Avenir Concept Leads to New Buick Design Fascia

2017 Buick LaCrosse

The Avenir concept will be reflected in the next generation LaCrosse grille.

Buick will soon sport a new face. And that front fascia will be based on none other than the Buick Avenir concept, a large rear-wheel drive vehicle that itself has not been officially promised.

On Tuesday, Buick disclosed and Automotive News reported that the next generation Buick LaCrosse — due out in the second half of next year for the 2017 model year — will inherit the Avenir’s design. Further, that look will be fan out across the entire Buick line by 2018, creating a unified visage that is at once cutting edge as it is upscale.

The Avenir’s fascia is not a huge departure from the current Buick waterfall grille. But it provides an emblematic look with spears jutting out on both sides of the upper portion of the brand’s trishield insignia. Modifications to the front lighting assembly would include more forceful, yet elegant LED daytime running lights. Notably, the overall countenance would offer a broader presentation.

Buick Avenir

The Buick Avenir concept.

Buick showcased the Avenir at the last round of North American auto shows. That model was shown near or alongside the 1954 Buick Wildcat II concept, the vehicle from which the Avenir’s designers took inspiration.

“The Avenir concept shattered expectations of what a Buick could be and the 2017 LaCrosse promises to do the same,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “Its expressive design represents a break from convention and highlights the progressiveness in all new Buick models.”

Buick plans to showcase the next generation LaCrosse at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November. The company says that the new flagship will ride on an all-new chassis, representing the latest rendition of the GM’s Epsilon platform. That platform also underpins the Buick Regal as well as the Chevrolet Malibu and the Opel Insignia; all three models are midsize sedans.

Buick LaCrosse

The current generation Buick LaCrosse.

New technologies will complement the updated interpretation. For starters, Buick has promised a five-link rear suspension, claiming that it will provide a “more responsive ride.” Additionally, Buick noted that the suspension is not offered on the Lexus ES. The ES and LaCrosse battle it out for the same customers.

Other changes will likely include an updated telematics system, new audio system choices, and additional safety features. The 2016 edition already has such state-of-the-art features as Apple CarPlay, available 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, and several collision-avoidance technologies.

Likely, front-wheel drive will remain standard; all-wheel drive will be available; and an eight-speed automatic transmission should debut. Engine choices will be announced at the auto show.

The next generation Buick LaCrosse will chase the Buick Cascada to the market, the latter a 2+2 convertible based on an Opel product with the same model name. The LaCrosse will itself be followed by the next generation Verano compact sedan and then an all-new Enclave crossover.

Buick Envision

The made-in-China Buick Envision.

Two additional products might also be added to Buick’s line up. In the short term, a smaller crossover SUV may slot between the diminutive Encore and the glamorous Enclave. That SUV is known as the Buick Envision, a model sold in China and one that GM would like to import to the US. However, GM must get past union objections — the new SUV might be a “go” once a new labor agreement has been enacted this fall.

The other product would be based on the Opel Adam, a sporty three-door minicar. The Adam’s advent, if it ever happens, would likely be a few model years out, and would most likely arrive only after Buick has revised the balance of its model line.

The upcoming changes to Buick should help keep this brand maintain its part of the 1-2 luxury punch its shares with Cadillac. GM has positioned Buick to go after the lower end of the luxury market, with Lincoln, Acura, Infiniti and select Lexus products in mind. Meanwhile, Cadillac is poised to battle it out with the German brands, including Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Together, the two brands account for more than 400,000 premium and luxury sales in the US each year, with room for further growth.

Photos copyright General Motors Company.

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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