Saturday, January 17, 2015

Buick unveils the wowza Avenir and a dud at NAIAS

The big surprise from Buick was the Avenir (French for future) concept car which is a thinly veiled version of the next LaCrosse.  My suggestion, dump the LaCrosse name and use this one.  This car is so totally different that it deserves its own name in history.

This was an odd reveal, private party the night before the NAIAS Press days began, not the usual hoopla grand reveal during press days.  Interesting.  The flagship sedan offers seating for four, full LED exterior lighting, and 21-inch wheels in its premium sports options.

Like Buick's of yore this has some unique design elements that I really like.  The traditional waterfall grill is there, split in the upper third by a too huge Buick emblem and a tasteful chrome rib continuing the hoodline at the head lamps.

The rear view is really nice as well. with a subtle point drawn from the windshield reminiscent at least of the '71-73 Riviera's and their boat tails.

But don't let my blathering color your opinion.  Buick got 2 Eyes On Design Awards for this car.
General Motors Global Design Team for the Buick Avenir concept car won EyesOn Design's Best Concept Award Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Director of GM Global Color and Trim Sharon Gauci , Design Manager Color and Trim, GM Australia, Jenny Morgan-Douralis, and GM Design Manager Buick Color and Trim Rebecca Waldmeir won EyesOn Design's Best Use of Color Award for the Buick Avenir.

Little was offered up in the way of power train and tranny options.  Best guess is it will be conservative with the 2.0L turbo four as standard and a V6 as an option.  Nothing stronger, as well, the true aggressive sport luxury brand for GM is Caddy, not Buick.  A shame as this car looks like it should have some real go power behind it.

Its a very nice looking concept that appears more production ready rather than a study in what the future could be.  Build it, give it its place in Buick History.

Now for the dud.  The Cascada.  A convertible sedan that's nice enough in appearance.  Its rated as a 4 seater, but with 3" between the front seat back and the cushion end of the rear seat only amputees will be placed in those rear seats.

The car just seems to be missing the mark on so many points.  The front end is molten pointy, not the crisp style and angles of the Avenir, or even lesser current production Buick's like the Regal that is already on dealership lots.  Its a near miss, the premise good, front seats and ergonomics are nice, but you get to the back seat and it all falls apart.  Sad, I had hopes for this car, but its really a rehashed Opel with a Buick emblem glued to the grill that doesn't even fit the bill with current Buick design language.  Equally Sad, is this car is a step back for a brand that has been moving forward and doing such nice cars the last few years.  We need Buick to succeed.

All pics by me.  More in my flickr album from 2015 NAIAS