CONCEPT CARS 2015: Avenir Is The Thoroughly Modern Buick

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In our current era when ‘globalization’ seems like a quaintly last-decade term, it makes perfect sense that the Avenir, this glorious beacon on Buick’s design horizon that debuted at the 2015 NAIAS, was created by Holden, GM’s Australian brand. Maybe this kind of global collaboration is what it will take to really get Buick right.

It’s awesome to see new life breathed into Buick. As my editor Craig mentioned, Buick has been in the doldrums in the US, with cheapness in the pre-GM bankruptcy and too close a Chevrolet kinship post-crisis. The Avenir has none of that feeling of inherent compromise, and maybe the lack of history with GM’s mid-level upscale brand is what helped the Aussie put such an expressive spin on ‘Murican luxury.

Of course Buick has been going gangbusters in China.  Nice that others have gained an appreciation for a storied brand that in its home country went stale like cold toast.


At the 2015 NAIAS EyesOnDesign Award, with judges of luminaries like Jack Telnack, Wayne Cherry and Ralph Gilles, the Avenir team won Best Concept…


…and Innovative Use of Colors, Graphics and Materials. The interior wipes away the so-very-shiny Buick interiors of today with boldness and subtlety.


Great mirroring of shapes for the driver.


The sweeping curves surrounding the center screen are neatly grounded by that small center control knob.


Buick’s designers note the open-pore wood that evokes today’s high-end furniture. We also like the fun patterned movement of the trim behind it.


This armrest would certainly need to be beefed up for production, but it’s an appealing first step.


Integrated seats-and-screens have a pod-like feel to them…


…and they match the rear buckets that are nestled into their coves. See those neat intersection patterns embossed in the upholstery?


They’re echoed in the head lights…


…as well as the tail lights.


The body started out like this…



…and ended up like this. Not too far off, but if you squint, you can see the progression it might take to be mainstreamed a bit more for a future production car. Note that there are no plans to build this particular car.

With both the initial drawing and realized concept, the proportions are luxurious, and a there’s a captivating mix of sharply defined swells and concavities.


Really nice details. You could lose yourself in an afternoon just taking this car in. When was the last time you said that about a Buick?


Tell us in the comments – what do YOU think of this made-in-Australia Buick idea car?