GM debuts Buick Riviera coupe concept in Shanghai

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

If it weren't for the Chinese luxury market, which continues to choose Buick above any other premium brand when trading up for a new high-end vehicle, GM probably would have let the near luxury marque go the way of Pontiac and Saturn a few years ago. As it stands the General is able to combine the efforts of its German Adam Opel division with those of its North American and Chinese Buick operations for a much more appealing lineup of cars and crossovers than the tri-crested brand has ever enjoyed before. Just the same there are gaps in that lineup still needed to be filled.

While a midsize five-occupant crossover will more than likely make the grade before anything like this swoopy Riviera luxury coupe, Buick points to the new concept as a harbinger of future design. Inspired by water, says Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) which developed the new concept together in a joint venture, the new age Riv's free flowing front fascia puts the brand's waterfall grille at centre while elegant yet potent looking lines combine just below, the vertical air inlets looking downright racer-like. In back it's more chiseled-ice than flowing water thanks to a radically edgy shape sure to divide points of view (we like it).

"The new Riviera offers a preview of Buick's future design language," said Shanghai GM President Ye Yongming. "By seamlessly integrating advanced technologies, flexible functions and contemporary aesthetics, the new Riviera heralds the start of a new chapter for the 110-year-old Buick brand."

Under that long elegant hood are new plug-in hybrid mechanicals based on GM's dual-mode wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion system (W-PHEV). Wireless is the keyword, the Riv's batteries capable getting replenished via a sensory recharge panel below the car. A traditional cord and plug is provided too, for when not at home.

GM is using the Riviera concept to show off some of its other technologies too, including a near self-driving/accidence avoidance system that utilizes 10 high-resolution cameras and 18 micro high-precision sensors for monitoring surrounding vehicles and other objects in the way. The system displays the results of its findings on the windshield via holographic imaging.

Additional electronics include an autopilot system, night view assist, Eagle View side and rear view cameras, full-range adaptive cruise control, "transparent" A-pillars and a 4G LTE Internet connection.

While the tech is very real and will mostly show up in future Buick products, GM is hoping this concept's styling will get would-be buyers excited. Try to imagine some of the exterior detailing on a future Verano, Regal or LaCrosse, let alone the luxury coupe Buick's been teasing us about for years (they showed a Riviera concept back in 2007 too), and you'll get an idea of where the brand's design language is headed.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Buick, 2013, Riviera Concept,

Organizations: Buick

Geographic location: Shanghai

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page