Buick has just revealed a bold two-door design study called the Wildcat, an all-electric concept that doesn’t preview a future model. What it does is give us a glimpse at the future Buick design language as the manufacturer gears up to become a self-confessed maker of premium SUVs... at least in the US.
That’s why the fact that accompanying that announcement it showed a low-slung sports car concept is somewhat confusing. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, like many other automakers, it has taken up a bit of a double identity ever since it became a very popular brand in China, where it has a very different lineup of models to what it sells in the US.
While in the US Buick now has a range of six models exclusively comprised of crossovers and SUVs, in China, it sells twice as many vehicles and it still has sedans and hatchbacks on sale. And it may be that the Wildcat EV concept is designed more to draw in Chinese buyers, not Americans.
The concept itself has plenty of visual draw, with its very unique side profile that reveals it is indeed a 2+2, so a two-door vehicle designed to carry up to four people. In the front, the light clusters seem to jut out of the fenders, wrapping around the front of the hood, giving the vehicle an especially menacing face.
Gallery: Buick Wildcat EV Concept
It also seems to have a faux grille too, which we presume will be a feature on future Buick Electra models, as will this style of headlights. The rear end is equally interesting, giving off Volvo C30 vibes with its light clusters rising up the C-pillars and ending sharply at the top of the rear glass.
Buick already sells an EV in China, the Velite 7 (known locally as the Weilan 7), which is basically a rebadged and lightly restyled Chevrolet Bolt EUV with Buick design cues and a slightly fancier interior. In the US, the company will launch its first EV in 2024, an Ultium-based model which it teased earlier this year and will show sometime this summer, the first to bear an Electra badge.
The plan is to have an entire range of models called Electra followed by an alphanumeric designation and while Avenir will not be a standalone model, the concept will be kept, most likely as a special top-of-the-line trim with all the bells, whistles and unique touches.