Buick has taken a giant step toward luring younger buyers to its brand with the unveiling of the Avista turbocharged 2+2 coupe. Buick said the concept is powered by a V6 cranking out 400 horsepower with rear wheel drive. The engine is backed by an eight-speed automatic and there is Magnetic Ride Control.
“It is a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick sales. The Avista was unveiled at a separate event staged outside Cobo Hall in Detroit where the big show begins early Monday morning with the naming of the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the year.
The Avista concept rides on a 110.7 in wheelbase, virtually the same as the Camaro and 21 inch wheels.
Inside there is everything from 3D-printed door and seat trim to a future version of Buick’s IntelliLink, with touchscreen controls on a widescreen instrument panel display. The center console also incorporates touchscreen controls and extends to the rear seating area. There are exposed carbon fiber and aluminum accents throughout.
Occupants would be treated to advanced noise cancellation technology, ionic air purifiers, and aromatherapy.
GM CEO Mary Barra told the Detroit News she would like to see Avista go into production, but for now it remains a concept. As such it may point to future Buick designs.
As expected, Buick also introduced to these shores the made-in-China Envision compact crossover. It will go on sale in the second quarter.
Up front will be a 2.0-liter turbo engine with 252 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque, start/stop technology, and a six speed automatic. The turbo is offered exclusively with All-Wheel-Drive.
Standard equipment will include heated front and rear seats that are eight way power adjustable, with four way adjustable lumbar. The steering wheel is also heated.
A three zone climate control system with rear seat controls will also be standard equipment and a Bose sound system will be included. The power liftgate features hands-free operation.
Also on board will be Intellilink, the contact point for much of the vehicle’s technology and connectivity. It is said to provide intuitive operation of basic functions and is capable of linking up Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, as well as SD cars and MP3 players. Four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and a 120-volt outlet are included.
Volkswagen also did not wait for the show to open to show off one mean looking vehicle – the Tiguan GTE Active Concept.
It features a plug-in hybrid system with a 148 horsepower gas engine and two electric motors. VW claims it can travel up to 20 miles in zero emissions electric mode. The total driving range is said to be a kidney challenging 580 miles.
The gas engine produces 148 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque mated to the two electric motors. One produces 54 horsepower to the front wheels and the other 114 to the rear wheels. A six speed automatic is the tranny of choice.
“The GTE Active Concept reflects the great technical versatility of the new SUV which will arrive in the U.S. market next year,” VW said referring to the second-generation Tiguan.
Depending on the driving mode, the Tiguan can be driven by the front, rear, or by all four wheels. As a default, the crossover always starts off in zero emissions mode. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the rear electric motor powers the car by itself. As soon as the driving situation demands it, the front electric motor is engaged for that 20 miles all electric trip. If the battery isn’t sufficiently charged or more power is called for the engine is re-started.
A 9.2-inch touchscreen is featured indoors with gesture control and there is a head up display. The phone system can display a picture of the person you are talking to, for better or worse.
It will be interesting to see how much of this tech makes it to the U.S.
Do check in tomorrow morning for complete coverage of the Big Show.