of the vehicle. Besides having a teensy wheelbase, which ends up looking funny, especially on a luxury car, the track will be narrow. So we have a short wheelbase and a narrow track. Does that sound like a good idea, especially for a luxury vehicle?
2. The smaller the platform, the smaller its components (structural, etc.), leading to a less sturdy (more flimsy) feeling.
Does that sound like a good idea for a luxury car?
At the end of the day, GM created a problem that wasn’t there. They could have used a plethora of other platforms (Theta, Delta) to make a midsize or compact crossover. But they instead use a platform designed for entry-level subcompacts.
Now, this is just fine if (and only if) Buick will eventually get true compact and midsize crossovers to slot in under the Enclave. But if this is the only other Buick crossover, it’s not looking good.
I’ll reserve final judgement until I get behind the wheel and on the road.
Perhaps building this on a subcompact platform allows for more opportunities for weight/efficiency savings. Can Gamma do AWD?
Not that I know of. But neither can the current Delta… Although they may have modified it for crossovers to accommodate AWD.
This weeks automotive news has a spy shot of the Encore and it looks tiny? Make that very tiny! I agree, Why???The Enclave has been a strong vehicle for Buick, about 55,000 sales in 2011, seems so simple to bring a smaller “2-row” version to market? Instead they have opted to go to a “micro” Enclave? I seems obvious to me GM/Buick is over thinking the NA product?
No problem making this vehicle smaller than the Equinox/Terrain and 4 cyl. only. Why not use the Acura RDX and Audi Q3 as targets? Are they afraid of hurting SRX sales?
Please post a link to this spy photo.
On Buick’s Facebook page on the Encore tab, they uncovered 1 of the squares hiding the Encore. It shows the winshield and part of the hood, but enough that you can see 6 portholes. My guess is the Encore will be available with the 3.0L DI V6. I hope it gets the NEW 2.0T myself. More horsepower and TORQUE.
The Verano also has 3 portholes on each side… but doesn’t have a six cylinder offering. The holes are just “for show”.
Haha 3.0L V6 in a stretched sub-compact. I doubt that. In fact, I would be surprised at anything larger than 2.0L (turbo or not). Probably be a 1.4L turbo like the Sonic, no?