The Buick brand is finally cool again.
After General Motors revealed electric vehicles for its Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac brands, we were wondering when Buick would next. Sure there's the Buick Velite 7 in the Chinese market, but it's nothing more than a rebadged Bolt EUV. Today, Buick has finally revealed a new EV concept it can be proud of. And by its name alone, we know this isn't a boring compliance car or family hauler. The Wildcat is back.
The Buick Wildcat was a full-size car sold from 1963 to 1970 with the name originating from a series of concept cars in the 1950s. It was sold in coupe, convertible, and four-door body styles, with the name later reemerging on a 1985 concept. With the new Wildcat EV Concept, Buick is embracing a bold new identity.
"The Wildcat EV concept represents the real design future for the brand," said Sharon Gauci, executive director, global Buick-GMC design. "Buick has always been forward-looking and this expression is a glimpse of where we're going, and the optimism we have for the limitless possibilities of an electric future." Buick says the concept conveys the company's upcoming design language, including the new tri-shield logo that will appear on production models starting next year.
With a lack of any powertrain details, we fear the Wildcat EV will be nothing more than a design exercise rather than something with production intent. The Wildcat will likely join GM's pantheon of stunning concepts that never reached production, including the Opel GT Concept, Cadillac Escalla and Elmiraj, and the Buick Avista.
Though Buick may not build a production 2+2 Coupe like the Wildcat, the company is dedicated to EVs and will sell an Electra EV (likely a crossover) in 2024. The Electra should borrow elements from the Wildcat EV, including the expressive face and trapezoidal grille. Buick pushed the lights on the concept way out to the edges to give the vehicle a wider stance. Those lights play unique welcome choreography when the driver approaches.
"From every angle, the vehicle looks like it's ready to pounce," said Bob Boniface, director, global Buick design. "It's the result of careful attention to the proportions and sculptural beauty derived from the intersection of forms, not lines." Other unique exterior details include blade-style taillights embedded in the roof, an external charge gauge, and Jet Age-inspired 18-spoke turbine wheels.
When the door opens, the roof panel lifts for easier entry and exit from the vehicle. The cabin looks like a work of art, with a prominent center console that extends into the rear seat. There are several screens available, including an infotainment display, a lower control panel on the center console, and a digital gauge cluster. Buick says the Wildcat previews futuristic features such as artificial intelligence, biometrics, and aromatherapy. The car will be able to detect a driver's heart-rate and use cabin settings like the massaging seats to clam them down.
Though the Wildcat EV doesn't look like it will reach production, it shows that the Buick brand has exciting ideas coming in the near future.