Before its debut at the North American International Auto Show, Buick revealed images and details of the 2012 Verano, the brand’s first contender for the compact luxury segment. The Verano is a feature-rich and rather economical mid-size sedan which can attract some of the Chevy Cruze buyers. Is GM shooting one of its legs?!
2012 Buick Verano goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011 powered by an Ecotec 2.4L mated to six-speed automatic powertrain developing 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. torque (230 Nm), 0-60 mph performance of 8.0 seconds and an estimated 31 mpg on the highway (all figures estimated). Later on a 2.0 liter turbo engine will be added o the range.
The Verano has an acceptable design for its class, with feature derived from other Buick models, including a black chrome waterfall grille, blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes and chrome accents. We quite liked the interior, which is very nice cozy and seems to be made of very high quality materials.
Verano also promises a very comfi ride as well, thanks to acoustical laminated glass, triple door seals, refined chassis dynamics and specially manufactured 17-inch standard forged alloy multi-spoke wheels, which minimize road noise. It is more tuned for comfortable city and highway driving rather than sport and fun, even though it gets a sophisticated Watts Z-link rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes with standard anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.
As mentioned the new Buick Verano is also very well equipped with convenience and safety features that enhance the driving experience and are rare for the segment, including 10 standard air bags, a next-generation radio, touch screen navigation and advanced connectivity technologies powered by OnStar.
More details and pictures in the press release below…
Verano carries the modern Buick design cues introduced on the Enclave and interpreted for the LaCrosse and Regal. They include a bold, detailed black chrome waterfall grille, prominent blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes, chrome accents, premium wheels and a tailored body-to-wheel relationship. An arching roofline connects a steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars to give the car a sporty profile that’s complemented by large, 17-inch standard multi-spoke forged alloy sterling silver-finish wheels. Two premium 18-inch wheel designs are available.
“Verano translates Buick’s sculptural design language in a new size, with all the refinement and attention to detail pioneered by the Enclave and LaCrosse,” said Dave Lyon, design director. “Beyond all that, it’s simply a great-looking car. It has great proportions and sophisticated details that will look great for years to come.”
Unique to Verano are translucent blue projector-beam headlamps, which give the car a distinctive, upscale appearance. A palette of rich colors enhances the premium look, including Claret Red Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat. Other exterior color choices include Black, Olympic White, Switchblade Silver Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic and Mocha Bronze Metallic.
Complementing Verano’s precisely crafted, premium-accented exterior is an interior marked by exceptional seat comfort and support, as well as premium soft-touch materials, including ambient lighting inspired by the LaCrosse. Metallic and wood trims and warm ambient lighting make the cabin an inviting environment.
Neutral and medium titanium colors are offered on interiors with leatherette/fabric seating surfaces, while ebony, cashmere and a unique Choccachino color are offered on the available leather-trimmed interiors. Verano uses the same premium leather material for the seats that is used on the LaCrosse.
The instrument panel blends with an integrated center stack that houses the infotainment display, climate controls and radio controls. Flush-mounted components within the center stack have a gap tolerance of less than 1 mm, while the instrument panel-to-door panel gaps are less than 5 mm. Those tolerances are among the best in class. Verano’s headliner cover is made of a knit material that is one of five layers of an acoustically designed headliner to help quiet the passenger compartment. The interior pillar and other moldings are color- and grain-matched to the headliner.
Additional interior standard and available features include:
* Push-button engine start
* Dual-zone climate control with standard air conditioning (automatic climate control available)
* Heated steering wheel
* Heated leather-appointed seating
* Electronic parking brake
* Console armrest that slides and locks
* Power windows with express up/down in the front and express down in the rear
* Steering wheel radio controls
* Uplevel front and rear reading lamps.
Verano delivers the library-quiet driving experience for which Buicks have become known. Quiet-tuning systems, processes and components are built into every facet of the vehicle’s architecture. All are designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations.
Hydraulic ride bushings, for example, and an isolated engine cradle reduce or eliminate vibration pathways that could be transmitted to the passenger compartment. Similarly, a number of noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are employed throughout the body structure, including:
* The steel front-of-dash panel is sandwiched between two damping mats
* Nylon baffles are used in various hollow portions of the body structure and filled with sound-absorbing foam that expands when the body enters the paint oven
* The headliner comprises five layers of thermal fiber acoustic material, including a premium woven fabric on the visible outer layer
* Patches of sound-damping material are applied strategically throughout the body structure and melt into place when the body passes through the paint oven, allowing the patches to follow the contours of the sheet metal below
* Sound insulation material between rear-body structural components that is made from recycled denim
* Triple-sealed doors that feature fiberglass “blankets” serve as water, airflow and noise barriers. The doors are also beta-braced, meaning they close with a solid, precise sound and no resonance
* Optimized windshield and side glass for quietness, with 5.4-mm-thick laminated windshield and 4.85-mm laminated side glass
* The engine’s intake and exhaust systems are tuned for quiet performance
* Isolated brake and fuel lines prevent vibrations.