Across the world, Buick has pulled the sheet off its all-new Riviera concept car, and from the looks of it, left conservative design by the wayside. The plug-in hybrid electric coupe also marks the fourth global concept vehicle jointly developed by Shanghai GM and its Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture.
Our first big clue that this new Buick concept would be named the Riviera was when we took notice last month that GM continued to pursue the “Riviera” trademark via the United States Patent Office.
Designers for the new Riviera took inspiration from the Chinese saying: “The greatest good is like water.” The vehicle’s sweeping design is meant to capture the elegance of a flowing river.
“Riviera is a design study of the future expression of Buick design with its elegant athletic shape, sculptural beauty, and precision execution,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “It is a great opportunity to share Buick’s future design language and technology strategy.”
Notice the wing-shaped LED lights up front — already seen on modern Buicks of today, such as the 2013 Enclave, and 2014 LaCrosse and Regal. The Riviera Concept also has a low drag coefficient thanks to its low stance, racked windshield, 14-degree fastback design and metallic fiber spoiler, which are complemented by active grille shutters and diffusers, and active pneumatic wheels.
The Riviera Concept also introduces something called BIP (Buick Intelligent Performance) technology. It features a dual-mode W-PHEV (wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) propulsion system featuring inductive charging abilities. One might think that feature isn’t feasible for production, but we would like to point out that General Motors has invested a great deal of money into inductive charging technology. When a cord is required, the charging port is integrated into Buick’s iconic porthole design.
The new Riviera is also equipped with intelligent four-wheel steering, magnetic ride control, and an air spring package adds comfort in extreme conditions.
But that’s not all, folks, as the Riviera also supports high-speed 4G LTE network use, while offering real-time traffic information, weather updates, and news and entertainment while communicating with other vehicles. The vehicle’s voice commands and controls along with touch and gesture recognition activate a range of vehicle systems and enable seamless interaction between driver and vehicle. Pretty cool.
The new Riviera also employs a forward-looking active safety system that collects traffic information through 10 high-resolution cameras (for image monitoring) and 18 micro high-precision sensors (for distance monitoring). The information is integrated and presented in a holographic image onto the windshield. Also cool, yet custodial.
The intelligent driver assist system takes active safety to the next level. The system features *breathes*: an eagle view record system, night view assist, side blind-zone alert system, lane departure warning system, full-speed range-adaptive cruise control system, lane change assist system, parking assist system, rear cross-traffic alert system, autopilot system and “transparent” A pillars.