Buick is looking forward to how everyone responds to its own take on the future of mobility after taking the wraps off its new Buick Velite Concept at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show. This new concept features a beautiful and innovative crossover body accentuated by an elegant interior. Powered by a high-performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, the new Buick Velite Concept displayed at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show provides a preview of Buick future electrified models that will be marketed under its Buick Blue strategy.
The concept’s name -- Velite – was first used on a roadster concept designed by Buick and built by Gruppo Bertone and unveiled at the 2004 New York International Show. If your knowledge of history is a bit rusty, Velite is a group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I as imperial guard. Now, Buick rehashed the moniker to name its latest creation, the Velite Concept.
Buick’s new Velite Concept was developed by the Shanghai-based Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is an engineering and design joint venture between General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. In developing the Velite Concept, PATAC leveraged GM’s global resources and took inspiration from water and traditional Chinese culture. Its aerodynamic crossover body features flowing lines as well as sculpted curves – thereby conveying Buick’s new design language. Its front end features a wing-shaped front grille flanked by sleek intelligent matrix LED headlights. Its interior, meanwhile, makes use of recycled materials and features induction ambient lighting and a panoramic sunroof.
Serving as the core of the Buick Velite Concept is a PHEV powertrain that employs GM’s new-generation modular intelligent electric drive system with a high-performance modular lithium-ion battery pack. To optimize performance and economy in any driving condition, the Velite Concept is provided with an improved electric drive unit and intelligent controls. Interestingly, the Velite Concept comes with a 360-degree intelligent traffic induction system that is supported by sensors on its body. This system allows for several important vehicle functions like high-speed adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic driving, as well as hazard warning, lane and safety distance keep assist. Night vision is also enabled by the 360-degree intelligent traffic induction system.
Let’s just hope that when launched, the production version of the Velite Concept will not be toned down to be just a Chinese version of the Chevrolet Volt but with a Buick badge.
Displayed along with the Buick Velite Concept at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show are the new generations of the Buick GL8 and GL8 Avenir minivans. The new GL8 Avenir is the first model under Buick’s Avenir sub-brand.