Buick Enspire Concept: The Shape of Things to Come?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
buick enspire concept the shape of things to come

Ready to get enspired[sic]?

Buick’s latest concept vehicle, appearing at this week’s Beijing Motor Show, carries on the time-honored tradition of saddling vaporware with awful names, but the vehicle itself is worthy of further consideration. Decked out in a Chinese consumer-friendly red paint job, the coupe-like four-door SUV might not be all that conceptual.

Yes, you’re right, this exact vehicle will not make it to production, nor does General Motors claim it will, but a model not too dissimilar to it could. Just not yet.

The all-electric Enspire and its just-barely-floating roof packs a 410 kW eMotion power source, GM says, allowing for 0-60 sprints of just 4 seconds duration. In normal terms, that’s roughly 550 horsepower, presumably allocated to both axles. Driving range totals 370 miles.

Can the Enspire actually perform this feat? We’d gladly accept visual proof. Regardless, it’s a concept, so there’s really no need to know. GM refers to the Enspire as “an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility,” and, as far as electric crossovers go, it’s certainly not the most ungainly looking one we’ve seen.

The wide stance/lowered roofline/raised body look is something we’d best get used to, as sporty, crossover-style vehicles seem to be what our collective future holds. Sport, luxury, utility, and green sensibilities combine in these vehicles, covering many bases for an automaker.

Inside the Enspire, gauges and other indicators have been packed into an OLED display screen, while the driver peers through a windshield with the largest head-up display we’ve ever seen.

While there’s no mention of the Enspire concept morphing into a production vehicle, the styling cues and proportions could easily find their way into the future Buick lineup. There’s four GM electric vehicles planned by 2020, and a dedicated EV architecture appears in 2021. The new platform is expected to spawn 11 electric vehicles; some of them will undoubtedly carry the Buick badge.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • OzCop OzCop on Apr 26, 2018

    Why is it these manufacturers who used to have unique designs all appear to be copying Toyota's grill treatment? Ugly as sin in my opinion...

  • Robbie Robbie on Apr 27, 2018

    Grandpa and grandma will look so cool in this...

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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