Since its debut, the fullsized Buick Enclave crossover has received critical acclaim for its generous interior room, refinement and understated style. The jumbo crossover received some nips and tucks for 2013, but remained fundamentally the same. Many were wondering when Buick's next SUV would come, and expected it would come in the form of a slightly-smaller Theta-based midsize model. Somewhat unexpectedly, it came in the form of the subcompact Encore, leaving a gaping hole in the model lineup between the large and in-charge Enclave, and the pint-sized Encore. It appears that hole is about to be filled, at least in China. General Motors has announced that the Buick Envision will be unveiled at a future date for the Chinese market.

Yet we can't help but think it's just a matter of time until the Envision is announced for the U.S. market. Early reports pegged the name for Buick's midsizer as "Anthem" but Envision makes more sense in terms of branding consistency, sticking with the "En" theme. Few specifics were released along with the photo of a sheet-draped SUV. What's visible through the grille shows the Envision will have LED driving lights, and Buick's familiar vertical-slat grille with the tri-shield badge.

The only mechanical details referred to in the release were "new all-wheel-drive technology" and a mention of a new-generation powertrain with start/stop technology. While AWD is a given regardless of market, it's likely there will be some powertrain differences between the China and U.S.-spec Envision. The top engine for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain is currently the gutsy but somewhat thirsty 3.6L DOHC V-6 producing 301 hp and 272 lb-ft. There's a strong likelihood that the Envision may get a turbocharged I-4 instead of the V-6, offering a more optimal balance of economy and performance. The LTG 2.0L I-4 engine currently offered in the Buick Regal produces 259 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Buick Envision may get its U.S. debut at the 2014 Los Angeles or 2015 Detroit show.

Source: General Motors