Future Cars

Buick unveils redesigned LaCrosse, teases new Encore for Shanghai

Only one of those models has a chance of appearing stateside.

Buick

China is an important market for Buick, and this week, the automaker has teasers prepared for one debut, while it's completely unveiled another.

While neither is guaranteed to be reflected in future US production -- in fact, one is probably never going to make it here at all -- perhaps we can learn a bit about what to expect from Buick's US side in the future. Let's take a look at both.

Teaser: Buick Encore, Encore GX

Buick's got a pretty sizable debut set for the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show, even though the vehicles themselves might not have sizable footprints. It will debut new versions of both the Encore and Encore GX. In case you're wondering what the difference between the two is, it's size -- the Encore is a subcompact crossover, while the Encore GX is a slightly larger compact-segment crossover.

While GM didn't offer up engine specifications, two transmissions are available -- a nine-speed automatic and a continuously variable transmission. GM Authority reports that the Chinese Encore twins will sport a 1.3-liter turbocharged I3, but we'll probably have to wait until they debut on April 15 to find out for sure.

Here's lookin' at you, Encore. Or, part of you, at least.

Buick

While the current Encore carries a strong resemblance to the Regal, based on the teasers it appears that the styling will be pushed closer to that of the Enclave, with thinner lights and more pronounced styling on the side. Then again, the teaser doesn't show much.

In terms of what this will mean for the US-spec Encore, the diminutive CUV sells well here in the US, so it stands to reason that the updated Encore GX we see in China will eventually become the new US-spec Encore (we don't get the tiny one, just the slightly less tiny one, GM Authority says).

Debut: Buick LaCrosse

Buick may have a whole new LaCrosse queued up for China, but don't expect that car to make its way to the US, considering Buick already announced that it's discontinuing the large sedan on our side of the Pacific.

In China, the LaCrosse picks up a more mature look that will likely share many features with the new Encore, in addition to the most recent Enclave. The grille is larger, with part of the surround making its way to the headlights. As before, there will be a fancy Avenir trim at the top of the lineup.

That's one sharp sedan. Shame we'll never see it here.

Buick

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 gas engine, which Buick says is thrifty enough to meet China's latest 6-B emission standard. It mates to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Safety systems are all optional, but available kit includes automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. There's also a set of adaptive dampers on offer.

The new LaCrosse will go on sale in China starting at 239,800 Chinese yuan (about $36,000), and it tops out at 289,800 Chinese yuan (about $43,000).