June 8, 2010
By: Nick Saporito
Shanghai GM has officially announced the 2011 Buick Excelle GT sedan, the latest addition to Buick's expansive Chinese lineup. The new Excelle is expected to come to North America next year; however the final name for the North American car has not been selected.
The next Excelle is essentially an all-new Opel Astra sedan with unique front and rear fascia designs. Under the hood of the new Excelle GT is the Cruze's 1.8L ECOTEC four-cylinder that churns out 138 HP. The Excelle GT will have GM's Turbocharged 1.6L ECOTEC four-cylinder option, turning out 181 HP. All Excelle GT's will have a six-speed automatic standard.
Several months ago GM China began selling the Buick Excelle XT, a hatchback variant of the new sedan. It too is based heavily off of the Opel Astra. Production of all the Chinese Excelle models takes place in China.
Starting in fall 2011 the Excelle GT will come to North America, likely with a different nameplate. The North American car is expected to be largely unchanged from the Chinese car; however sources have told GMI that production will take place in the United States. Last December General Motors announced at the Los Angeles auto show that Buick would be adding a small car to their lineup in North America. The corresponding sketch of the small car looked very much like the new Chinese Excelle GT.