Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Buick Avenir Concept Car

The Buick Avevir concept car, first shown earlier this year at the Detroit auto show, is likely to strongly resemble a future Buick production model.  That seems to be the reason its styling was commented on by two knowledgeable observers.

Peter M. De Lorenzo of the influential Auto Extremist web site dealt with the Avenir here (scroll down) in his discussion of some of the vehicles presented at the show.  His take was that the styling was too traditional, implying that Buick should have come up with a more innovative approach.  "The big rear-wheel-drive sedan bristled with absolutely every crease, roll and heavily nuanced detail that has been on every Buick concept from the last fifteen years" he observed.  However, "What should have GM Design done with the Avenir? First of all, they should have made it an elegant, flowing coupe. And secondly, they should have called it the Riviera. If they had done that all would be forgiven."

In the May issue of Automobile Magazine, design critic Robert Cumberford was more charitable, being especially intrigued that the Avenir lacked chromed framing for the windshield and backlight.  His analysis can be found here.

My take on the Avenir is closer to Cumberford's than De Lorenzo's.  The styling is, as usual nowadays, on the baroque side, but the detailing is nicely done for the most part.  More importantly, I do not object to the incorporation of Buick styling cues, some of which date back nearly 75 years.  That's because a function of a car design is to sell cars.  One way of selling cars that has proven successful for the higher-price range is continuity of styling cues.  In olden times, Packard was a prime example of this.  For brands still in existence, examples of continuity include Porsche, Rolls-Royce, and Cadillac (the egg crate grille has been continuously used since 1941).  So why not Buick?

Some of Buick's publicity images of the Avenir are presented below for your inspection.


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