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Buick has just unveiled its new Excelle GT model in China, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year. When it does arrive here the baby Buick may be badged as the Verano. Based on the same compact-car platform as the European Opel Astra and Chevrolet Cruze, the Excelle GT joins the recently unveiled Excelle XT – a five-door hatchback that Buick insists is a coupe-like sedan.

In China the base engine is a 138-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, while a more potent version gets 181-hp from a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder.

With Buick just having launched the Regal in North America, the Verano represents the next step for the brand, searching to find customers as it expands into new segments, offering luxury in the compact segment. Reports have suggested Buick will also build a compact crossover based on the Verano, possibly naming it the Encore.

More: Buick Excelle GT/Verano Unveiled in China on AutoGuide.com
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