Today, our spies caught what appears to be an upcoming, future Buick crossover undergoing testing in metro Detroit. The model in question had us a bit puzzled at first, though we’ve since managed to figure out what we’re looking at.
The design of the front end has a definitive Buick vibe. In fact, the styling of the grille and headlights are very similar to those seen on the all-new, 2021 Buick Envision that made a surprise debut last week. Additionally, the shape of the A-pillar and window treatment within the front doors, complete with a small vanity window ahead of the primary, plus the shape of the side mirrors, also appear to those on the new 2021 Envision. From the B-pillar back, things are substantially different on this future Buick crossover prototype.
The size and shape of the rear door is downright humongous, while the roof appears to have a more traditional shape that could enable the inclusion of a third row. Challenging that theory, however, is the fact that there isn’t much in the form of a rear overhang.
The rear end appears to be wearing a set of placeholder tail lights, with all kinds of camo and tape making it difficult to see their true shape. Lower on the rear end is a set of through-fascia dual exhaust outlets, which runs contrary to the “fake” exhaust treatment direction that Buick appears to be adopting on its all-new models.
It’s currently unclear which platform this future Buick model will ride on. While we initially believed that it will be based on the C1 platform shared with the Chevrolet Blazer (both two- and three-row versions), Cadillac XT6, and the Chinese-market Buick Enclave, we now believe that this rides on a version of the E2 platform shared with the upcoming 2021 Buick Envision as well as the first-gen Cadillac XT4.
Next, we must ask how this vehicle will fit into the Buick lineup, to which end we have some ideas.
For starters, the Buick crossover lineup in China features the Encore and Encore GX slotting in the subcompact space, the Envision in the compact segment, and the new Chinese-market Enclave bringing up the midsize plus space. Sources tell GM Authority that the Chinese-market Buick Enclave is not coming to North America, since that model was developed exclusively for China. That leaves Buick without a true midsize CUV offering between the new Envision and Enclave.
Meanwhile, Buick’s lineup in North America has an even larger gap in the midsize and midsize plus segments that exist between the compact Envision and full-size Enclave. As such, we believe that this prototype is a future Buick midsize crossover that will fill the gap between Envision and both versions of the Enclave.
|Segment:||Subcompact||Subcompact +||Compact||Midsize||Midsize +||Full-Size|
|China:||Encore (GEM)||Encore GX (VSS-F)||Envision (E2)||-||Enclave (C1 regular)||-|
|USA:||Encore (G2)||Encore GX (VSS-F)||Envision (E2)||-||-||Enclave (C1 long)|
GM Authority has previously reported that General Motors has filed to trademark two names that we believe are most likely to grace this model. The first is Envision GX, while the second is Envoy. Although the Envoy name previously graced a GMC model, it fits right in with other Buick crossover names, all of which start with “En” – such as Encore, Envision, and Enclave.
Before we go, we’ll leave you with this: some of you might be wondering whether this is simply a left-over prototype for the Chinese-market Enclave, which rides on the same version of the C1 platform as the Cadillac XT6, and is therefore notably smaller than the American-market-Enclave. We’ve debated this possibility over at the GM Authority HQ, and have reached the conclusion that it is not that at all.
Though the overall size does appear to be similar to the Chinese Enclave, the front end lighting, rear doors, roofline treatment, and the position of the fuel filler door are completely different on the prototype seen here. Additionally, the vehicle seen here has five lug nuts, while all variants of the C1 platform have six lug nuts, indicating that it is actually on the E2 platform instead.
Update: we now have more details on this vehicle. Check them out here.