Buick Velite Previews Future Family of Plug-in Hybrids

Michael Accardi
by Michael Accardi

Turns out everyone was wrong; the Buick Velite isn’t a Chevrolet Volt after all.

The Buick Velite concept isn’t actually Buick’s version of the Volt for Chinese consumption, but instead, a preview of alternative energy vehicles as part of the brand’s new Buick Blue initiative.

Its styling is a marked departure from Buick’s current design language. Whether or not you like it, the swoopy and sharp Velite concept is a forerunner of a new look to come for the entire Buick brand. Like everything else these days, the concept is a sporty, yet practical crossover which is obviously efficient, intelligent, and good for the environment.

Under the Velite’s skin lurks a high-performance, plug-in hybrid electric powertrain, along with GM’s new intelligent electric drive system, and a high-po lithium-ion battery. Buick says this technology will be used in its next PHEV model.

SEE ALSO: The Chevrolet Volt Might Become a Buick in China

Inside, the Velite’s cabin offers an integrated design and recycled materials. A panoramic sunroof and ambient lighting are yet more hints about Buick’s upcoming alt-energy vehicle. The cabin is also a connected hot-spot, offering cloud-based storage, services, and operation via app.

Safety features include adaptive cruise control, low-speed automatic driving, night vision, and a 360-degree intelligent traffic system which includes hazard warning, lane departure, and safety distance keep assist.

Following the Velite, Buick promises to develop and sell more vehicles with PHEV and all-electric powertrains. It’s unclear at this point how closely the Chinese and North American strategies will be linked.

A version of this story originally appeared on GM Inside News

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Michael Accardi
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