Buick may only sell sedans and crossovers nowadays, but the GM-owned brand is no stranger to performance vehicles. A quick look into the history books brings amazing performance coupes such as the Riviera and the GSX into focus, while the GNX version of the second-gen Regal is nothing to sneeze at either. Someone at Buick must have taken a good look at these cars recently, because the company just came out of its shell with a 2+2 coupe at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

Dubbed Avista, Buick’s latest show car is the sleekest, most aggressive design since the Riviera concept we saw at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. But, unlike the Shanghai study, the Avista concept is less futuristic and sports an actual engine under its hood. I would even go as far as to say that this vehicle looks ready to go into production, but you shouldn’t get too excited about that as Buick has yet to say anything about the Avista’s future.

On the other hand, company vice president Duncan Aldred did say that "the Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick" and that it’s "a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance." This doesn’t say much about whether Buick is planning to build it, but the Avista is confirmation that the brand still knows how to build performance cars. Hopefully, it will be more than just a reminder of the past, but until we find out more about that, make sure you have a closer look at this concept in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Avista.

  • 2016 Buick Avista
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    400
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior
- image 661297
2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The Avista’s design is based on Buick’s latest styling language, which was previewed by the Avenir concept and debuted on a production car with the 2017 LaCrosse. The concept features the same prominent grille with the company’s new tri-shield and a pair of muscular rear fenders as seen on the Avenir. However, it features a plethora of unique features not seen on previous concepts and it’s arguably the most aggressive looking vehicle Buick has built in decades.

The engine grille is wider and flatter than usual, the headlamps are slim and edgy, while the bumper has vertical intakes toward the edges and a horizontal air dam just above the splitter-like element. The front fascia is flanked by beefy fenders with chrome vents and a sculpted hood that suggests there’s a lot horsepower and torque underneath.

The rear end is equally aggressive, with sharp taillights, a protruding trunk-lid spoiler, and massive exhaust pipes in the apron. Although clean, the rear fascia design exudes elegance and sportiness at the same time, a characteristic you don’t see on today’s production Buicks. The concept is even more impressive when seen from the sides thanks to its long doors, small quarter windows, massive rear haunches, and 20-inch wheels with split-spoke designs.

According to Buick, the 110.7-inch wheelbase and 63-inch tracks help with the sporty proportions and aggressive stance. By the way, the Avista’s wheelbase is identical to the Chevy Camaro’s. Just in case you were wondering what GM vehicle this concept is based on.

Interior

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Interior
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The Avista’s interior is definitely a lot more futuristic than its exterior. Defined by flowing, uninterrupted lines, most of the cockpit looks like something that could be put in production if Buick would want to launch a premium coupe. On the other hand, the massive touchscreen that stretches from the instrument panel all the way to the center stack and the additional touchscreen that replaces the center console won’t make it on a production car anytime soon. The design is really cool though, as it eliminates buttons from the dash and console, which goes well with the simple yet elegant lines of the cabin.

Buick does say that the touchscreens preview a "future vision" of its IntelliLink system, so there is hope to see such a feature in production cars by the end of the decade.

Other highlights include 3D-printed door and seat trim, Mist Gray leather, exposed carbon-fiber and aluminum accents, and the fading pattern on the seats, console and doors, which is inspired "by waves receding at a beach’s edge." Buick says the concept also features its next-generation QuietTuning and air-quality control systems, as well as advanced noise cancellation technology, ionic air purifiers, and aromatherapy. How fancy!

Overall, the Avista’s interior seems like a nice place to spend time in, and even though we won’t see it in showrooms in this form anytime soon, I bet some of these features will become available in production cars in a few years.

Drivetrain

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 661293

Motivation for the Avista concept comes from a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 that cranks out 400 horsepower. The "concept" powerplant features fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (GM talk for cylinder deactivation) and Stop-Start technology. The engine mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission and GM’s Magnetic Ride Control. The good news is that the power is routed to the rear wheels, but it’s a bit disappointing that Buick decided to go with an automatic gearbox. There’s no word on performance figures, but the Avista should be at least as quick as the V-6-powered Chevrolet Camaro.

