Mike Stevens | Dec 15, 2011

GM has released a single teaser image for its upcoming compact SUV, along with confirmation that the crossover will be known as the Buick Encore.

Details for the high-riding compact remain under wraps for now, although industry sources say it is built on the same front-wheel-drive "Gamma" platform underpinning the all-new Barina light car.

The same architecture can be found beneath the European-market Opel Meriva, a small people-mover that will join the Opel range when it hits Australia next year.

Plans for a Holden-badged version of the Encore have been long rumoured, and it is expected to figure among Holden's "10 new models over 20 months".

There is plenty of room beneath the Captiva 5 for a new compact SUV, and with the segment sitting on 11,441 sales in Australia so far this year, it wouldn't be Holden's worst move.

It will, however, be hoping for a bigger impact than the first incarnation of the Cruze - a re-badged version of Suzuki's Ignis - which failed to ignite much consumer interest in Australia.

If the new crossover is brought to Australia, it will face off against the like of the Nissan Dualis, the Hyundai ix35 and the Mitsubishi ASX - among many, many others.

The Encore will make its international debut at next month's Detroit Auto Show. Watch this space for more details.

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