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Buick’s future comes in the shape of the Enspire

It’s a concept SUV the carmaker has unveiled in China

If you still think of Buick as boring, just check this out. PHOTO FROM BUICK

Whenever I hear the brand Buick, images of massive Park Avenue and LeSabre sedans driven by old people come to mind. It’s not something that yuppies and the young at heart would gravitate to. But in China, the brand has a totally different image. In an interview with CNN, Jean Liu-Barnocki, general director for Buick in China, says that the average Buick customer’s age in China is about 35. And General Motors is capitalizing on that young customer base by debuting the Enspire concept SUV.

The Enspire is an all-electric concept SUV created by Buick as a base for experimental design ideas and groundbreaking technologies for future mobility. Beneath the sleek, aerodynamic body is a “surround skyline” interior theme and theater-type seating that give off a bright and airy ambience. The armrests and the center console are trimmed with natural woodgrain and microfiber suede. High-tech toys include an OLED screen and a heads-up display with augmented-reality technology. Should the occupants need connection to the outside world, the Enspire is equipped with 5G high-speed Internet access.

We see a lot of Mazda lines and curves here and there. PHOTO FROM BUICK

And to match the very bold exterior design, Buick ensured that the Enspire would not be left in the dust. The eMotion powertrain generates 410kW (550hp), which enables the Enspire to sprint from zero to 100km/h in four seconds. Buick also understands that one of the biggest drawbacks of current electric cars is the charging time. To make that scorching performance a lot more accessible to the driver, the Ensure supports fast and wireless charging. Buick claims that the battery can be charged to 80% capacity within 40 minutes, similar to the charging time for most smartphones. And to address another drawback of electric vehicles which is range anxiety, Buick asserts that the Enspire can travel up to 595km on a single charge.

Driving the Enspire is almost like playing a video game. PHOTO FROM BUICK

The Enspire has been unveiled in a country where the Buick name is adored and aspired to. This shows that GM’s sub-brand truly knows the vehicles that its young Chinese customers want. The brand’s heritage in the country coupled with a tailor-made product line makes Buicks some of the best-selling cars in China. And if concept vehicles like the Enspire are anything to go by, the future certainly looks bright for Buick (at least in the People’s Republic).

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.