GM is still trying to figure out exactly what Buick is nowadays, and
what they should be building. They want to take them back upmarket,
but then again they can't really tread on Cadillac's toes. But on
the other hand they've got a lucrative niche selling rebranded Opel
models in China under the Buick name. They're even bringing the Opels
to North America. But clearly GM have got bigger and better things
planned for Buick, at least for now.
The Buick Avenir concept is a flagship sedan model designed
to reinvigorate the brand, as well as explore the future design direction
of the company. The Avenir is the creation of a global team of Buick
designers and sculptors who were inspired by historic Buick vehicles.
Its name means "Future" in French.
"Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty
and presence without pretense,"said Ed Welburn, vice president
of General Motors Global Design. "It demonstrates the growing
international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where
it can go."
One of the most interesting features of the concept is a new grille
design that combines the traditional waterfall blades with wing-shaped
elements emanating from the central badge. The red, silver and blue
Buick tri-shield insignia also makes a return. According to Michael
Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations, the
grille was inspired by that used on the 1954
Buick Wildcat II concept.
Other exterior design highlights of the Buick Avenir concept include
sharply sculpted wheel arches, an elongated wheelbase, sleek
roofline and a boattail rear end.
The interior is less adventurous than the exterior, but it's still
pleasing to the eye. The interior design of the Avenir was inspired
by nature and sea waves receding on a beach. It is a motif featured
on the seats and carried through in other trim components - even the
carpet. In fact, a patterned insert for the carpet carries the motif
in silk and bamboo. The colors have been kept muted in an effort to
maintain an air of calm and relaxation.
Yet despite its tranquil appearance, underneath all that soft-touch
upholstery and trim is a plethora of gadgets, which all spring
to life the moment the car is started, synchronizing information and
devices within seconds. The Buick Avenir instantly configures the
instrument cluster and infotainment screen displays based on prior
customization while also recognizing the driver's music preferences,
calendar schedule and recently visited locations from a cellphone's
Buick's engineers are also looking at ways to integrate the Avenir's
technologies with smart home systems, which would allow accessing
home security cameras or the capability of turning on outside lights
and closing a garage door that was inadvertently left open.
Powering the Buick Avenir is a direct-injected V6 engine which
uses cylinder deactivation and stop/start technology to reduce fuel
consumption. The transmission is a nine-speed automatic which
sends power to the rear wheels.
|Engine / Drivetrain
||V6, 9-speed automatic, RWD