Offering a good first take at what we can expect see here sometime within the next 12 months, the redesigned 2016 Buick Verano - also known as the "Wei Lang" in China -- made its global debut at the Shanghai Auto Show. As earlier teaser images indicated, Buick's recast compact sedan has an edgier, more contemporary feel that imparts a greater degree of dynamic flair to the division's more traditional design cues. Replacing the Buick Excelle in the critically important Chinese market and presently expected to launch in the U.S. as an early 2017 model, the new Verano draws its overall inspiration from Buick's 2013 Riviera Concept vehicle while borrowing thematic elements from the Buick Avenir, a one-off luxury sedan unveiled last January in Detroit. 

A sleeker look and better performance

The 2016 Verano sets off its more cleanly sculpted bodywork with a new "double sweep" beltline and a bolder version of Buick's signature waterfall grille - which is now flanked by Avenir-style wing-shaped HID headlamps. Its restyled LED rear lighting units display a similar design motif and the Shanghai car rolled onto the stand wearing 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in new low-rolling resistance tires and boasting what its maker says is a best-in-class 0.27 coefficient of drag. Although some minor details are likely to change before the next Verano appears in U.S. showrooms, the basic exterior elements will remain intact. Underpinning this next-gen Verano is a version of GM's new Delta 2 platform architecture. Also set for duty in a redesigned 2016 Chevy Cruze that's expected to surface sometime this summer, this upgraded chassis promises to endow the upcoming Verano with even better ride and handling characteristics. 

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll

While there's no word on what if any changes powertrain changes might see on our version of this new Buick 4-door, the 2016 Verano launches in China later this year with the most powerful version to date of GM's new 4-cylinder EcoTec engine family: a turbocharged/direct-injected unit that makes 166 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of peak torque. It drives the front wheels via a new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and is projected to deliver the equivalent of 38.6 mpg, which also would be a new class benchmark.

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