2003 Buick Centieme Concept
The Buick Centieme concept is a three-row, seven-passenger, full-size crossover unveiled by General Motors’ Buick brand for the North America market at the 2003 North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show. The Buick Enclave concept shown at the 2006 NAIAS was based on the Centieme. The Buick Centieme concept’s debut coincided with Buick’s 100th anniversary, with “centième” being French for hundredth.
Establishing a Premium Brand
The Buick Centieme concept was built by the famed Italian design house Bertone as a vision of the marque’s future as a premium brand. As a precursor to the Enclave concept, it also represented a potential replacement for aging models in the brand’s lineup, namely the Buick Rendezvous minivan-based midsize crossover, the Buick Rainier body-on-frame midsize SUV, and Buick Terraza minivan. The Centieme is similar in size and shape to the Rendezvous, but lower, wider, and longer.
The exterior design of the Buick Enclave concept features a somewhat upright stance that looks long thanks to the DLO (daylight opening) that sweeps up and becomes smaller toward the back. The body boasts short front and rear overhangs.
The front fascia showcases a small but classic round Buick waterfall grille along with the Tri-Shield logo prominently featured on the grille and tailgate. It was a precursor to the large unibody SUVs that GM prepared to introduce.
Lighting elements include headlight housings separated from either side of the chrome grille, featuring projector beam headlamps and high-beam headlamps that are all underlined by turn signals and a thin chrome line at the edge of the bumper. In the lower bumper there are housings for fog lights, separated by an open grille that is divided by a thin chrome line.
The side features broad but smooth shoulders over the fenders, both fore and aft. A soft line starts at the top of the headlight and continues as part of the front fender and over the back fender all the way through the side of the nondescript taillight, which is split at the small tailgate. A thin chrome accents a protector across both doors and a thin chrome line at the edge the rear bumper compliments the one on the front bumper. Dual, chrome-tipped exhaust tips are placed flush into the bumper and separated by a thin chrome line like the fog lights up front.
Seven-spoke, 22-inch chrome aluminum rims anchor the four corners, and a thin chrome line trims the DLO. Chrome flush door handles grace the sides and chrome rails top off the roof.
The body is painted in a canyon mist metallic blue-red exterior tri-coat textured by metallic flakes.
The Buick Enclave concept layout is a three-row design accommodating up to six passengers, all seated on very high-bolstered captain’s chairs wrapped in light-colored leather matching the bottom of the dash.
The interior provides a retro vibe of big classic luxury cars from a bygone era. It features a simple, rose-colored, metallic patterned dash with a three-gauge cluster accented by aluminum and surrounded by olive ash wood trim that is all encased in padded, stitched leather. A round clock matches the gauges and sits in the middle of an expanse to the right of the instrument cluster, with ambient lighting throughout.
Stitched leather drapes over the center and bottom spoke of the olive ash wood steering wheel while stitched leather wraps the inside top and drapes over the two side spokes. The spokes are a flat rose-colored metal. The steering wheel also features buttons to control the radio and CD player, which are hidden within the dash.
The accelerator, brake, and dead pedal are all wrapped in metal with slim diamond-shaped cutouts.
The Buick Enclave concept’s cockpit was driven by elegant minimalism rather than technological embellishments, simply featuring gauges for the driver, a clock, and three HVAC buttons in the center of the dash. Even the radio and CD player are hidden from view.
The suspension features GM’s Versatrak all-wheel-drive, advanced traction control system.
The Buick Enclave concept was powered by an experimental twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6 gasoline engine producing 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, mated to a Hydra-Matic 4T65-E four-speed transmission.
The concept’s debut coincided with Buick’s 100th anniversary, with “centième” being French for hundredth.
The Buick Enclave concept was unveiled by Buick for the North America market at the 2003 North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show. The Buick Enclave concept shown at the 2006 NAIAS was based on the Centieme.