Buick is preparing to unveil a new entry-level model which is based on the same platform as the new Chevrolet Cruze and the recently redesigned Opel Astra.

With GM brands getting slaughtered left and right, Buick needs to show they have a purpose besides being the car of choice for retirees in south Florida. To help make this case, Buick is preparing to unveil a new entry-level model which is based on the new Delta II platform that underpins the Chevrolet Cruze.

Powertrain options are expected to mirror that of those offered by its corporate cousin, meaning we can expect the new front-wheel drive model to come equipped with a 1.8-liter petrol engine that produces 141 horsepower and 176 Nm (130 lb-ft) of torque. While it is possible that the new car could come with the Cruze's 1.6-liter petrol engine with 113 hp and 153 Nm (113 lb-ft) of torque, it seems unlikely as the Buick version will compete in a more premium segment. In a nod to the green movement, GM could also slot a version of the Chevy Volt's powertrain into the baby Buick which would be a logical step considering that the Cruze is currently serving as the primary testing vehicle for the production Volt.

In terms of styling, the baby Buick will feature traditional Buick design cues, such as a waterfall grille, and with these latest spy shots we get a first opportunity to see the interior for the first time. The design mimics that of the recently revealed 2010 Opel Astra; a model that also shares the same platform.


Gallery: Baby Buick Spied with Undisguised Interior