Buick Avant Concept Previews New Possibilities in Personal Luxury
By KBB.com Editors on September 28, 2009 11:24 AMCreated by The Lab, GM's experimental "design research community," this most unconventional Buick concept study is intended to explore new avenues in the realm of small personal luxury vehicles. Based on input collected from potential customers in markets around the world, the Avant's creative team sought to give this semi-exotic coupe a unique sense of style matched with practical touches meant to surprise and delight as part of the ultimate goal of delivering "effortless transportation." Still a work in process -- the group explored no fewer than six exterior and four interior treatments -- the Avant incorporates numerous innovative touches, including a "smart door" system that's activated by a hand gesture and automatically senses clearance space to open either in a conventional manner or extend both out and forward to allow easy access even in cramped parking situations. Inside, the driver can choose from a "normal" driving position or have the seat, pedals, steering wheel and instrument cluster move more towards the center of the vehicle to offer a more spacious and "natural" position when the passenger seat is empty. Other interesting elements include a variable-opacity roof that changes its level of transparency via a set of transverse rotating surfaces and a "luggage presenter" system that consists of a sliding shelf that extends outward to make loading/unloading the rear cargo area more convenient.