Passengers inside the vehicle will not be aware of it, but the all-new, 2021 Buick Envision crossover plays a neat animation every time the turn signal is switched on.
This is possible due to the inclusion of light-emitting diode (LED) technology in the vehicle’s tail lights. In olden times, manufacturers would fit one or more conventional bulbs, which shone when an electric current was passing through them and didn’t when it wasn’t. It would have been possible to create animations using this system, but it would have been difficult, and the results would not have looked great.
But with LED technology, things are very different. Animations are relatively straightforward to create, and several manufacturers use them. For example, the Ford Mustang has a sequential turn signal pattern. Over in Europe, Audi and Porsche were early adopters of the idea. Across the world, it is becoming increasingly common even in budget vehicles.
The animation used on the 2021 Buick Envision is very subtle. The vehicle’s tail lamps feature two horizontal outer rows, plus a single inner row on a separate cluster mounted on the liftgate. All of the LEDs illuminate at the same time when the signal sequence begins, and the outer ones turn off at the same time when it ends.
The inner LEDs have a different finishing pattern. The one nearest the center of the vehicle turns off first, followed by the one after that, then the next one, and so on. All of them are extinguished within a fraction of a second of the process starting, but there is a clear sense of movement in the direction that the Buick Envision is signaling to take.
It’s also worth noting that the hazard lights do not produce the same animation, but instead deliver a more traditional “on-off” lightning pattern.
The Envision was Buick‘s third best-selling vehicle in the United States in Q1 of 2021, at 10,476 units, but it was a very close second to the Buick Enclave (10,617 units). It is assembled at the Jinqiao plant in Shanghai, China, and rides on the GM E2 platform, which is also used for the Cadillac XT4, among other vehicles.
Sales Results - Q1 2021 - USA - Buick
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The only available engine is the turbocharged 2.0L I4 LSY gasoline motor, which produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The boosted four-pot is mated to GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive is standard, while all-wheel-drive is optional.