The 2020 Buick Encore GX made its big North American debut last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, while the 2021 Buick Envision debuted just last week. Critically, both new Buick models introduce General Motors to an emerging design trend that could very well extend to include future GM vehicles.
The design trend in question is fake exhaust tip styling for the rear fascia. This helps to give the rear end of both new Buick models a more refined and sporty appearance, while the actual exhaust terminates underneath the vehicle.
It’s worth comparing both Buick models to other GM vehicles riding on the same platform. For example, the Buick Encore GX rides on the VSS-F vehicle set, as does the new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer. However, unlike the Encore GX, the Trailblazer gets a “through-fascia” exhaust treatment that is actually fed by a set of exhaust pipes connected to the engine, unlike the faux exhaust treatment on the Encore. To note, the through-fascia exhaust treatment on Trailblazer is only for Activ and RS trim levels, while the lower trims (L, LS, LT), have the exhaust tucked underneath the body.
The fake exhaust design feature is a growing industry trend, and Buick and GM are relatively late to the party. Other notable examples would include the new Audi A8, Volkswagen Jetta, and Mercedes-Benz GLE.
All told, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this design trend continue with further GM models, especially with the proliferation of smaller-displacement engines and all-electric powertrains.
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