A collaborative effort between Shanghai GM and the automaker's Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint ventures also located in that Chinese city, the new Buick Riviera Concept offers a look at elements we can expect to see work their way into upcoming production models. "The new Riviera offers a preview of Buick's future design language," said Shanghai GM President Ye Yongming at the car's reveal. "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."
Inspired by the Chinese proverb "The greatest good is like water," the Riviera's exterior styling has a liquid air of elegant but dynamic understatement. Finished in ice celadon -- a color inspired by jade - its aero-optimized bodywork is complemented by a steeply raked windshield, flowing fastback top and distinctive gullwing doors. According to Buick, the new-gen waterfall grille treatment and wing-shaped daytime running lights in this not-so-one-off exercise are both destined to become "key elements" of the division's future design DNA. The car also has drag-reducing active grille shutters and active pneumatic wheels that incorporate auto-deploying shutter elements on their spokes to help reduce drag at higher speeds.
The Riviera's luxurious cabin features a number of its own unique trim touches including sand-blasted aluminum, lava suede and ebony that are integrated in a manner similar to the style seen in traditional Chinese jade-inlaid wood. It also takes Buick's signature Quiet Tuning technology to a new level, adding noise-absorbing head restraints to the mix and matching "floating" front buckets with an adaptive rear seating system. Finally, the Riviera Concept can function as a mobile hot spot thanks to its built-in support for high-speed 4G-LTE network connectivity.
Beyond that, the Riviera Concept is fitted with a comprehensive array of the latest driver safety/assist systems, including a 360-degree eagle view record system, night-view assist, side blind-zone alert system and lane-departure warning system. The concept also boasts full-speed range-adaptive cruise control, lane-change assist system, rear cross-traffic alert system, an autopilot system and "transparent" A pillars. It brings a new forward-looking active viewing element to the mix that consists of 10 high-resolution cameras that gather images and 18 high-precision sensors to determine relative distances. Information from these two input sources is integrated in real time and then projected as a holographic image on the windshield.
Power for the Riviera Concept comes from Buick Intelligent Performance (BIP) technology, in this case, an undefined wireless plug-in hybrid setup with a battery that can be recharged using a conventional cable or via an inductive system that uses a sensor panel on the car's chassis and a charge pad positioned on the floor of a garage or driveway. To expand its handling envelope while maintaining ride compliance, the Riviera Concept also features 4-wheel steering, air springs and an electromagnetically-controlled suspension.
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