General Motors Reportedly Mulls Buick-Branded Ampera
Apparently, General Motors is mulling an Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt with a Buick badge. Though this is yet to be officially confirmed, sources claim that engineers and designers are working on putting the Buick grille and front end styling on the Opel Ampera.
According to Bloomberg, the company intends to apply the Voltec system in other future models to expand its line of fuel-efficient vehicles. Sales of the Chevrolet Volt are yet to reach the company’s forecasted levels. Hence there are chances that the Buick version may not be that dissimilar to the Ampera or the Volt to augment sales. In fact, the new Buick Regal sedan and the Opel Insignia have similar styling.
As Buicks are pricier than the Chevrolets, the proposed vehicle will likely carry a higher price tag than the Volt. The Chevrolet Volt is priced at $41,000 before a federal tax incentive of $7,500.
Consequently, the pricey Buick Ampera should be furnished in a similar manner to match the cost. As such the word Buick conjures up the image of plush interiors and other amenities. Therefore, the interior will get a makeover. Further, the platform will get sound deadening that can contribute to the weight of the Buick Ampera that can in turn reduce performance.
As a result, the vehicle will have to incorporate expensive advanced materials that reduce weight and improve the Ampera’s electric-only range or driving performance.
Earlier, GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson stated that he plans to sell a car using the Voltec gasoline-electric drive system in each of its four brands. Meanwhile, GM spokesman Rob Peterson refrained from making a statement on the possibility of a plug-in hybrid Buick and reiterated Akerson’s comments that GM has plans to utilize its Voltec technology.
If the Buick Ampera does get the green light, then the vehicle should debut sometime in 2013.