Car News

Buick Electra Concept Aims to Reset Consumer Expectations

Buick has revived its Electra luxury car nameplate on a new electric vehicle concept revealed this week in Shanghai.

Wearing the brand’s new “potential energy” styling language and powered by GM’s forthcoming Ultium battery technology, Buick says the Electra was conceived to “reset consumer expectations” for its future EV offerings.

As with many contemporary concept vehicles, the Electra sports eye-catching exterior lighting, including an illuminated Buick badge and grille, front and rear matrix LEDs that create a 3D effect, and a lighted rear nameplate.

Buick says the elimination of the A- and B-pillars that characterize most car designs allowed its designers to package a more space-efficient cabin, inside which there is no traditional instrument panel. Instead, a “spaceship-like” cradle supports a retractable steering column and suspended seats to create a zero-gravity visual effect, while the Electra’s exterior colour palette is meant to evoke the atmosphere of outer space.

A large, curved retina display provides an “immersive visual experience,” a retractable steering wheel, an augmented-reality-enhanced head-up display, and an intelligent artificial intelligence voice assistant for controlling secondary controls like the concealed air conditioning system.

Underpinning the Electra is the Ultium modular EV propulsion system, fed by a battery promising more than 660 km of driving range on a full charge. The Ultium battery has 90 per cent less wiring than current EV battery tech, and is capable of better managing the chemistry in individual cells to improve battery health and service life.

Ultium motors power both of the Electra’s axles for AWD traction and more than 583 hp, which Buick says will propel the car from zero to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds.