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Buick mulling more powerful engine for Encore CUV

by Drew Johnson

Buick could be planning an engine upgrade for its compact Encore.

Buick's compact crossover could soon be the recipient of a power bump. Buick is reportedly considering sliding a more powerful motor between the Encore's front fenders in a bid to attract more customers.

The Encore is already - 3,206 units of the compact utility found new owners last month - but Buick feels it is still leaving some sales on the table. According to data collected by Buick, a lack of power is cited most often by shoppers that test drive the Encore but end up buying something else.

In order to fix that shortcoming, Buick is exploring other alternatives to the Encore's 138 horsepower 1.4L engine. Buick's 2.0L and 2.4L engines are simply too big to fit within the cramped confines of the CUV's engine bay, but is reporting that General Motors is considering fitting the Encore with its latest turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder.

Although not drastically bigger than the Encore's 1.4L, the 1.6L makes 170 horsepower in base tune and is capable of cranking out as much as 200 horsepower. Those kinds of figures would give the Encore some serious scoot.

Nothing is officially in place at Buick, but the Encore's larger engine could arrive as soon as the 2015 model year.

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