2012 Detroit Auto Show: 2013 Buick Encore is the new luxury small crossover

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 10, 2012

Buick decided that it’s time to attack the luxury small crossover market and revealed today at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show its latest vehicle: this is the 2013 Buick Encore. So, for those who want a luxury small crossover with room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) of storage space, the 2013 Encore is the perfect choice.

Moreover, the 2013 Encore features a fuel-efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 140 hp (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm.

The engine is offered as standard with a Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission. Regarding the design, the 2013 Buick Encore keeps the global design language that has come to symbolize the brand and features a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels, similar to the bigger Enclave.

The interior features prominent central instrument panel that houses a large, full-color, seven-inch LCD display for the IntelliLink voice-activated radio system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio, as well as available navigation and rear camera systems.

Some of the interior features include heated front seats and heated steering wheel, rear seats with a fold-down armrest with cup holders, dual-zone climate control, Bose premium sound system six-way, power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment and driver memory and remote vehicle start.

Buick Encore will also have a sister model in Europe in the form of the Opel Mokka or the so-called Corsa SUV.

Underpinned with a global small-crossover platform, the new Buick Encore has been engineered following a “one-tire” philosophy, which means optimization of every aspect of the car around its 18-inch tires. The unique driving character of the new Core is built around its 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and 60.6-inch (1,540 mm) front and rear tracks. Its strong structure allows the new Encore to boast of a more precise suspension and a quieter ride.

The engine -- and its two hydraulic mounts -- has been tuned to its inherent torque axis to upset vibration and noise transmission as well as help control the transfer of momentum.

Encore’s front axle rides on a MacPherson strut front suspension complemented by coil springs, side-load-compensated front strut modules and a large stabilizer bar. On the rear, the suspension employs a compound crank design, a double-wall tubular V-shape beam, and gas-charged twin-tube shocks.

This configuration requires minimal space and allows for low weight and consistent camber control. The new Encore also employs urethane spring isolators to suppress noise.

On the other hand, the new Buick Encore is specified with a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system that allows the small crossover to boast of a 36.7-foot (11.2 meters) turning diameter. Furthermore, this steering system makes the Encore more fuel efficient than power steering pump fitted with an engine.

Press Release

2013 Buick Encore Takes the Stage

Buick today introduced the all-new 2013 Encore – a luxury small crossover that delivers Buick’s signature style, interior acoustic refinement and collection of luxury amenities in a maneuverable, versatile and efficient package.

The Encore is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit through Jan. 22, and goes on sale in early 2013.

“Buick Encore is a great-looking, smart choice for those who want luxury crossover amenities in a more maneuverable and agile vehicle,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “It represents a luxury alternative for a new audience of Buick customers, and delivers features and flexibility not typically found in vehicles of its size today.”

Buick models continue to gain in popularity, with two consecutive years of higher retail sales. The Encore joins Verano – Buick’s third all-new sedan in three years – to round out the brand’s lineup and continues the momentum established by the Enclave crossover almost five years ago.

With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) of storage space with the rear seat folded, the Encore offers substantial cargo capacity along with the confident, higher driving position, all-wheel-drive capability and contemporary styling of a crossover.

Additional features include 10 standard air bags and an Ecotec 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain, along with standard and available technologies such as Buick’s voice-activated IntelliLink – which uses Bluetooth or a USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a high-resolution, full-color seven-inch LCD display radio.

And because it’s a Buick, QuietTuning is standard on the Encore, which also features Buick’s first use of active noise cancellation technology.

Contemporary design offers versatile spaciousness

In keeping with the global design language that has come to symbolize the brand, the Encore’s sculpted and elegant styling traits – including sweeping character lines – make it instantly identifiable as a contemporary Buick. Signature cues include a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels, similar to the Enclave.

“The Encore brings Buick’s timeless, sculptural design to the crossover segment in a way that blends elegance, efficiency and utility,” said David Lyon, executive director of design. “There’s confidence in its athletic stance and elemental beauty in its rich details.”

Blue-accented projector-beam headlamps and detailed taillamps enhance the premium appearance; and 18-inch, five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard. Seven-spoke chrome wheels are available.

