Jun 15, 2012
Chris Salamone

Buick Verano Turbo, When Green Gets Groovy

Day after day, month after month, and year after year, US automakers unleash a seemingly unending stream of ‘eco-friendly’ products. Since the early 1970s and our first major oil crisis, green has become the new black. But the trouble is, for too long, we’ve had to sacrifice performance on the altar of economy.

This year, things seem different. For the first time the Big Three are making vehicles which perform on par with foreign competitors AND achieve greater mileage savings at the pump – case in point, Honda Fit vs. Chevy Sonic.

Buick’s latest debut, the Verano Turbo, brings the spirit of performance plus economy to a whole new level. Just months ago auto journos everywhere were criticizing Buick for brand identity issues. It seems GM got the message (hold your applause). Buick is becoming the premium US brand which checks all the boxes, a physical manifestation of having your cake and eating it, too.

“The 2.0L turbo engine was designed for refinement, higher output capabilities and reduced noise,” said Amy Joss, Ecotec 2.0L assistant chief engineer, in regards to the new Verano Turbo. “The way it sounds, the power delivery and the refined character are all fitting of a luxury sedan with a fun side.”

Back in December, Wards named the 2.0L turbo one of the 10 Best Engines for North America. Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter stated: “This engine delivers a level of power and sophistication that redefines Buick.”

At the time, we weren’t so sure. The 2.0L turbo was fixed to Buick’s larger Regal and we needed more pudding, as well as proof. It seems the Verano Turbo has given us a bit of both. Nothing says brand comeback like 250 horses, 260 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 in an estimated 6.2 seconds, and fuel economy which is expected to peak around the low to mid 30s.

But specs aren’t the full story. The Verano Turbo will also come equipped with a choice of six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Let’s hope a few of those MTs actually make it to the dealership. The decision makers at GM are definitely looking to snag the premium sedan enthusiast market, and make a much-needed brand restoration.

Buick’s Verano Turbo is slotted to go on sale in late 2012. In the meantime, expect to see a lot more Buicks on the road. Sophistication, power, and economy have had an American wedding at last.

Source : GM Media