Unveiled today, Buick‘s new Wildcat EV concept is a self-assured, low-mounted 2+2 coupé, suffused with depth and details that demarcate a new, refreshing era for the carmaker. While the car is sadly unlikely to make it to production, the concept—which we had an exclusive look at—foretells the design direction of their upcoming vehicles, starting as early as this year as they migrate to an all-electric brand by 2030. The Wildcat—with its simple and elevated interior, wide stance and new logo—signals not only an emphasis on electrification but also a return to the brand’s unique perspective on luxury that now extends the automaker’s design language beyond American borders.
Almost immediately, the concept imparts a striking impression thanks to its long proportions and low, ultra-wide stance. Its sleek look is further accentuated by fewer lines, sophisticated creases and a clean roofline highlighting and enhancing the car’s athletic aesthetic. There are 18-spoke turbine wheels providing a sculptural statement and grounding the car. A wraparound windshield draws the eye toward the body’s sloping silhouette, elongating the car and imbuing the vehicle with grace.
The concept’s sleek appearance demonstrates how stance and proportion are important aspects going forward for Buick, says Therese Pinazzo, the design manager of the interior and exterior of the Wildcat concept, who walked us around the car and spoke with us about its intentions. “What we’ve tried to do is create beautiful, large, clean forms,” she tells us. “In terms of surface development, we’ve looked at ultra-clean forms that start to intersect with each other.” As a result, the car feels poised, as if moving or ready to move at any moment—an effect that culminates in the concept’s nose. “There are some characteristics that you’ll be seeing in all of the Buicks coming forward, and the first one is this nose,” Pinazzo continues. “We’ve got this nose that’s forward leaning. So when you look at its sideview, it’s sort of rushing forward.”
On the nose is Buick’s new badge, a technical tri-shield which draws inspiration from the 000 concept for its three elements. Coupled with the newly made logo, the redesigned Buick emblems symbolize the new direction the automaker is taking with its evolution.
While the surfaces, roofline and curvature of the car are clean and minimal, the wheels provide contrast. “It’s all about the spirit of optimism. We looked at Buicks throughout our history and felt like there was one thing that really tied them together: this optimistic view of where the brand is going and where the world is going,” explains Pinazzo. “The wheel, for us, is like this. It’s actually an 18-spoke wheel, which is very beautiful and technical, but it has this feel of a turbine engine.”
Despite the technical elements, the car is alluring in part because of the its unique semi-swing doors which comprise an upper and a more traditional door, providing an extended opening to enable easier and effortless egress and ingress.
Inside, the vehicle’s open, inviting atmosphere is delivered by its contrasting yet balanced hues, cockpit-style seats and floating elements. Legato Green, finished with aluminum trim, flows throughout the cabin, juxtaposed with pops of color like the orange seatbelts. It’s a minimal interior but one that’s executed effectively to create a gently luxurious ambiance—in some ways its a statement that more tech can exist simply and cleanly.
Also gentle is the interior’s lighting, which further cultivates the Wildcat’s sleek spirit. As Pinazzo explains, “Some of the lighting elements are subtle surprises: the sconce lighting that’s coming up through the switches and below and in the console. I love how they reflect off of that center spine. So you’ve got that secondary texture there to add to the depth of everything.” Even more unexpected lights—like those in the doors, and above and below the armrests—build upon the concept’s small yet effective touches.
The Wildcat features a slew of innovative integrations, but it’s not bogged down or overpowered by technology that detracts from it. Instead, the concept’s features excel behind the scenes, as the car is designed to detect the biometric state of its occupants. “There are biometrics that are embedded into the seats and into the steering wheel. It will be able to read how the person is feeling and suggest certain modes. It can suggest that the seat go into a massage, that a certain aroma is given off in the vehicle, a certain temperature, the ventilation may may come up to accommodate—things like that are really important and that’s all a part of our consideration going into the future,” says Pinazzo.
From its confident, striking exterior to its inviting interior, the Wildcat sees Buick regaining a bold personality going forward. These features hint at an exciting evolution for Buick, as the automaker extends its design language more globally. Buick is delivering a return to simple, subdued luxury, which the Wildcat EV concept presents with elegance.
Images courtesy of Buick