Conclusion

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The Avista concept has to be one of the biggest surprises of this year’s Detroit Auto Show. It’s been nearly three years since Buick last showcased a coupe concept and the Avista is significantly closer to a production car compared to the Riviera study we saw in 2013. This could mean that Buick finally wants a two-door in its lineup, which would be more than welcome given that its last coupe was discontinued some 17 years ago. Also, the brand hasn’t offered a rear-wheel-drive vehicle since 2007. A new coupe would definitely help GM relaunch the Buick brand here in the U.S., while a RWD could also bring muscle car enthusiasts to the brand. The production car would look great with minor adjustments and I’m sure there would be a market for a rebodied, luxury Camaro. The fact that the concept is based on the same platform as the current Camaro and Cadillac ATS only makes it that much easier to develop as a production model. Buick, the ball is in your court!

  • Leave it
    • * Just a concept for now
    • * Might not make it to production
    • * The rear end needs better styling

Press Release

Ahead of its public debut at the North American International Auto Show, Buick today revealed the Avista concept – a 2+2 coupe that pushes the brand’s contemporary design ethos and rekindles its historic performance roots.

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior
- image 661291

A sleek, sweeping proportion is the foundation for this vision of a contemporary grand tourer, with a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 driving the rear wheels and a driver-focused cockpit offering a comfortable, connected center of control.

“The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “It is a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance.”

The Avista’s uninterrupted body lines stretch front to rear, suggesting motion – resembling Buick’s design language introduced on the Avenir concept and carried into production on the 2017 LaCrosse. The absence of conventional B-pillars between the doors and rear side windows enhances the flowing profile.

“There is elegant simplicity in the Avista’s surfaces, which speak to the purity of the car’s performance, and a timeless beauty that’s a hallmark of Buick design,” said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director Global Buick Design. “It was designed to capture the spirit of the perfect drive.”

Marking the front and rear, Buick evolves its signature wing-shaped lighting with “soft curtain” elements that create illuminated “halos” around lamps’ edges, suggesting a three-dimensional shape and sculpture. Their design forecasts the evolution of Buick’s production lighting features, while the Avista’s grille features the brand’s new winged tri-shield insignia set against a three-dimensional mesh background.

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Interior
- image 661292

Additional exterior features include:

A 110.7-inch (2,811 mm) wheelbase and 63-inch (1,601 mm) front/62.9-inch (1,598 mm) rear tracks for sporty proportions and an aggressive stance
Twenty-inch aluminum wheels with color-toned accents match the car’s Dark Sapphire Jewel exterior
Front fender vents with chrome accents evolve Buick’s signature fender ports.

Performance-oriented, modern cockpit
Like the exterior, the Avista’s 2+2 interior is defined by flowing, uninterrupted lines conveying elegance through simplicity – with intense technical and surfaces details, in everything from 3D-printed door and seat trim to a future vision 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. Open side storage compartments built into the front of the console are enabled by the new Electronic Precision Shift, similar to the 2017 LaCrosse.

2016 Buick Avista High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 661293

A Superior Blue foundation color echoes the exterior and is complemented with Mist Gray leather seating inserts, console trim and door trim. Exposed carbon fiber and aluminum accents throughout reinforce the precision of the performance-oriented driving experience. The fading pattern on the seats, console and doors were inspired by waves receding at a beach’s edge.

“Waves, whether from the sea or in the sand, are all about motion and flow,” said Nesbitt. “That’s exactly what this concept is all about – flowing design and the purity of the driving experience.”

Buick designers enhanced the passengers’ sensory experiences with next-generation QuietTuning and air-quality control, including advanced noise cancellation technology, ionic air purifiers and aromatherapy.

The Avista also advances Buick’s legacy of turbocharged performance, which carries forward in the 2016 Regal GS and other models. Similar to the 2017 LaCrosse, the concept twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-6 features fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology to complement its power with efficiency. The engine is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and Magnetic Ride Control delivers more precise body motion control.

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