Trucks and high-performance cars definitely made their presence felt at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, but when all is said and done, it could be the Buick Avenir Concept vehicle that turns out to be one of the most important introductions in Detroit. Avenir is French for "future" or "coming soon," and we can only hope that this new concept vehicle hints at a new flagship sedan for Buick. Buick has definitely turned its lineup around starting around 2010 and 2011, but the addition of a stunning, all-wheel-drive flagship like the Avenir Concept would punctuate this brand’s renaissance.

In recent years, rumors have swirled regarding a Buick attempting a four-door coupe in a similar vein as the Porsche Panamera, and while that sounded like an impossible feat for an automaker like Buick, the Avenir Concept is definitely a home run. Unlike most concept vehicles, there is an impressive amount of realism in every aspect of the Avenir. It isn’t powered by a mythical 600-horsepower, plug-in hybrid powertrain, the styling isn’t too extreme that we couldn’t imagine it out on the road and even the interior — while obviously conceptual — still has the feeling of a production car.

More importantly, Buick’s global momentum has progressed enough that we could really see the brand green-lighting a halo vehicle such as the Avenir. With a lineup filled with front-drive sedans and crossovers, the timing is perfect for Buick to become a true player in the luxury segment with a flagship based on this concept.

“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense. It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind.”

Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Buick Avenir Concept.

  • 2015 Buick Avenir Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    50000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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As expected from a concept car, every inch of the 2015 Buick Avenir Concept is beautifully sculpted. From its long hood to its truncated rear end, the concept is amazing from all angles. Despite the progressive styling, though, most of the cues found on the 2015 Buick Avenir Concept are essentially just improved upon from current or past Buick design language. This includes the LED-trimmed headlights (from most current models) and the pronounced wheel arches (found on the LaCrosse) to the modern versions of the classic Buick portholes and even the boat-tail rear end styling. Speaking of classic cues, it would also appear that Buick is considering going back to its red, silver and blue trishield logo rather than the current all-black logo.

Looking at the limited spec sheet, we’re instantly reminded of another stunning concept car from GM, the 2013 Cadillac Elmiraj. Both the Cadillac and Buick concepts are the same 76 inches wide, and the Elmiraj is just a half inch longer than the Avenir. As such, we could see both cars sharing the same platform, and with the Elmiraj-inspired Cadillac flagship coming out, it makes an even better case for this Buick.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 204.5 inches (5,195 MM)
Width 76 inches (1,931 MM)

Interior

2015 Buick Avenir Concept Interior
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2015 Buick Avenir Concept Interior
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2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Interior
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The most outlandish part of the Avenir’s design is its interior, but even then, it seems very doable for a production vehicle. With the exception of the four-passenger seating configuration and the floating door pulls, it looks like this design would transition from concept to reality rather easily. This includes the “next-generation” Buick IntelliLink infotainment system, which in this case features a 12-inch touch screen display, and like most recent GM products, the concept also gets the OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot. There are also massive rear-seat entertainment screens for occupants to enjoy in the rear seats, which like the Panamera is limited to being just a two seater.

Drivetrain

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More so than the exterior and interior styling of the 2015 Buick Avenir Concept, the sedan’s powertrain is very realistic. Under that long hood is a “next-generation,” direct-injected, V-6 engine that features stop/start technology and GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation system. There is no additional information about this engine, so your guess is as good as ours when it comes to power output. To be competitive, though, we’d have to imagine no fewer than 400 horsepower. This engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and power is sent to all four wheels through a twin-clutch, all-wheel-drive system.

Prices

2015 Buick Avenir Concept Exterior
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Blank check. That’s how much I’d give Buick to build the Avenir right now. If it does come to production, I could see Buick making a good run at the $60,000 price range. With Cadillac recently mentioning the possibility of a flagship sedan with a six-figure price tag, it looks like Buick is ready and waiting to fill any voids left by automakers.

Competition

Lexus GS

2014 Lexus GS 350 High Resolution Exterior
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The current Lexus GS has quickly become one of the premier examples of a luxury sport sedan. On the luxury end, the GS has an incredible interior design that includes an option for bamboo accents, and the big sedan offers plenty of space for passengers to stretch out and relax. On the road, the suspension tuning makes the GS feel more like a German sports sedan, and there’s an available all-wheel-drive option as well.

Priced at $47,700, the Lexus GS could still be in the competitive set for a Buick flagship, and Buick would definitely be doing itself a favor to benchmark the handling abilities of the GS350. In its base form, the GS comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 306 horsepower, but Lexus just introduced the all-new 2016 GS F with a high-revving 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood.

Kia K900

2015 - 2016 Kia K900 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 2015 K900 was introduced last year, and it was a huge step up for Kia last year in terms of both luxury and pricing. So far, initial sales show that people are willing to buy a high-quality car at a high price regardless of the badge on the grille. Prices for the 2015 Kia K900 start at $54,500 and go all the way up to $68,400.

In terms of the interior, the K900 offers a smorgasbord of luxury goodies to further woo buyers such as the digital instrument gauge cluster, rich, soft perforated leather, a wide center console in the rear seat with built-in controls and an available package with power-reclining rear seats. Luxury sedans also tend to focus on high-output engines, and the Kia K900 delivers with a 5.0-liter V-8 producing 420 horsepower.

