For the latter part of this decade, Buicks were Opels and Opels were Buicks. Yet, in 2017, General Motors completed the sale of Opel and its sister brand, Vauxhall, to French automaker PSA Group. (See: Regal, Cascada, Verano, Encore.)
Free from its European constraints, Buick is ready to start fresh. Car Design News reported last month on Buick's decision to give the brand a shot in the arm, which reportedly started with a project called the "Orange Car." During a tour of the GM Technical Center's design department, Buick's Executive Design Director Helen Emsley led a tour and presentation of what the brand's been up to for the past few years. Recall, Buick has produced a couple of home-run concept cars in the past that include the Avenir sedan and Avista coupe.
2019 Buick Regal Avenir
That has led to the Orange Car, which the website described as a design that turns current Buick styling upside down. Without finer details, all we know is the car features a radical new look with some familiar Buick elements from its recent past, and its long-term history. Emsley said a GMC designer who switched to Buick's department sketched the Orange Car and she gave him the green light to build it. Today, it's a full-size clay model inside the studio.
However, the car hasn't been given a pass for production yet. It's not clear if we'll ever see the Orange Car—or if the design language will even remain the same. Designers continue to work and hone the overall styling, which Buick said could morph from the inspiration car today.
Buick Avista Concept
During the tour, the website did see a vehicle that was approved for production. Reportedly, it's a four-door crossover with a coupe-like roofline that houses numerous elements from the Orange Car. Buick said the production-bound crossover is not a replacement for any of its vehicles, but instead, a new addition to its portfolio. The only future look at a new Buick crossover we've received in recent years was the Enspire concept, which bowed in China last year. GM has also moved to trademark the name, which leads us to guess this may be the car shown in the studio.
We'll need to wait to see what Buick designers have in store for the brand, but if we could make one request: we need to see the Orange Car.