The Buick Electra concept vehicle made its global premiere this week in Shanghai. The all-electric crossover offers a sneak peek at Buick’s vision for a new intelligent electric future.
“Today, Buick’s innovative thinking and imagination of future intelligent mobility have reached the next level with the Electra,” said Sam Basile, executive vice president of SAIC-GM. “I am confident that the aesthetics and technology innovations reflected on the Electra will ultimately help reset consumers’ expectations, just as all previous Buick concepts have done.”
Adopting the new “potential energy” design language, the Electra emphasizes clean and bold styling with seamless integrated technology. It comes with a new-generation electric propulsion system and the advanced Ultium battery, along with a variety of connected and intelligent driving technologies, demonstrating Buick’s ongoing evolution toward the future of personal mobility.
“Building on Buick’s proven leadership in electrification, the Electra represents the brand’s ambition to bring together beautiful styling and intelligent connectivity in the new era of zero emissions,” said Molly Peck, executive director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM.
“The advanced Ultium battery unlocks the exciting new possibilities for what future EVs will look like. The Electra fully leverages state-of-the-art technology to set a new standard for future EV design and personal mobility.”
The Electra is the latest global concept vehicle developed by GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) automotive engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai, backed by GM’s global resources. It is named after an iconic Buick flagship model that originally represented one of the three shields in the brand’s logo.
Forward-looking design inspired by a space capsule
Combining the athletic look of a four-seat crossover with Gran Turismo aesthetics, the Electra previews Buick’s next-generation design language for electric vehicles.
Adopting a pure design philosophy, the Electra has clean and minimalist styling inspired by a space capsule. The evolving sculptural beauty is distinguished by a spacious glass interior pod situated in an aerodynamic wing-form bodyshell. The glass canopy extends from near the front of the hood to the rear.
The Electra’s innovative “potential energy” design language is characterized by sculptural surfaces in front, along the sides, and in its wheels and lamps. It reinforces the elegant overall shape while emphasizing the dynamic stance like an arrow being released. This “moving tension” is also reflected through its gradient light silver exterior tone in the front end that progressively transitions to dark silver in back.
The illuminated Buick badge integrates a flow-through design. Along with 23-inch wheels featuring an optimal design, it helps enhance aerodynamics while contributing to the Electra’s futuristic look.
Its “breathing” front and rear Matrix LED lamps feature parametrical mathematic lighting strings with a three-dimensional effect. They are complemented by a full LED-illuminated grille and rear screen nameplate to provide dramatic digital lighting interaction.
The Electra’s butterfly wing doors support facial recognition and provide a robust opening for convenient access. There is also a hidden floating skateboard integrated with the stoplight under the rear bumper to expand users’ personal mobility options.
Zero-gravity environment with seamless technology integration
The Electra’s four-seat interior takes full advantage of the all-new electric vehicle architecture developed by GM, with an optimized battery layout. Together with the lack of traditional A/B pillars, the result is a maximum extension of the cabin with a longer wheelbase, a more efficient package and a more spacious, open interior.
The Electra interior has a sculptural spaceship-like cradle, without a traditional instrument panel. The large curved display is a central feature. A retractable steering wheel and suspended seats, supported by an all-new light-weighted armature structure, creates a visual effect of zero gravity inside the cabin.
The Electra’s color palette, including copper gold trim surrounding the cabin and dark trim on the exterior frame, replicates the atmosphere of outer space. The interior seamlessly integrates technologies such as a concealed air-conditioning system, ambient lighting and an electronic rearview mirror. The Electra provides functionality and convenience with features available when the user needs them.
Intuitive and immersive user experience
The Electra offers an intuitive and immersive user experience that rewards all the senses. Buick’s next-generation eConnect connectivity system runs on the distinctively large retina display with industry-leading freeform curved screen technology, expanding the viewing area for the driver with an immersive visual experience.
The advanced eConnect system supports remote over-the-air (OTA) updates and enables a connected experience by providing on-demand driving information, advanced driver assistant system details and infotainment control. The introduction of a large augmented reality-enhanced head-up display with advanced live-view navigation adds to the Electra’s intuitive multi-screen interactive user interface.
The Electra is also equipped with the next generation of Buick’s intelligent AI Voice Assistant. Users can fully manage the vehicle’s functions with smooth and precise human-machine voice interaction, such as controlling the air-conditioning, accessing home devices and adjusting the driving mode.
Advanced electrification technology and smart mobility
Leveraging GM’s global EV expertise, the Electra is supported by its new-generation high-performance modular electric propulsion system. Utilizing the advanced Ultium battery, the Electra has a range of more than 660 kilometers on a single charge, making it ideal for daily commutes as well as family trips.
Thanks to the industry-leading wireless battery management system, the Ultium battery reduces wires within the battery by 90%. It also helps balance chemistry within the individual battery cell groups and conduct real-time battery pack checks to safeguard battery health.
The Electra’s Ultium drive unit has high-performance motors in both the front and the rear to ensure optimized power output. It has maximum power of 435 kW, enabling 0-100 kilometer per hour acceleration of just 4.3 seconds.
Additional vehicle highlights for future mobility include GM’s next-generation intelligent driving technology with door to-door smart mobility solutions, as well as V2X technologies, to offer a safe and intelligent ride with peace of mind.