Buick Velite Concept: New design philosophy for efficiency
Presented in China at Auto Guangzhou 2016, the Buick Velite Concept previews styling we can expect to see in the division’s energy-efficient models being crafted under the “Buick Blue” design philosophy. Reportedly the precursor of a new production model aimed specifically at the Chinese market, this flashy 5-door crossover has virtually nothing in common with the original Buick Velite Concept, a 2-door convertible that debuted at the 2004 New York Auto Show.
Created by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, a joint venture between GM and its SAIC partner, the flowing, highly aerodynamic exterior treatment of the new Velite draws inspiration from water and traditional Chinese cultural elements. Its wing-shaped grille is flanked by new intelligent matrix LED headlamps, which are likely headed to the showroom in the not-too-distant future. While providing no interior images, Buick did say the Velite’s cabin, which features a panoramic sunroof, is appropriately elegant and incorporates recycled materials as well as new induction ambient lighting -- another element destined to appear in its future new-energy models.
While details of its plug-in powertrain are limited, Buick has confirmed the Velite Concept is fitted with GM’s new-generation modular intelligent electric drive system – think Chevy Volt here – and packs a high-performance modular lithium-ion battery pack. Other innovations include an interactive human-machine interface with extended cloud-based connectivity as well as a new 360-degree “intelligent traffic induction system” that boasts a suite of safety features and assist functions including night vision, high-speed adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic driving capabilities.
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