Spied: The 2020 Buick Encore You've Been Waiting For
Buick’s pint-sized Encore is the brand’s biggest volume generator, accounting for 44 percent of all U.S. Buick sales in the first half of 2018. While hard to imagine for those who just stepped out of the time machine from 1975 (just think if the Skylark was the model holding up the brand), it’s nonetheless a reality we have to live with. Crossovers are king, and crossovers are what’s keeping Buick alive.
The division no doubt wants to keep it that way, which is why there’s an all-new Encore coming for the 2020 model year. Here’s our first glimpse.
While the camouflage is thick with this one, the next-gen Encore carries proportions similar to its strong-selling Korean predecessor. It didn’t morph overnight into a lengthy midsizer, though its dimensions will surely see a slight increase — especially if General Motors ditches the Gamma-2 platform for upgraded bones. There’s a new platform, dubbed VSS-S, under development for front-drive, unibody crossovers, and this camouflaged model does seem a little wider than the outgoing Encore.
We can clearly see Buick’s signature grille peeking through the camo, looking much like the current, refreshed Encore’s, though a little broader. It actually comes across looking more like the Enclave’s grille.
Besides that, the Encore keeps the recipe intact. It does appear more angular than before, though until those bandages come off, we won’t know to what extent.
Beneath that short hood almost certainly resides a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder, mated to either the existing six-speed automatic or perhaps GM’s nine-speed unit. Current Encore customers willing to shell out extra dough can get their hands on the second-generation 1.4L engine, which adopts direct injection and a smidgen of extra displacement to make 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. That’s a considerable improvement over the standard 138 hp, 148 lb-ft motor.
It remains to be seen whether the GM kicks the first-gen engine to the curb between now and the new Encore’s debut. While one of its users, the Chevrolet Sonic, seems not long for this world, it also finds a home in the Encore’s lower-priced Trax twin. Given its status among the two subcompact crossovers, GM might see fit to add additional power to its Buick offering.
Expect to see the 2020 Encore show up at this winter’s auto show circuit, ahead of its 2019 launch.
[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]
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