Conclusion

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Following the GM bankruptcy, many questioned why the automaker chose to keep a lethargic Buick brand rather than the sportier Pontiac brand. The 2015 Buick Avenir Concept is the answer. If Buick could bring an Avenir-based, rear-drive flagship to market, it would be an exclamation point for Buick as a global luxury brand. Then again, the Avenir Concept — as most concepts are — could just be a design study to gauge interest in a future Buick model. Even if that is the case, Buick still has an exciting future ahead of it.

  • Leave it
    • * It’s not on sale today
    • * Unknown engine output
    • * Buick’s track record of not coming through on concept vehicles (specifically the 2007 and 2013 Riviera Concept and the 2004 Velite Concept)

Press Release

Buick introduced the Avenir concept today in advance of the North American International Auto Show – a flagship sedan exploring progressive design with new levels of passenger well-being and technology integration.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Avenir – French for future – is distinguished by its premium sports proportions and all-new interpretations of traditional Buick cues. It is the creation of a global team of Buick designers and sculptors who were inspired by historic Buick concepts, which pushed traditional boundaries, shaped future Buick models and influenced the entire auto industry.

“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go.”

The Avenir’s sculptural surfacing, expressive proportion and Buick’s signature sweep-spear bodyside visually cue an exceptional driving experience that awaits inside.

“The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind,” said Welburn. “Technology is seamlessly integrated and builds on the features that have become hallmarks for today’s production models – helping drive a new generation of customers to Buick.”

Additional vehicle highlights:

Personal seating for four
Full light-emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting
Twenty-one-inch wheels
Next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop/start technology
Nine-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
Driver-selectable suspension damping
Twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system
Next-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment with large, 12-inch-diagonal color touch screen
Driver-recognition features that automatically sync infotainment preferences
Ionic cabin air filtration
Mobile device wireless charging
OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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A new design direction with a nod to the past
A long hood, wheels-at-the-corners stance and a sloping, rear deck that pays homage to historical models, such as the Riviera, distinguish the Avenir’s proportion.

“Simply put, Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations. “The vehicle remains unmistakably Buick with a modern take on the traditional Buick cues such as the sweep spear and boattail. The result is a piece of artistry that is precise in its character, beautifully proportioned. It really takes your breath away.”

The most striking departure from contemporary Buick models is a new grille design that puts a new face on the brand. It features a large opening accented by a return to the three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements. The grille is flanked by bold headlamps featuring full LED lighting.

“The new grille is a modern interpretation of a design introduced on the landmark 1954 Wildcat II concept, which shattered expectations of what a Buick was supposed to be,” said Simcoe. “On the Avenir, it represents a break from convention and progressiveness in technology.”

Sculptural surfaces, taught lines, short overhangs and a broad-shouldered stance stretches 204.5 inches (5,195 mm) in length and 76 inches (1,931 mm) in width. Its reimagined sweep-spear element complements the long body lines and conveys a sense of motion, as does tapered rear-end styling.

Avenir’s sophisticated color palette, including a Crystalline exterior color and strained use of bright work accent the Avenir’s body lines and sets up the interior for a combination that takes Buick’s contemporary style to a higher level.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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“It’s a sculpted design with a lot of snap in the character lines – with a classic long, low proportion,” said Simcoe. “Its length enables exceptional spaciousness inside, but just as importantly, a presence that speaks to luxury and the importance of style. In short, it’s the befitting proportion for a Buick flagship.”

A soothing environment with unprecedented integration
The Avenir’s four-place interior rewards the senses, makes managing technologies easier and enhances the feelings of personal space and well-being.

“A flowing, sculptural quality in the interior forms, deco trim, premium leather and ambient lighting, create an environment that is inviting and comfortable,” said Liz Wetzel, Buick interior design director.

Interior surfaces - inspired by nature and sea waves receding on a beach - flow seamlessly through the cabin. It is a motif featured on the seats and carried through in other trim components – even the carpet. In fact, a patterned insert for the carpet carries the motif in silk and bamboo.

“There’s an almost-three-dimensional or bas-relief effect to the design motif that adds depth and heightens the sense of place,” said Wetzel. “Layered and floating elements such as the center console enhance the perception of lightness, efficiency and dynamism.”

A color palette of light and natural tones blended with oiled and buffed wood trim, and Galvano satin-chrome accents, enhance the Avenir’s ambience.

“They’re rich, premium materials and warm colors innovatively executed to enhance the soothing effect of the interior environment,” said Wetzel.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Functionality is manifested in the Avenir’s device-integration technologies, which are designed to lift the user’s mood and make the details associated with daily life a little easier. It starts the moment the vehicle is started, synchronizing information and devices within seconds. The Avenir instantly configures gauge cluster and infotainment screen displays based on prior customization while also recognizing the user’s music preferences, calendar schedule and recently visited locations from a cellphone’s GPS. It can even pick up a podcast the user was listening to at the moment it was interrupted.

Buick’s user experience designers are also pushing the Avenir’s technologies for home integration, which would allow accessing home security cameras or the capability of turning on outside lights and closing a garage door that was inadvertently left open.

“The Avenir’s integration features build on the technologies already available or coming soon in smartphones and streamline them in a system that makes accessing and interacting with them easier,” said Wetzel.

Personal connectivity extends to rear-seat passengers, where USB ports and video screens allow occupants to plug in to their favorite media and slip into complete relaxation, arriving at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept High Resolution Exterior
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“The use of color, material, form and amenities can affect a person’s mood and feeling,” said Wetzel. “The Avenir is a showcase of thoughtful and modern design with the capacity to anticipate and facilitate the personal needs of its occupants. It’s absolutely its own getaway destination.”

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