The Buick Velite concept, a four-seater elegant convertible,
was the first American demonstration of GMs Zeta
global vehicle architecture, featuring a rear-wheel-drive
The Buick Velite concept was shown at the 2004 New York
Auto Show. Named after an elite group of quick-moving
soldiers in Napoleons army, the Buick Velite was
designed at GMs Advanced Studio in Warren, Michigan.
It was then built by world famous coachbuilder Bertone,
located in Italy.
The Velites sister car, the Opel
Insignia, had debuted the Zeta platform at the Frankfurt
International Auto Show the previous year.
The Velite's designers took inspiration from Buicks
design history while also identifying trends in other
cultures and contemporary design. Modern furniture design
and cool lounges influenced the color, mood and shape
of both the Velites exterior and interior.
Buick design heritage is found in the Velites long
dash-to-axle proportions, which convey power and sporting
elegance a theme enhanced by large 20" front
wheels, and enormous 21" rear wheels.
Power for the Buick Velite originated from an experimental
intercooled 3.6 litre V-6 engine making 400 horsepower
and 400 lb ft of torque.
Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a Hydra-Matic
6L80-E six-speed, automatic
transmission featuring a manual tap-shift gear selection.
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