• GM Trademarks "Velite" Name

About 10 years ago, Buick showcased the 2004 Velite concept at the 2004 New York Auto Show. It was a roadster study designed by Bertone that followed the Bengal, a much more impressive concept in terms of styling, but one that was never considered to be a viable production vehicle. The Velite was introduced as a more practical version of the Bengal, but it never became a production car. Now a decade later, GM has filed a trademark application with United States Patent & Trademark Office for the term "Velite."

The manufacturer filed the application on November 19th, 2014, under the "Goods and Services" category for "motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, vans, engines therefor and structural parts thereof." GM previously applied for the trademark back in 2011 and although it has not been granted, it has received a fifth extension to submit a Statement of Use document. The office allows applicants a total of six extensions to submit the Statement of Use, which means GM is about to use the trademark in real-world product.

So what are we looking at then? First and foremost, the nameplate will likely be used for a Buick vehicle. Then there’s the Velite concept’s roadster configuration, which suggests Buick might introduce a convertible. That being said, there’s only one viable option at the moment, and that’s the rebadged Opel Cascada, a vehicle rumored to cross the pond with a Buick badge since 2013.

Expected to arrive Stateside for the 2016 model year, the U.S.-spec Cascada, or the Buick Velite if we can already call it that, will look nearly identical to its European sibling and feature the company’s trademark waterfall front grille.

Note: Opel Cascada pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about GM’s latest trademark.

Why it matters

Unless Buick is working on a brand-new vehicle of its own, this trademark filing pretty much confirms the Cascada is headed to U.S. dealerships with a Trishield badge. Of course, we wouldn’t mind if Buick would unveil a convertible that’s not based on the Cascada, but that’s unlikely given GM’s current strategy for the Buick brand. Either way, the prospect of a new production vehicle coming from Buick is good news.

2013 Opel Cascada

2013 Opel Cascada High Resolution Exterior
- image 478084

Launched in 2013, the Opel Cascada is a midsize convertible underpinned by GM’s Delta II platform. The European drop-top is available with a lineup of two gasoline engines and two diesels.

The gas range begins with a turbo 1.4-liter four-banger rated at 118 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The second unit that runs on gasoline is a turbo 1.6-liter that comes in two guises. The less-powerful option churns 168 ponies and 192 pound-feet, while the range-topping choice kicks in at 197 horses and 207 pound-feet.

As far as oil burners go, Opel offers a turbo 2.0-liter with 163 horsepower and 258 pound-feet on tap. The 2.0-liter four-pot is also available with bi-turbo technology, which sends 192 ponies and 295 pound-feet of twist to the pavement.

The Opel Cascada is also sold with Vauxhall and Holden badges in the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively.

Source: GM Authority

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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