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Buick Demonstrates More Than a Pulse with Gorgeous Avista Concept

Buick Demonstrates More Than a Pulse with Gorgeous Avista Concept

By Christian Wardlaw, January 11, 2016

Depending on your age, remembrance of the Buick Riviera inspires a wistful sigh reminiscing about the beautiful 1963 or daring 1971 models, or an urge to regurgitate following recollection of the downsized 1986 and bloated 1994 variants. Wisely, given the range of potential reactions to the Riviera nameplate, Buick keeps it shelved, instead calling its gorgeous new 2+2 coupe concept the Avista.

Debuting in conjunction with the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the Buick Avista Concept is the most exciting vehicle to wear the brand’s tri-shield badge in a very long time. In describing the Avista’s delicious styling, Buick uses words like “flowing” and phrases such as “elegant simplicity.” I’ll throw “stunning” into the mix, even though something about the 2+2, pillarless coupe’s rear end reminds me, ever so slightly, of the old Chrysler Crossfire.

“It was designed to capture the spirit of the perfect drive,” Bryan Nesbitt, executive director of Global Buick Design, said about the Avista Concept. Apparently, the perfect drive includes speed, because the Avista has a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine making 400 horsepower. Naturally, it includes automatic engine start/stop and cylinder-deactivation technology to improve fuel economy. Unnaturally (for a modern Buick), the rear wheels receive the power, courtesy of an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Built on a platform that shares a wheelbase with the new Chevrolet Camaro, the Buick Avista Concept sits on polished 20-in. aluminum wheels and rides on a Magnetic Ride Control suspension. Front and rear wing-shaped lighting with “soft curtain” elements add distinction to the design, and the sheetmetal is coated in Dark Sapphire Jewel paint. Fender ports are an evolution of current Buick styling elements, and they, combined with the coupe’s tapered waist, pinched rear side windows, and swollen haunches, give this Buick a distinct whiff of Aston Martin.

Inside, Buick continues the theme of flowing, elegant simplicity. Rendered in Superior Blue and Mist Gray, the 2-tone interior boasts 3D-printed door and seat elements, exposed carbon fiber and aluminum trim, soft leather, and a futuristic take on Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment technology with a widescreen display. Next-generation QuietTuning with advanced noise-cancellation technology ensures that the drive is a sublime one, and the climate system includes ionic air purification and aromatherapy functions.

Occupants enjoy thin-frame front seats beneath a glass roof. The center console flows down out of the dashboard, equipped with a panel of touch-sensing controls, an electronic shift mechanism, and storage areas. The console sweeps between the front seats and through the back of the cabin, dividing the intimate rear seats.

Will Buick build the Avista? Seemingly, it could, given the preponderance of production-grade componentry. Should Buick build the Avista? Absolutely.

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