I spy with my little eye, something new but oddly familiar … Buick appears to have a new prototype under wraps, and it looks a lot like an old friend: the Verano.
According to a report from Motor1, eyes on the ground in Detroit have spotted an oddly-disguised prototype rolling around the testing roads of the Milford Proving Grounds facility. This is the first time the prototype has been seen out on the prowl and it is ruffling feathers due to the similarities it shares with a car line not currently sold in the United States.
Though the prototype sports an extensive camouflage wrap, several body features look almost identical to those found on the Verano. In the Motor1 report, the prototype is described as seemingly sharing the Verano’s “dual body lines on the side, notably at the quarter-panel where the crease streaks rearward to meet up with the taillights.” The side mirrors are also strikingly similar, appearing to be a virtually perfect match to those on the current Verano lineup offered in other countries. While the prototype may have been spotted at the GM-centric Milford Proving Grounds, this potential ruse was spoiled by the presence of the signature flying V grille style Buick is known to sport on many of the brand’s recent offerings.
Such a major revamp for the Verano is a bit surprising, as the Verano has seen similar changes already recently. The past few model years have sported minor modifications to the exterior, but this fully-wrapped prototype would suggest far more tweaks and changes to come.
What Lies Behind the Disguise
Motor1 spotted adjustments to several areas that suggest the refreshed design will seek to move it closer to the appearance of the company’s larger offerings in the Regal line. In the pictures of the prototype, such features as slightly shrunken headlights were spotted, as well as a new front fascia design featuring Regal-style larger corner vents. The photos also show a collection of more minor adjustments to the rear design, with details such as new taillights making an appearance alongside a stronger focus on the distinctive trapezoid exhaust tips.
So far, details are scarce, with the only known information coming from these pictures. As such, reports can only speculate on what, if any, changes the new Verano-like prototype will have to interior design and vehicle performance. It seems likely that this is simply an exterior refresh rather than a more radical all-new design.
Will Americans See It?
Given the Verano is not currently sold in the United States, it’s questionable whether this new prototype will see sales stateside. The Verano line was cut from the American sales lineup after the 2017 model year. The Verano still sees sales outside the United States, with Chinese offering still sporting the Buick name and the Opel name taking the lead in other nations.
While it isn’t impossible for the Verano to make an unexpected return stateside, chances appear to be slim. Currently, compact sedans have not been a strong area of interest for U.S. buyers’ recent trends, with larger offerings such as SUVs and crossovers taking American markets by storm. Reintroducing a compact sedan into the mix seems like an unsure bet Buick is not likely to make, but surprises revivals aren’t entirely uncommon as carmakers fight over the ever-changing marketplace. If nothing else, China is almost certain to receive this offering for sale in the near future.
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