Inside, the Encore’s organic styling carries over to a flowing instrument panel that wraps naturally into the door panels. A prominent central instrument panel houses the large, full-color, seven-inch LCD display for the IntelliLink voice-activated radio system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio, as well as available navigation and rear camera systems.

A contemporary mix of dark and light tones distinguishes the cabin, which is accented with ice blue ambient lighting, select use of bright trim and wood-grain trim. Premium seats featuring high-density foam for greater comfort on long drives are trimmed with either a contemporary cloth/leatherette motif or available leather. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are available. The rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders.

More of the Encore’s comfort and luxury features – standard and available – include:

Remote vehicle start
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Rainsense wipers
Bose premium sound system
Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
Six-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment and driver memory.
Encore also features plenty of storage capacity and storage compartments. It offers 18.8 cubic feet (533 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) with the rear seat folded. With the rear seat in place, there’s room for at least six full grocery bags and with the rear seat folded, there’s room for golf clubs and overnight bags for a weekend getaway. Even the front passenger seat folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate long items that would not normally fit in a vehicle of this size.

Nine exterior colors and three interior color combinations will be offered.

QuietTuning gets ‘active’

QuietTuning is the process of defining Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and designing and refining the vehicle following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds.

For the Encore, specific content was applied to achieve 40 sound benchmarks for refinement, including Buick’s first application of active noise cancellation. With it, ceiling-mounted microphones detect engine noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers and subwoofer.

Additional standard QuietTuning features include:

Acoustically treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the high-strength-steel roof panel
Sound-absorbing materials used in the cabin, under the hood and in the wheel house liners
HydraMatic 6T40 six-speed transmission with neutral gear disengagement
Quiet-tuned 18-inch Continental tires
Aero-optimized outside mirrors
Ultra-quiet engine alternator
Acoustic-laminated windshield and thicker 5mm side window glass
Foam baffle insulation at the opening of body structure cavities.
‘One-tire’ philosophy sharpens ride and handling characteristics

The new Encore is built on a global small-crossover platform and engineered with a “one-tire” philosophy. Everything is optimized around a single 18-inch tire specification, designed for more precise suspension tuning, driving refinement, quietness and a feeling of control.

The Encore’s 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,540 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a more confident-feeling driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quieter ride. Tuned engine, including two hydraulic mounts, are tailored to the engine’s inherent torque axis to disrupt the transmission of vibration and noise. This configuration also helps control the transfer of momentum, resulting in improved dynamic balance.

A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Urethane spring isolators are used to dampen noise.

The Encore also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system. It contributes to a 36.7-foot (11.2 meters) turning diameter, while also saving fuel compared to an engine-driven power steering pump.

Safety technology helps protect occupants

Encore is designed with technologies – including radar-based features – to help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Technologies that help avoid them include:

Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution
Cornering brake control and brake assist
Available all-wheel-drive system that seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling
Available forward collision alert and lane departure warning
Available front and rear park assist
Available rear vision camera.
When it comes to occupant protection, the Encore’s body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment. Sixty-three percent of the underbody structure is comprised of high-strength steels, while 57 percent of the upper body uses high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags, which include:

Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
Driver and front passenger knee air bags
Front and rear thorax air bags (all outboard positions)
Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.
Encore’s suite of safety features is rounded out with exclusive OnStar technology, which includes the Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.

Ecotec turbo engine drives efficiency

The Buick Encore is powered by an efficient, power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It generates an estimated 140 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a better driving experience and performance.

The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.

Several of the engine’s features contribute to the Encore’s overall fuel efficiency, including:

A high-efficiency alternator
Regulated voltage control
Electronically controlled returnless fuel system
Deceleration fuel cut-off.
They complement other vehicle-wide systems and components that also help improve efficiency, including low-rolling-resistance tires, electric power steering, neutral idle feature and optimized aerodynamics.

A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission backs the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. It is part of a family of six-speed front and all-wheel drive transaxles developed for small cars and crossovers. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.

The Hydra-Matic 6T40 offers a “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows the Encore to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds. A neutral-gear disengagement feature helps enhance smoothness and efficiency.

The Buick Encore will begin arriving at U.S. Buick dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.


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