While sleeping on Buick, the automaker has quietly worked on some of the finest concept cars, and its new all-electric SUV is no different. The latest concept, called the Buick Enspire, will make its official debut at Auto China 2018 in Beijing later this month. However, we hope that it will soon make the leap from theory to production.
On the outside it is a very nice looking car. Buick attributes a great deal of the aerodynamic shape to aerodynamics, but it is clear that the Enspire shares much common DNA with earlier concept cars such as the Avenir 2015 and the Avista of 2016. While they were a sedan or a coupe, the same design language translates well to an SUV.
Under the hood, Buick provides an eMotion electric drive system capable of generating 410 kW. That's an impressive 550 hp. It's enough, the automaker suggests going from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds.
Meanwhile, the battery reaches a single charge for up to 370 miles, Buick promises. It can be charged in two ways. While traditional wired charging is possible, the Enspire also has a wireless charging aid. With the right charger, it can be recharged to 80 percent in less than 40 minutes.
Inside, Buick describes the airy cabin with a "surround skyline" theme, focusing on keeping the entire cockpit airy and light. The center console and armrests use natural wood grain combined with microfibre suede. OLED screens replace traditional instruments, and there is an augmented reality windshield on which the Enspire can project navigation instructions, points of interest, flag hazards, and more. All this would be pulled over a 5G link, which is baked in the SUV, suggests Buick.
Right now, of course, the Enspire is just a concept, and Buick is liquidated with some production plans. Still, it's not hard to see how such a car would fit into the automaker's range of vehicles. Buick has been a rising star in recent years – delivering more than 1.4 million vehicles worldwide in 2017 – and China is particularly eager to enter the market.
In fact, last year Buick launched seven new models in China, four in North America. The high-end sub-brand Avenir has also been expanded by three models. In the US, sales of Buick SUVs increased by up to 93 percent.
The line-up, however, lacks a purely electric car that strikes the same box. With GM stable operator Chevrolet apparently planning a Bolt EV-based crossover, a more luxurious – but still affordable – electric SUV with the Buick nameplate would seem like a good application of the group's existing technology.