Buick Avenir concept surprises in Detroit, previews potential flagship

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Buick pulled the wraps off a new concept car dubbed the Avenir, a concept that suggests what a new flagship Buick could look like: a big all-wheel-drive sedan with American swagger. Simply put, in person, the Avenir is gorgeous.

The word Avenir is French for "future", and that's exactly what this concept points to according to Buick executives.

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The styling was influenced by past knockouts such at the Y-Job. Incorporating the Buick waterfall grille, sweep spear, and boat tail, the Avenir manages to take traditional Buick design cues and push them into the future. The concept also features Buick's tri-color badge, which begs the question of whether the brand has any intention of bringing it back into production.

Michael Simcoe, vice president of design at General Motors Company's [NYSE:GM] International Operations said, “Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way.” We couldn't agree more.

It's not just the exterior that is pleasant on the eyes. The interior is a mix of leather, buffed wood, and satin chrome accents. It's a four-seat layout that puts a clear emphasis on connected technology. Once started, the Avenir connects and syncs with the driver's connected devices, the gauge cluster and infotainment displays configure to prior customization. There's also Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system with a 12-inch color touch screen.

Buick has also extended the connectivity to the back of the Avenir for the rear passengers. There are two USB ports and video screens, which allow occupants to plug in their favorite media.

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The Avenir rides on the new large, rear-wheel-drive Omega platform. That will underpin the upcoming Cadillac CT6, and someday, the even larger Mercedes S-Class and competitor. Power comes from a next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with cylinder deactivation and start-stop technology. Power is sent to the all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system.

While Buick has stated no plans to put the Avenir concept into production, it does give us a good look at what a future Buick flagship could look like if one did get the green light.

Based on what we saw, we'd like to see Buick get a car like this in its lineup. After all, Buick getting some swagger back would never be a bad thing.

Be sure to check out all the news from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show at our dedicated hub.

 
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