Other premium brands may hope that Buick slows down and doesn’t take steps forward in their design, but for Buick, there is no slowing down. With new models coming out this past year and more expected in the near future, the next logical way for Buick to improve is to embrace the hybrid powertrains that have become so much a part of the landscape over the past several years. Buick has already shown us a new concept that could be the future of Buick in hybrid form; the new Buick Velite Concept which debuted at the 2016 Guangzhou Auto Show.
This concept was certainly one of the stars of that show and it came in looking much like the aerodynamically optimized hybrids we’re used to such as the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq. Buick is looking at the Velite not as a small hatchback based hybrid car, but as a crossover that could enter the market as the subcompact crossover SUV with the hybrid powertrain you want to enjoy. No matter what it is, the fact that Buick is looking at hybrid possibilities is certainly another way for the brand to continue its upward climb.
The Velite is a name that was used previously for a concept for Buick, it was used in 2004 at the New York Auto Show, and this new model is rumored to be a concept that could be related to the Chevrolet Volt. Even though some may think the Velite is a Volt in Buick’s clothing, the reality is this is simply a concept right now and is somewhat related to the Volt, but is also extremely different from what the Volt is for Chevrolet. One significant distinction is the design influence that’s present on the new Velite concept model.
The new Buick Velite concept is influenced in its design by flowing water. The lines of the car seem to ripple and flow across the vehicle right up to the waterfall grill that’s been a staple of the Buick name for many years. When you look up front at the grill, you’ll notice a new look of the LED headlights which show even more what Buick is looking for in the flowing water design. These headlights feature ripples of light that permeate from the main lights in much the same way water would ripple away from a location on a pond.
Other than the look and the fact the Velite is expected to be a high-performance plug-in hybrid there isn’t much else to discuss with this new concept. There could be a variety of connectivity items added, the Velite may end up using cloud-based services once they’re perfected, or it may use the next generation of driving assistance features which might include an autonomous system that’s only ideal for low speed driving such as heavy traffic. We don’t know much about this concept car yet, but what we do know is it may hold the key to the future for Buick.
In addition to making us think about what’s next for Buick the Velite concept also helps to indicate the launch point of the Buick Blue campaign. This is a campaign that will allow Buick to offers electrified vehicles in China in the near future. The Chinese market for Buick is actually four times as large as the US market, making it the perfect place to have new EV models for the road. The brand already has a hybrid version of the LaCrosse in China and plans to follow up with a plug-in hybrid and an extended range EV, all of which may eventually make their way to the US market.