Buick Excelle

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Buick Excelle
2018 Buick Excelle GT front.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Shanghai GM
Production 2003–present
Assembly China: Shanghai
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Chronology
Predecessor Buick Sail (by brand)
Successor Buick Verano

The Buick Excelle (Chinese: 別克凱越 or Chinese: 别克英朗) is the common name for the luxury compact cars marketed by Shanghai General Motors Company Limited (Chinese: 上海通用汽車有限公司) under GM's Buick brand.

The original Buick Excelle (Chinese "Kai Yue")[1] is based on the Daewoo Lacetti developed in South Korea by Daewoo Motors. While this car was originally sold worldwide under the Daewoo brand, in 2004, General Motors rebranded all Daewoo products in Europe as Chevrolets.

Parallel to the Lacetti-based Excelle, Shanghai GM introduced a new car, also called "Buick Excelle" in China, but called "Ying Lang" in Chinese.[2] It is based on GM's global compact car platform "Delta II" which is developed at Rüsselsheim in Opel's International Technical Development Center (ITDC). The Chevrolet Cruze is based on this same platform.

Since the 2009 economic crises and the subsequent demise of the Saturn brand and reduction of GM's North American brands to four, the Opel models are aligned no longer with the Saturn brand, but the Buick brand. Consequently, the models built and marketed by Buick China are twins of the Opel variants of GM's global platforms.

In China, a hatchback called the Excelle XT debuted in 2009, which is essentially a rebadged Astra J (2009–present). A sedan debuted in 2010 called the Buick Excelle GT (Chinese: 别克英朗GT).[3]

A North American version of the Excelle GT was assembled in the United States from 2011 to 2016, and marketed as the Buick Verano.

In August 2016, Buick decided to end Excelle production despite strong sales, with 2.68 million units sold over the course of 13 years. Citing its low price while the brand moves upmarket as a main reason, there will be no direct successor, with Chevrolet and Wuling filling in the low-end market niche left unoccupied by the departure of the Excelle.[4]

First generation (2003–2016)[edit]

First generation
Buick Excelle facelift 01 China 2012-04-22.JPG
Overview
Production 2003–2016
Assembly China: Shanghai
Taiwan: (Yulon GM)
Powertrain
Engine 1.5L L2B I4
1.6L F16D3 I4
1.8L T18SED I4
Transmission 5 speed D16 manual
6 speed automatic
4 speed Step-Gate automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length 4,515 mm (177.8 in)
Width 1,725 mm (67.9 in)
Height 1,445 mm (56.9 in)

The first generation was available in a sedan or wagon and Excelle HRV (hatchback) and was a rebadged Daewoo Lacetti. The HRV and wagon were produced from 2005 to 2009 while the sedan continued to produced locally in Shanghai from April 2003 to August 2016.

The model year 2008 received a facelift consisting of a new front fascia, new rear end design and updated interior. The facelift was partly inspired by the Buick Park Avenue, and the front light units and bumpers were redesigned while the front fenders remain the same units. A second facelift consisting of a new grille was released in 2013. A 1.6 litre engine was standard under the trim level LX until 2013 where a 1.5 litre engine replaced it. The new trim levels were 1.5 MT Classical, 1.5 MT Premium, 1.5 AT Classical and 1.5 AT Premium. Pricing was between 96,900 yuan to 118,900 yuan throughout its production run.

In the Taiwanese market, Yulon Motors, being the manufacturer and distributor of GM products in Taiwan introduced a redesigned Buick Excelle produced and sold exclusively in Taiwan starting from 2007. The Taiwanese version consists a completely different front fascia compared to the version sold in main land China while the rear is still similar to the Chevrolet Optra, Daewoo Lacetti, and Suzuki Forenza sedans with only the inner taillamp setup being redesigned.

Gallery[edit]

Second generation (2009–2015)[edit]

Excelle XT (hatchback)[edit]

Second generation (XT)
Buick Excelle XT 01 China 2012-04-29.JPG
Overview
Also called Opel Astra (Europe)
Vauxhall Astra (United Kingdom)
Holden Astra (Oceania)
Production 2010–2015
Assembly China: Shanghai
Designer Uwe Müller[5]
Body and chassis
Platform Delta II platform
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L Family 1 I4
1.6 L Family 1 turbo I4
1.8 L Family 1 I4
Transmission 5 speed manual
6 speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,685 mm (105.7 in)
Length 4,419 mm (174.0 in)
Width 1,814 mm (71.4 in)
Height 1,487 mm (58.5 in)/1,508 mm (59.4 in)

The Excelle XT hatchback made its debut in late 2009 at the Guangzhou Auto show and the Excelle GT saloon in June 2010. The hatch went on sale in China only in January 2010 and the sedan in June 2010.[6] The XT is essentially a rebadged Opel Astra for the Chinese market only, with the most noticeable differences being Buick badges and a new grille.

Engine options for the Buick Excelle XT include:[7]

  • 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 135 kW.
  • 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder gasoline engine with a two-stage variable intake manifold that delivers 85 kW.
  • 1.8-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 103 kW.

All engines are available with a six-speed automatic transmission featuring a sport mode.

Excelle GT (sedan)[edit]

Second generation (GT)
Buick Excelle GT 01 China 2012-05-20.JPG
Overview
Also called Buick Verano
Production 2010–2015
Assembly China: Shanghai
Body and chassis
Platform Delta II platform
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L Family 1 I4
1.6 L Family 1 turbo I4
1.8 L Family 1 I4
Transmission 5 speed manual
6 speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,685 mm (105.7 in)
Length 4,671 mm (183.9 in)
Width 1,814 mm (71.4 in)
Height 1,483 mm (58.4 in)

Another version of the Opel Astra that shares the design cues of the Excelle GT is assembled and marketed in North America as the Buick Verano. Production of the Verano began in the fourth quarter of 2011 at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant. The Verano went on sale late in 2011 as a 2012 model.

Third generation (2015–present)[edit]

Third generation
2018 Buick Excelle GT front.jpg
Overview
Production 2015–present
Model years 2015–present
Assembly China: Wuhan (SAIC-GM Wuhan Branch)
Body and chassis
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform D2XX platform or PATAC K platform
Related Buick Verano(Second generation)
Buick GL6
Roewe i5
Powertrain
Engine 1.4L LFF turbo I4
1.5L L2B I4
Transmission 5 speed manual
6 speed automatic
7 speed DCT
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,640 mm (103.9 in)
Length 4,587 mm (180.6 in)
Width 1,798 mm (70.8 in)
Height 1,463 mm (57.6 in)

A new Buick Excelle GT was introduced as a 2015 model. The new model has a completely new look, with new front and rear bumpers, new lights, new grille, and a more luxurious cabin. New engines included are a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine mated to a seven speed dual clutch gearbox or a 1.5-liter 113 hp (84 kW) mated to a five speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. Trim levels for this model are called 15N and 18T. Production of the new model began in March 2015.

2018 facelift[edit]

In late 2017, Buick announced a facelift update for the 2018 model year that adds the new Buick grilles with the spreading wings to the Verano and Excelle products. The update applies to the Buick Verano sedan/hatchback, Buick Excelle GT sedan, and added a Buick Excelle GX station wagon as an additional new body style.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Excelle the best selling car in China? Yes, and mostly no". China Car Times. 26 January 2012. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. 
  2. ^ FrankF (26 January 2012). "Buick China | Excelle the best selling car in China? Yes, and mostly no". Qingdao, Shandong, 266071, China: chinacartimes.com. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2010/01/report-upcoming-buick-premium-compact-sedan-rendered.html
  4. ^ De Feijter, Tycho (9 August 2016). "GM China Retires The Buick Excelle After 13 Years Of Stellar Sales". Forbes. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Opel Astra: design story". Car Body Design. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  7. ^ 2010 Buick Excelle XT, Top Speed.