Are You Ready For: Buick Verano "GTI"?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The last time we watched a hotted-up Opel Astra GTC tear around the ‘ring, I reckoned

it’s fairly unlikely that [GM] would bring a 290 HP, limited-slip, six-speed hot hatch to the Buick brand any time soon. Or is it? The line for “Mr Euro”-style self-delusion forms here…

I’m still skeptical about a 290 HP version, but a 200-ish HP GTI-fighter is making more sense… especially after seeing mules of the Astra GTC at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds earlier this week. And GMauthority reports that

according to sources, the Astra has been green-lit to become a Buick. The name is unknown, but it’s possible that it will wear the Verano nameplate, with some sort of a specifying moniker.

The Verano sedan is tipped as a “comfort-first” model, but a sporty, premium hatch-coupe variant could help Buick drive its buyer age even lower. Especially now that Acura has let its Integra/RSX legacy wither on the vine. But then, it sounds like the Buick boys don’t need encouraging on this front…

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4 of 43 comments
  • FrozenCanuck FrozenCanuck on Oct 14, 2011

    Oh,oh. The last time the Astra tried to make the swim to North America it was as the Saturn Ion replacement. The target sales were 40,000 per year, but sold only 20,000 or so over two years. If you want to see some of them, come on up to Canada where GM dumped them at fire sale prices. Hopefully this attempt will be better managed. The Astra is a popular car in Europe and has established itself as the de facto police cruiser in many jurisdictions. Maybe a 200hp hatch will work some magic, but I would be looking at the C30 experience with some concern if I were GM.

  • 340-4 340-4 on Oct 14, 2011

    I would be very ready for a Skylark GS. I would accept 250 hp, a stick, some better interior and exterior colors, and 35mpg on the highway. And handling. And braking. And fun. GM, I know you can do this.

  • Adam Adam on Oct 14, 2011

    I could see this as a Saturn...a Pontiac...a Chevy...maaaybe even a Cadillac, but sticking a Buick ornament on this fine vehicle would be another example of epic GM branding fail.

  • Budda-Boom Budda-Boom on Oct 14, 2011

    If this were FoMoCo we were talking about this would be a Focus. This needs to be a Chevy. Respectfully, when the distinct Pontiac and Olds drivetrains went away there was really no reasons for those brands to exist. They came from a time when GM owned half the domestic market. In the end they had become redundant marques eating each other's lunch at the expense of all the divisions' marketing budgets. IF Buick is going to continue on this continent it needs to be an entry-level luxury brand, the way it was 50 years ago. Cadillac then goes further upscale and its flagship is an exclusive snob-mobile competing with Rolls-Royce...just like 50 years ago. Chevrolet is the bread & butter with 2/3rd of GM's sales. Let them handle the "sporty", with only the CTS-V and similar cars as an exception for Cadillac.