General Motors has massive plans for its Chinese market, the world’s biggest, and its SAIC partner is helping it push into the green car market, which is becoming increasingly crowded.
We’re just a few weeks from seeing the automakers rush in on the Chinese market during the Beijing Auto Show (Auto China 2016) and some of them are jumping the gun in a bid to steal the spotlight. Buick has just released a teaser for the LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (it has been labeled as a HEV) that is set to be revealed officially on April 18, and supported the picture with a set of technical specifications. While the sticker on the trunk practically sums the changes, the hybrid sedan is a major move for the Buick brand in China. It will be powered by a 1.8-liter SIDI engine (naturally aspirated) mated to an electric two-motor drive unit – the exact total combined output hasn’t been revealed yet but we can bet it’s going to hover around the 150 hp figure. This is practically the Buick competitor for the Toyota Prius for the Chinese market, as it’s going to be produced locally.
You can tell the Buicks for China from the American ones easily – the LaCross in the US has under the hood a 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft (363 Nm) of torque. China’s derivative start with a 1.5-liter turbo with 168 hp and a peak torque of 252 Nm, linked to a seven-speed DCG intelligent dual-clutch transmission. It is zippy enough to reach an average fuel consumption of 6.2 L/100 km, making the model eligible for the Chinese government’s 50 percent purchase tax reduction for small-displacement engined vehicles.