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Back in 2007 Buick showed the stunning Riviera Concept and now it appears just such a vehicle isn’t as far fetched an idea as might previously have been though. In an interview with Automotive News, Buick and Chevy design director John Cafaro said that his role at Buick involved, “being a zealot for getting Buick more youthful, more spirited and probing ideas for coupes, more expressive vehicles.”
Again, back in 2007, the Riviera sounded nice (and looked spectacular) but Buick wasn’t really an innovator. Quite the opposite really. But with the launch of the LaCrosse and now the return of the Regal, we’re starting to see more interesting things from the conservative brand. Heck, it would appear as though the high-output Regal Show car will actually see production as the Regal GS. And the Regal isn’t the extend on Buick’s down-sizing either with a new smaller in the works, while a smaller Enclave model is also being talked about.
Cafaro didn’t say much more on the matter, so we’ll just have to keep hoping that the Riviera can be more than just a concept – perhaps even featuring the Regal GS’s 255-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder with AWD.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]
Buick shows us its business
It’s a well-known fact that the Buick is a dominant force (and growing) in the Chinese marketplace, so it’s no surprise that the traditionally traditional brand used the Shanghai Auto Show to debut an important new concept. The real surprise is that this crossover is anything but traditional.
The Buick Business MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) Concept was developed in China by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is a joint project between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).
The Business incorporates much of Buick’s new design philosophy, taking much of what we first saw in the Riviera concept car and using it in a boxy crossover vehicle.
GM hasn’t confirmed the underpinnings of the Business MPV Concept but it’s likely the architecture is the same that forms the basis of the Chevrolet Orlando concept, which first debuted at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, was confirmed for production at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and has since been delayed.
Outside, the Business MPV Concept sits on 20-inch wheels, LED lights and features plenty of glass. Inside, the cockpit is elegant and sophisticated. One unique feature are the second row chairs that can swivel 225 degrees.
Another surprise lies under the hood of the crossover, as the Business is powered by GM’s next-generation hybrid system, with lithium-ion batteries that allow these new hybrids to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the previous hybrid systems. Such fuel-savings are also helped by several other innovative features in the new hybrid system, including regenerative braking and a start/stop system which shuts off the gasoline engine at idle.
“Developing and launching the Business Concept Vehicle in China underscores the diversity, strength and depth of GM’s global design network,” said Ed Welburn, VP of Global Design a General Motors. “It also reflects PATAC’s growing role within the GM design family and China’s significance as the world’s largest Buick market.”
GALLERY: Buick Business MPV Concept
Official release after the jump: