Buick lays out its electric future with a new brand identity, the Wildcat EV concept car, and the resurrection of the classic Electra vehicle name.
Buick aims to go from a line of rebadged Chevrolet and GMC small SUVs to a full-line battery electric-only brand by 2030. The first BEV should hit showrooms in 2024. With a shiny new badge and styling direction, Buick hopes to grow its healthy Asian markets and entice U.S. buyers back to the brand.
Buick will resurrect the classic Electra nameplate for the first 2024 Buick EV offering, which is quite fitting. But, today Buick showed us the flavor of things to come with the Wildcat EV concept 2+2 coupe.
“The Buick brand is committed to an all-electric future by the end of this decade,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice president, Buick and GMC. “Buick’s new logo, use of the Electra naming series and a new design look for our future products will transform the brand.”
Buick Brand Identity
Buick has also reengineered its emblem for the first time in 32 years. It will body-mount the new badge on the front of all Buicks starting in 2023. While no longer a circular logo, the new badge brings the classic tri-shield design into modern times.
Along with the new logo comes “new typography, an updated color palette, and a new marketing approach.” We look forward to seeing what all of that looks like on a production vehicle.
“Our exteriors will incorporate fluid movements that contrast with tension to convey motion. Interiors will balance modern design, new technologies and attention to detail to evoke warmth and a rich sensory experience.”
Buick Wildcat EV Concept
The Wildcat EV is just a concept car, and probably not the style vehicle we’ll see out of Buick in the near future. But, it does introduce us to the new design language of the brand. We have to admit that it looks sharp and futuristic. It’s also a decidedly new direction for Buick — one we’re looking forward to.
We’ll have to wait and see how much of the design language and elements make it to the production EVs coming in a few years. Our guess is that we’ll see more of the low-mounted trapezoidal grille, horizontal check mark-shaped lighting elements, and smooth broad haunches. We really hope we see more of the 18-spoke turbine-style wheels, but we’d hate to have to keep those clean.
Inside the Wildcat
Orange accent elements — like the seatbelts — make the Legato Green interior pop. Aluminum trim pieces provide a touch of modern luxury. In front of the driver, the flat-bottomed steering wheel hints at performance. Meanwhile, the seats with cantilevered headrests might feel more at home in an upscale NYC apartment.
“It’s a space intended to strike an emotional chord,” said Therese Pinazzo, Buick exterior and interior design manager. “It is defined by simple, graceful forms that convey balance, harmony and a feeling of warmth.”
Buick’s EV Future
The Buick Wildcat EV concept, of course, is underpinned by GM’s Ultium EV skateboard platform. We’ll be seeing this platform under a wide range of vehicles for some time to come, even on stuff as diverse as the Hummer EV truck.
Rumor has it that this concept car also has such futuristic elements as AI, biometrics, and aromatherapy. Besides a selectable Zen Mode — which dims the lights, disperses aromatherapy scents, and activates the massage seats — the Wildcat EV concept automatically calms a driver down when it detects an elevated heart rate.
These features aren’t very far-fetched and are surely coming very soon — while some, like aromatherapy, are already here.