Buick Velite concept, 2016 Guangzhou auto showEnlarge Photo
The dust is just starting to settle after two raucous days of new car reveals at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show. However, things are just kicking into high gear over at the 2016 Guangzhou auto show which opened its doors Friday.
One of the stars is the new Buick Velite concept, an aerodynamically-optimized plug-in hybrid hatch that’s not unlike the Toyota Prius or Hyundai Ioniq. Buick would prefer if you thought of the Velite as a crossover, though.
Velite will be a familiar name to Buick fans. It was last used on a convertible concept Buick rolled out at the 2004 New York auto show, and in September rumors surfaced that Buick is planning to launch a version of the Chevrolet Volt in China wearing the Velite name. That could still happen but for now the Velite is strictly a concept.
The concept is related to the Chevrolet Volt but features a distinct design influenced by flowing water. This can be seen in the flowing lines and rippling, sculpted curves that Buick says reflects a new design language for the brand. The new take on Buick’s waterfall grille and the matrix LED headlights are also said to be indicative of the brand’s future designs.
Teaser for Buick Velite concept debuting at 2016 Guangzhou auto showEnlarge Photo
Technical details haven’t been released but Buick says the Velite features a high-performance plug-in hybrid powertrain, multiple connectivity options including cloud-based networks, and next-generation electronic driving aids including a self-driving system for low-speed situations.
The Velite’s arrival in Guangzhou helps mark the launch of the Buick Blue campaign. This campaign will see Buick launch several electrified vehicles in China, where the brand sells roughly four cars for every car sold in the United States. Buick in April unveiled the LaCrosse Hybrid for the Chinese market. Buick says it will follow this up with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and extended-range electric vehicles. Hopefully we’ll see some of them here.
Buick also used the Guangzhou auto show to introduce the first of its more upmarket Avenir models, the GL8 Avenir minivan.
For more from the show, head to our dedicated hub.