Buick Electra Returns As 580-HP EV

Electric Vehicles / Comments

This name makes perfect sense.

Following GM's sale of Opel and Vauxhall, the Buick brand lost certain models that it sells in the United States, including the recently-updated Regal. Buick just introduced the new Encore GX, and the Envision will soon receive a major facelift, but the premium American brand will need more to remain competitive. At this year's Shanghai Auto Show, Buick unveiled a new concept that shows off where the brand plans to go in the future.

The concept brings back a familiar name that hasn't been seen since 1990: the Buick Electra, a rather apt name for an all-electric vehicle. The Electra looks far from production-ready with its massive 23-inch wheels, butterfly doors, lack of side-view mirrors, and concept car interior.

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Buick says the Electra's "potential energy" design language will influence the production crossover, though it will likely look toned down compared to this concept. Inside, the retractable steering wheel and suspended seats aren't likely to make production either, but we could see a more realistic curved instrument cluster like the one in the Cadillac Escalade.

Buick says the Electra uses the company's next-generation eConnect connectivity system, which runs on a large retina display and includes over-the-air updates, live-view navigation, and an enhanced reality head-up display.

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As for the electric drivetrain, Buick will utilize GM's new Ultium Drive system riding on the upcoming BEV3 platform that will also underpin a slew of other electric models including the GMC Hummer. Ultium Drive offers many different drive configurations, and in the case of the Electra, Buick opted for two motors driving all four wheels.

Buick says the Electra produces a maximum of 582 horsepower, pushing the car up to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds. More importantly than the speed, the Electra can travel an estimated 410 miles on a single charge. Since the concept was only shown in China, Buick's plans for bringing it to the US remain a mystery. But with a name Americans will remember great styling and even better performance, we think Buick would be silly to keep this only in China.

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