True or False: Will Buick Get What Was Going to Be the Next-Gen "Saturn" Astra?

2010 Saturn Astra Artist's Rendering

Several websites are reporting that GM has officially decided to transfer the next-generation Astra model to its Buick division. The redesigned Astra will be built in the US; the current Astra is imported from Belgium. Two plants were named as possible manufacturing facilities: Lordstown, Ohio and San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The baby Buick will be introduced to the market as a 2012 model.

What's not clear at this point is whether Buick will get the near identical, lightly North Americanized version of the Opel Astra that was originally slated for Saturn, or if the brand's upcoming entry-level model will be based on the Buick Excelle that's sold in China. The next Excelle is expected to share the updated version of GM's Delta architecture (called Delta 2) that will also be used by its European cousin. How close in design the European Astra will be to the Chinese Excelle is unknown at this time. Also unknown is how the potential sale of Opel plays into GM's future product plans.

Online blog LeftlaneNews.com says "the current Excelle is powered by 1.6L and 1.8L powerplants, but we would expect the 1.4L from the [Chevrolet] Cruze to transfer over to the U.S. model. However, it remains possible GM could equip the U.S.-spec Excelle with a more powerful engine to differentiate itself from the lesser Chevy." The website also says the "Chevy Volt's powertrain hasn't been ruled out for the next Excelle either."

Source: Leftlane News, AutoBlog, AutoSpies, The Car Connection

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