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Is Buick Branching Out With Rebadged New Opel Astra GTC?


Opel Astra GTC three-door hatchback

Opel Astra GTC three-door hatchback

Interesting speculation – reportedly based on informed sources – from Car and Driver and picked up by Automotive News has Buick getting a rebadged and redesigned version of the new Opel Astra GTC (first shown at the Paris Motor Show in October 2010).

Timing, pricing, model designation and final production specs are all yet to be determined. This is about par for the course on these types of advance-intro blurbs.

What has FamilyCarGuide pretty jazzed is how the addition of a version of the new Astra GTC three-door hatchback will add to the Buick lineup.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

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2012 Buick Verano live photos. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

2012 Buick Verano live photos. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

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Sharing the same platform

Reportedly, the Buick – let’s just call it the Astra GTC for now, to make it simple, although it may be called something else entirely if and when the car is slotted into Buick’s lineup – will share the compact platform of the current 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedan and the upcoming 2012 Buick Verano sedan. Verano, which is right now Buick’s smallest vehicle, will be powered by a 177-horsepower (estimated) 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine at its launch this fall, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder coming later. Like Chevy Cruze, Buick Verano will have 10 standard airbags, full traction control and anti-lock braking system.

2012 Buick Regal with eAssist

2012 Buick Regal with eAssist

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2012 Buick LaCrosse

2012 Buick LaCrosse

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Buick already has solid hits in its family sedan portfolio with the mid-size Regal  – which is a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia – and the LaCrosse large sedan.

Bringing the Astra GTC into the Buick family gives the brand a well-equipped step-up from Chevy Cruze for consumers looking for a more upscale compact in a three-door hatchback form.

2012 Hyundai Veloster

2012 Hyundai Veloster

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Opel Astra GTC three-door hatchback

Opel Astra GTC three-door hatchback

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Veloster competitor?

The Astra GTC could also be a competitor to the compact Hyundai Veloster, according to Car and Driver. The Veloster, however, powered by 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection four-cylinder engine, may have the edge on fuel economy, getting up to an estimated 40 mpg highway.

2012 Buick Verano live photos. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

2012 Buick Verano live photos. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

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Opel Astra GTC three-door hatchback

Opel Astra GTC three-door hatchback

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Hmm, looking at the photos, maybe Buick would just make Astra GTC a three-door hatchback model in the Verano line. After all, the Verano is “basically a sedan version of the Astra,” according to Car and Driver.

Motor Authority, our sibling publication, earlier reported on the production Opel Astra GTC’s debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this September, along with speculation Astra may be headed stateside sporting a Buick badge.

FamilyCarGuide will follow any developments on the potential addition of Astra to the Buick lineup and keep you in the loop. The way we look at it, Buick is certainly shaping up to be anything but your father’s Buick of years past.

And that’s entirely a good thing.

Want to stay in the know? Follow FamilyCarGuide on Facebook or Twitter.

[Car and Driver, Automotive News]

 
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