Terrified by Tesla, luxury cars like Audi, Porsche and Jaguar are trying to launch electric cars. But could Buick be the next to follow this trend? At the Beijing Auto Show 2018, the General Motors brand with a reputation for conservatism will unveil a purely electric SUV concept with a range of 370 miles.
The Buick-Enspire concept certainly looks like a Tesla fighter, though there's no indication of whether it goes into production. Buick claims the Enspire's electric powertrain produces 410 kilowatts (549 hp) and drives the SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. The battery can be charged according to Buick with a DC fast charging system in 40 minutes to 80 percent capacity. The Enspire can also charge wirelessly.
The Enspire Sport is more aggressive than current Buick production models, including a low roofline mimicking "SUV coupes" like the upcoming Audi E-tron Quattro and Jaguar I-Pace. This low roof gives a slimmer look at the price of the interior. Electric cars do not need grills, but the Buick designers added a big car here, highlighted by blue trim. At least the people will see it coming. Inside, the Enspire is trimmed in wood and microfiber suede, with a prominent OLED screen and what Buick calls "a smart augmented reality technology-based head-up display system." The concept car also offers 5G connectivity.
It is not surprising that Buick chose a Chinese auto show to unveil the Enspire. The brand is much more popular in China than the United States, and the Chinese government is aggressively pushing for more electric cars through a combination of incentives and new regulations. It is unclear whether the Enspire will go into production or whether it will be sold in the US.
Buick, General Motors, plans to launch more electric cars in the next few years. GM will launch no less than 20 new all-electric models by 2023, the first two will be out sometime next year. The first two models are based on "insights" from the Chevrolet Bolt EV, said GM CEO Mary Barra, but it is possible that one of the later models could take the form of a Buick SUV.