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Buick Launches IntelliLink Smartphone System

by on Apr.19, 2011

Buick launches the new IntelliLink smartphone system.

Buick is the latest automaker to make the smartphone an essential part of the driving experience.

The maker will introduce its new IntelliLink system with the launch of the compact Verano luxury car, early next year, Buick officials announced during a luncheon prior to the New York Auto Show.

The goal, says Buick sales boss Tony DiSalle, is to “offer consumers the ability to bring their smartphone into the car and have added levels of functionality almost seamlessly.”

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The new technology will take commonplace Bluetooth hands-free calling systems to a new level, the maker explained, allowing a motorist to listen to customized music channels through the Pandora radio app, for example, or tune into a wide range of audio news services through Stitcher.

The new Buick Verano will be first to get IntelliLink.

The various features – as well as more conventional audio functions, such as radio and CD – will be operated through a variety of methods, including a large, 8-inch touchscreen, conventional controls, voice recognition or redundant buttons on the steering wheel.

Meanwhile, the system will integrate with GM’s OnStar service, which will add features to the car like emergency calling, turn-by-turn navigation and crash notification.

The new Buick IntelliLink system will debut on the Verano, the third new sedan added to the maker’s line-up in recent years and its first entry into the growing entry luxury segment.  The Verano will reach U.S. showrooms by February 2012.

The smartphone-based system will then be rolled out for other Buick models, such as the LaCrosse sedan, wrapping up with the Enclave SUV, in 2013.

IntelliLink will also be offered by Buick’s truck-based sibling brand, GMC.  And a similar technology is getting launched by Chevrolet, under the name Chevy MyLink.

Indeed, most major automakers are racing to add smartphone-based systems, including Toyota, Hyundai and even little Smart.  The forerunner of such voice-controlled devices, Ford’s Sync, has proven a major draw, especially with younger, tech-conscious buyers – precisely the sort of customer the resurgent Buick brand is desperate to win over.

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