General

GM’s new concept car to revolutionize the EV brand

GM's new concept car to revolutionize the EV brand

Buick Wildcat Concept

Buick

DETROIT — General Motors on Wednesday unveiled the Buick Wildcat, a new concept car designed to signal a revolutionary change for the brand as it aims to offer only electric vehicles in North America by the end of this decade.

The car reflects the future design and technological directions of the 119-year-old brand, including a significantly redesigned logo for the first time in more than 30 years.

Buick marketing manager Rob Peterson said elements of the Wildcat will be incorporated into Buick vehicles starting next year – both traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and EVs.

“It’s a very, very important concept for the Buick brand because it takes us in a new direction,” he told CNBC in an interview.

Buick Wildcat Concept

Buick

A new gasoline-powered SUV with the new features and logo will be unveiled for the US market this fall, Peterson said. It is expected to go on sale next year.

While Buick is GM’s smallest car range in the US, the brand is extremely important to the automaker in China, where it has been a prominent luxury player for decades.

GM has said it plans to offer only electric vehicles by 2035. The luxury brand Cadillac has also set itself the goal of being fully electric by 2030.

New electric car in 2024

Buick Wildcat Concept

Buick

Buick’s future EVs will be launched under the name Electra, a former vehicle name used by the brand until 1990. Buick used the Wildcat name for nearly 70 years, including other concept and production vehicles in the 1960s and 1970s.

The company is counting on the move to electric vehicles to shake off its stodgy image as a maker of vehicles for seniors and to attract new, younger buyers.

“The best way to change persona is through design language and messaging, and I think the refinement of this new design language will be one of the fastest ways to get more people to think about this,” Peterson said. “We will not miss this opportunity.”

Buick Wildcat Concept

Buick

Not only does the concept vehicle have a new logo and design, but it’s also a smaller, sleeker Buick than what’s currently on the market. The brand has been offering crossovers or SUVs exclusively since the 2021 model year.

Automakers routinely use concept vehicles to gauge customer interest or to show the future direction of a vehicle or brand. The vehicles are not intended to be sold to consumers.

Peterson said Buick will continue to focus on producing new SUVs, although he hasn’t completely rejected the idea of ​​launching a car for the brand at some point.

Buick chose to release a concept car rather than an SUV to help with the dynamic look and proportions, said Therese Pinazzo, Buick exterior and interior design manager.

“It’s all about sculptural beauty. This is the new face of Buick, and it just gives us a perfect canvas,” she said. “This will ultimately become a philosophical and visual expression for where the brand is going in the future.”

‘Fresh aesthetic’

The exterior of the vehicle is much more aggressive than the brand’s current models, featuring a large, low grille with horizontal lines and new signature “winged” lights at the front and rear. The roof of the vehicle around the doors also slopes up to make it easier to get in and out.

Inside the four-seater is a floating center console that extends from the front of the vehicle to the rear seat.

It features white seats with red seat belts surrounded by a “legato” green interior. The control panel is a 30.4-inch LCD screen and a steering wheel that is semi-bright.

Buick Wildcat Concept

Buick

Buick’s new logo shows the brand’s three shields, which date back to the 1950s, but in a more modern and cleaner way. The main logos on the concept vehicle feature illuminated “winged” hockey sticks, while the wheels have the background of the sticks filled in with Buick’s signature red, white and blue colors.

“A new logo symbolizing our new direction, the adoption of Electra as a naming series and a fresh aesthetic for our lineup all serve as cornerstones for this significant transformation,” Duncan Aldred, global head of Buick, said in a statement.

Buick’s new logo on the Wildcat concept car.

Buick