China is Buick's largest market, and the Verano is their best-seller. Several major design elements are the same, like the placement of the door handles, mirrors and such. However, Buick is doing heavy cosmetic revisions around the front, installing a keener grille+headlight combo.
The front end kind of looks like the Regal TourX, which is just a re-badged Opel Insignia. But how is that possible? How can GM have a new design from a company it doesn't own anymore? As one of our readers pointed out, the new owners at PSA (Peugeot) lends Opel's design studio in Germany to other companies.
A return of the Verano to North American showrooms can't be ruled out either. Buick killed the Cascada and LaCrosse models recently. And with Ford and Chrysler also pulling out of sedans, there might be some room left. Premium German automakers certainly still believe in the entry-level 4-door, as Mercedes just dropped a new A-Class and CLA.
But these spyshots are certainly no reason to get hyped up. Michigan is a prime testing ground for all sorts of GM products, some of which never make it to America. It would be interesting to see how Buick would price and equip the Verano against Audi or Mercedes. A 1.5-liter turbo would be the logical choice, as Buick's customers typically aren't looking for power.