The Buick Avista Concept made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, a stunning example of rear-wheel drive muscle that the brand hasn’t seen since the Regal GNX.
Yes indeed you’d think everyone at Buick who’s been cranking out the dead-end dross that’s been landing in Sun City driveways for the past few decades gotten fired and replaced with young Turks who actually have a pulse.
The Buick Avista Concept is a a 2+2 coupe that takes the latest design language we just saw on the LaCrosse sedan at the LA Auto Show and pushes it yet further into premium car territory. And moreover, it actually spouted some muscles.
And muscle, is what this Buick is all about. While the LaCrosse sedan and the Buick Avenir concept from last year showed off the brand’s luxury intent, the Avista shows their performance mood for a potential future offering.
Under hood is a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6, similar to those find in contemporary Cadillacs and likely production intent for a number of future GM models. The engine is good for 400 horsepower and would send it to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The V6 has both Active Fuel Management to pull it back to four-cylinders when extra power isn’t needed as well as an engine stop-start system – all to save fuel when you aren’t hammering it into the asphalt.
And with 110-inch wheelbase and 63-inch track width it falls right in line with the platform architecture that under pins the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac ATS. Think about that for a moment and imagine Lincoln having the guts to build a muscle-coup on the Mustang platform. Doubt it.
In fact that brings us to what this vehicle could likely be most compared to in soul, and that’s the Buick Regal GNX from the 1980’s. That car also had a turbocharged V6, though down in horsepower from this, had legendary performance back in the day. The difference here is, this Buick is likely to also be good at taking a corner.
All my reminiscing aside, the design of the Avista does have the silhouette of the Camaro and ATS hidden in there, but the surfaces and lines are all Buick. And if this is the design direction they are taking from here forward I think they’re clearly on the right track.
The interior of the Avista Concept is of course over the top with back-lit digital wallpaper in every direction, hand sculpted aluminum trims and the most expensive leather surfaces you’re gonna find outside a Prada store. It’s embossed pattern is meant to mimic sand on a beach. Cute.
Its center console for instance has a near full length touchscreen that extends to the rear seating area. It looks cool but don’t be spilling your coffee on it. At the head of the console is a production intent device, the new electronic toggle shifter out of the 2017 LaCrosse they call Electronic Precision Shift.
All in I think the Avista is a pretty well mapped out car that really shows what the potential is at Buick’s design studios. This is a car that likely could be one of the best concepts at Detroit this year. And now, they just need to built it.