This could be the first Buick EV to make its way to America.
Buick has revealed the tech-rich interior of its Electra E5 electric crossover, previewing not only the design direction of the Electra sub-brand of EVs but also giving us a clear look at the inside of a car that could very likely make its way to the United States.
We already know that the Electra is coming to the USA, but which specific model this will be has yet to be announced. There will be a family of Electra EVs, including the smaller Electra E4. Either way, based on the snazzy cabin, this new generation of Buicks will breathe new life into a somewhat stale lineup.
The Buick Electra E5 comes with an EYEMAX 30-inch freeform OLED display and the automaker's new Virtual Cockpit System, with 6K resolution providing crisp detail for the driver. With the ability to reflect a billion colors smoothly, the display is just one highlight in what looks like a very comfortable interior.
If you tire of the 30-inch display, there is also a 12.6-inch color head-up display. The manufacturer promises access to a boatload of multimedia content via the latest Buick eConnect connectivity system and improved intelligent voice commands. Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard, and although Android Auto wasn't mentioned, this will likely be standard in US-spec Electras. Wireless phone charging and a digital iKey allowing keyless vehicle access are also included.
Further bolstering this tech-heavy EV is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip - the same one used in modern Volvos - for the intelligent cockpit, quick data transfer via 5G, and the now-commonplace over-the-air updates. It wouldn't be a Buick if the focus was on technology alone and not luxury too, though.
Buick has incorporated a floating design philosophy to the interior, which applies to the instrument panel and center console.
Customers can choose from no less than 121 colors for the surround ambient lighting, almost double the 64-color choice found in most high-end Mercedes-Benz models. A jewel-like control knob on the center console, slim vents with backlit decoration, and "exquisite craftsmanship" combine to create a serene but also quite showy space.
The front seats are said to be inspired by luxury furniture design and come with floating headrests and S-shaped seatbacks. One of the supplied images also creates the impression of generous rear-seat space, but it's not an illusion.
The Ultium platform has allowed Buick to free up over 40 inches of rear legroom, thanks to a 116.3-inch wheelbase. That's more legroom than even the three-row Buick Enclave can offer passengers in its second row, despite the Enclave having a longer wheelbase. And, at 58.6 cubic feet, the Electra E5's trunk is also bigger than that of the Enclave's when the latter's third row is folded flat.
"The interior of the Electra E5 really captures the Buick brand's PURE design philosophy, with clean and sculptural surfacing, excellence in details, and seamlessly integrated technology," said Matt Noone, executive director of SAIC-GM PATAC Design. "It will stand out in its segment and resonate strongly with mainstream EV buyers."
As it shares a platform with the Chevrolet Equinox EV and Cadillac Lyriq, the Electra E5 could make as little as 210 horsepower, as is the case with the front-wheel-drive Equinox, or as much as 500 horses in the case of the dual-motor Lyriq. Buick's premium positioning could see it skew more toward the Lyriq, but this remains to be seen when and if it arrives here.
In China, the Electra E5 began pre-production late last year, with deliveries due in the first half of 2023. If this is the Buick EV coming to the USA, we figure it has a good chance of introducing new customers to the brand.
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