The evolution of Buick has seen the brand go through many twists and turns over the past few decades. GM’s Ultium fueled revolution aims to guide Buick through its latest transformation into an all-electric brand for the future. Buick reps offered a glimpse into this new reality with the all-new Buick Wildcat EV Concept that not only looks sleek in its own right but also previews some new technologies too.
A Showstopper That’s Not Heading To Production
The Wildcat concept first started out as a mere design sketch that happened to catch the attention of higher-ups within the company. Subsequent development work has led up to this full-size concept and it certainly draws plenty of attention to itself. The main reason for this is that it’s a coupe versus an SUV-shaped vehicle that better reflects the brand’s attempts here in North America to be an all utility-focused lineup of vehicles. Buick designers claim that the coupe body style allowed the Wildcat to have a more expressive yet cohesive design.
That said, the coupe has a sleek profile with Buick designers opting for a look that’s simple and organic while also highlighting the clean lines that dot the front of the concept. The revamped Buick badge loses its outer circle and is now mounted on the front bumper with the grille featuring a pushed-down look that also helps widen it too. The roofline slopes gently towards the rear of the car and the taillights here blend seamlessly into the rear hatch area of the concept. The turbine-like chrome wheels took two months to produce and finish and the doors themselves feature gull-wing upper pieces to help make entry and exit easier for occupants. Buick claims that two new models will be appearing that will have design cues lifted from the Wildcat though we suspect these carryover items will be limited to the headlights and other minor items.
Wildcat Interior Places Technology First
Slip inside the Wildcat concept and you are greeted by a mid-century themed cabin that places a strong emphasis on making many elements appear as if they are floating in the air. Bright colors also play a prominent role in making things pop and Buick reps were quick to point out that the interior features premium grade materials.
A highlight for us though is some of the exotic pieces of technology that are making their debut inside this concept. That includes a unified digital instrument cluster and a center-mounted infotainment screen that houses all the information in one massive pane of glass and is supposed to emulate recent efforts like the Hyperscreen system deployed by Mercedes Benz. A smaller screen on the center tunnel shows vital information for the car and is within easy reach of the driver. Buick also talked about adding lightning and even scent elements into the interior to help promote various moods and settings. These features are powered by advanced biometric sensors that measure readings (including heart rate) to help deliver comfort that is optimal for the driver at all times.
Look for production Buick EVs to have a toned-down version of this theme while also infusing some of the Wildcat’s digital technology to help them be better equipped to handle an evolving landscape of mobile technology. The Wildcat in its current form is a mere design study and as a result, it doesn’t have a formal Ultium powertrain, but other EV models will have electric setups that will be unique to Buick though we suspect that some of the core essentials will be carried over from other brands to help trim production costs.
Avenir To Play Vital Role In EV Future, Electra Returning
During our Q&A session with Buick reps this morning we had the chance to ask about the future of the Avenir sub-brand which was launched a few years ago. At one point, the Avenir treatment could be added to four Buick models here in the U.S. but with the Regal and Lacorss sedans axed, that number shrunk down to two (Enclave and Envision.)
However, that’s set to change very soon with Buick and GMC VP Duncan Aldred confirming that all current ICE models in the lineup will have an Avenir version (seemingly confirming an Encore GX based variant is coming in the process.) and that Avenir will also play a key role in the transition to an all-electric lineup by 2030. Aldred also pointed out that Avenir has had strong sales among customers and chances are good that EV versions will help widen the dragnet of sales for the company moving forward.
The other big news here is the return of the Electra nameplate which will serve as an identifier for all Buick electric models moving forward. Last seen on older Buick sedan and coupe models, the Electra this time around will be used exclusively for EVs and is a creative take on a classic moniker at the same time. In addition, Buick will also be updating its badging and marketing to reach out to buyers better and confirmed that it’s marketing materials and dealerships will reflect these changes in the future. The badge itself loses the circular part of the familiar tri-shield logo and now incorporates three thinner shields with the red white and blue elements being incorporated into the centers. This change is the first time in thirty years that the badge has changed this significantly and Buick claims that alot of thought went into this particular design element.
When Can I Buy One?
Buick revealed that the wait for a Buick badged EV won’t be very long with the first model slated to make its appearance in 2024 as an early 2025 model. The pace will quicken from here, and Buick will be launching more models over the next few years to help it hit the 2030 target for pure electrification. Buick design will also be unified with global markets and this will help create familiarity and a unified front for the brand while also reducing design redundancies at the same time.
We look forward to seeing what’s next for Buick in its race to become a pure electric company, but if concepts like the Wildcat coupe are a good indication of where things are heading? Look for design, technology, and comfort to become core pillars of this effort moving forward. Oh and Buick, please produce the Wildcat, we’ll be more than happy to buy one.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.