The Stunning Wildcat Proves Buick Can Build Beautiful Cars Of The Future

Detroit Auto Show / 11 Comments

We take a closer look at the Buick Wildcat at the Detroit Auto Show.

Photographs frequently don't do a car justice or go in the other direction and flatter a vehicle completely. The Wildcat is a 2+2 Coupe concept meant to show what Buick has in mind for the future. Unfortunately, that future doesn't mean a two-door sports coupe; Buick plans to take design elements from the Wildcat and implement them on upcoming models.

Though the Wildcat is unlikely to reach production in its current form, seeing it in person confirmed that Buick has what it takes to build some stunning vehicles in the future as it transitions towards EVs. That future better come sooner rather than later because the brand risks becoming irrelevant.

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There's a lot to take in here. The Wildcat was perfectly lit in the press photos, perhaps flattering the car. Under the harsh white lights of the hall, you get to experience the shadows cast by the various shapes the designers tried to incorporate.

To us, the car looks like a stubby shooting brake. It's an excellent idea, but the side profile could do with 50% less design. A truly incredible design requires only three or four pencil strokes. The alloys are obviously inspired by aviation and remind us of a more complex version of the Mercedes-McLaren SLR's wheel design. Of all the design elements, we hope the wheels make it onto a production Buick.

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At least Buick is doing its own thing and no longer has to inherit design ideas from other companies. Now that the Opel/Vauxhall division has been sold to Stellantis, Buick can get back to building actual luxury cars with its own identity.

The Wildcat may be a bit out there, but we think it was built to make a statement. It looks like nothing else in the brand's lineup, and that's the best possible compliment we can give it. Just look at the Buick Encore and tell us this isn't a million times better.

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Perhaps the most notable feature on the Wildcat that should trickle down to production models is Ultra Cruise, GM's next-generation hands-free driving system that will debut on the Cadillac Celestiq. Buick is the last GM brand to get Super Cruise, a glaring omission that makes it feel like it's being neglected by the parent company. It's unclear exact how Ultra Cruise will improve on the already class-leading Super Cruise, but this flagship technology should help Buick feel like a true luxury brand in the future.

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