Buick has filled the gap separating the Envision and the Enclave with a new crossover named Envision Plus. Launched at the Shanghai auto show, the three-row people-mover is scheduled to go on sale in China later in 2021.
The plus-sized Envision stretches 190.7 inches long, 74.1 inches wide, and 66.7 inches tall, figures that make it around eight inches longer and two inches taller than the regular Envision. It's also a full 14 inches shorter, four inches narrower, and three inches lower than the Enclave, which is the biggest crossover in the Buick range.
Designers didn't settle for stretching the Envision's wheelbase. They gave the Plus a more upright front end characterized by a taller grille, a flatter and longer roofline, and a redesigned rear end accented by a strip of bright trim that connects the lights. Only photos of the upscale Avenir trim (shown above) have been published so far.
Images of the cabin are not available yet. We expect the Plus offers an interior close to the standard Envision's — from the driver's point of view, at least. The biggest difference is that the longer Envision lives up to its name by letting motorists take more gear or kids along for the ride thanks to a more spacious trunk and third-row seats.
Power for the Envision Plus comes from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter EcoTec four-cylinder engine fitted with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. Bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission, the turbo-four is the same basic engine found in the American-spec Envision, where it develops 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but figures for the Plus weren't released. Front- and all-wheel-drive models will presumably be available.
Buick will release pricing information closer to the model's on-sale date. As of writing, the Envision Plus has only been announced for China, where it will be built, but unverified reports claim it will arrive in American showrooms before the end of 2021. We've reached out to the company, and we'll update this story if we learn more.
What else did Buick show in Shanghai?
Buick no longer sells sedans in America, but it remains present in that segment on the Chinese market. In addition to the Envision Plus, it unveiled a model named Verano Pro developed specifically for China, built locally, and aimed at relatively young buyers. At launch, motorists will be asked to choose between the regular sedan and a sportier-looking variant that wears the storied GS emblem. Technical details are vague; all we know is that the standard Verano Pro is powered by a turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. However, the firm pointed out both new sedans are available with dual 10.25-inch screens that occupy a good chunk of the real estate on the dashboard.
Verano Pro sales will start in the coming months. Nothing suggests the sedan will be sold in the United States.