• Apr 20, 2008
On the eve of the Beijing Motor Show ,General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner and Design VP Ed Welburn along with their Chinese colleagues unveiled the Buick Invicta concept. Your regular Autoblog team didn't make the trek to China for this show, but our cohorts at Autoblog Chinese showed up for GM's Premier Night party to check out what will be the replacement for the current LaCrosse. The car was revealed sitting on a pool of water, perhaps implying that it is Buick's messiah, standing by to breathe new life into the brand Stateside. Buick is of course thriving in China, and some of the same team that created last year's Riviera concept participated in the styling of this new model. This design riding on the Epsilon II platform is expected to make the transition to production pretty much unscathed although the roofline might be slightly higher.


[Source: Autoblog Chinese]

All Photos Copyright © 2008 Bin Chen / Weblogs, Inc.


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  • 32 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's not the messiah, it's a very handsome car.

      This is actually a Buick I could see myself driving. And that's something I never thought I'd ever say. Nicely done GM.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Same for me, I'd never think of such a couple years ago. I'd imagine my two car garage with a Buick Enclave and an Insignia in it. And I wouldn't be closing the garage doors to hide it! :D
      jj
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. This is one heckuva car! When this comes to the US as the 2010 LaCrosse, there's a chance that i'll buy it.

      *anonymous person* was right when he said that Buick needed a competitor to the LS or IS. But isn't the Lucerne kind of a competitor to the LS?
      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems much bigger than the CLS,a four-door coupe or a American-style big car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bland and underwhelming, especially after the Enclave and concepts like the Velite and Riviera.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Buick NA just needs to hand over the company to the Chinese since they seem to really be more in tune with the designs that most normal people like.

      The designers in NA just don't have, and never will have a clue on how to style cars for real car people, not for old farts that either can't afford Lincoln Town Cars, can't find a place that sells the old Panther based Ford cars (Crown Vic/Grand Marquis) or huge Cadillacs

      • 6 Years Ago
      Go buy a Volvo then. I had to scroll up 3 times to get past your little novel.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is a handsome car, but I do expect it to be butchered by the time it arrives stateside.

      I do, however, see a problem with this car. After doing some reading I found something that others here apparently already knew: GM wants Buick to be the Lexus of America.

      Now here is something I knew that you did not: this is a bad thing. Why? Well first, I have to say that Toyota apparently thinks something is wrong in their brands. You see, its been thirty years since Toyota took the hearts and minds of American drivers. Thirty years. This why Toyota created the Scion brand, to try and avoid the problem GM ran into all the way back then.

      "Not my Daddy's Caddy." I've heard that a lot before. Amongst Baby Boomers. The Scion brand was supposed to keep younger Gen Y customers from saying "Not my Daddy's Camry." The Lexus brand, amongst younger buyers, is kinda of seen as a old person's brand right now. Not really to the degree that Cadillac was back during the late seventies, but closer than not.

      Today's young buyers are discovering cars like Hyundai, whose Genesis concept looks like a sweet spot for them, or the European brands. This is the generation that has made Top Gear the most pirated TV show in the world, the generation that has witnessed Europe's rise as an economic and political power, and Korea's rise as a maker of everything (Samsung and LG are both considered top tier electronics makers, Hyundai, Kia, and other make decent to great cars).

      The cars I've seen or heard the greatest enthusiasm for are split down two lines: we'll call them the blingers and the realists. The bling crowd has been watching too much "Cribs" and likes the kind of cars seen in those shows. Notice how Lexus is almost universally absent from the show? Yah. Expect Cadillacs to do well with the bling crowd, as should Mercedes Benz. Amongst cars they can actually afford, the C-Class is a target, and the CTS(it needs some serious sprucing up, but it could be eventually). Don't expect the ACTUAL vehicles of those shows to sell well of course: few people at all can afford an S-Class, Bently, Rolls Royce or (insert your exotic of choice). Just derivatives or cars similar to them.

      Then there are the realists. These are the Top Gear people, so note that they are not really all 100% interested in cars they can afford either. But cars that do well (or would do well) with Jeremy, Richard, and James will sell well with the realists crowd. What makes me label them realists is that practicality and economy are both big factors, but so is "fun." And this crowd doesn't equate fun with being all about horsepower either: plenty of fun cars are small and have good suspensions but still take 8 seconds to reach sixty.

      Cars in point: the Mazda 3 hatchback and the Honda Civic. The realist crowd does prefer the old Civic, which was actually faster, to the new one, but Honda could rectify that eventually. The Mazda 3 makes sense because it has great gas mileage (EPA be damned, it weighs less than 3000lbs has a 5 speed and an inline 4, there is no way it realistically gets less highway MPG than the new Malibu that weighs 3500lbs and has a 4 speed), has plenty of space in the back, and since its not an SUV or CUV its not ghastly to look at. Both also have good interiors and are not full of grey plastic or cloth.

      Also, this generation isn't one to believe that bigger cars are instantly safer. A story that blazed around the youth automobile centric web last month was this little AP piece about how fire departments around the country are having trouble keeping up with advances in car safety. Case in point was a crash between a 2001 Ford F-150 and a 2007 Toyota Corolla. The fire departments saw couldn't cut the steel on the Corolla, and eventually they had to maneuver the driver out of the window. The Corolla driver escaped with a few bruises and a bruised ribcage (but not broken bones). The F-150 driver was dead on impact according to the fire department.

      With stories like that becoming only more common, todays young drivers don't feel tremendously safer driving a massive car over a small one. Hence they are rediscovering small cars. Their mid-size is a compact Ford Focus (which they hate, by the way, because its still on the ten year old platform). Their large vehicle is a Camry or Malibu. And indeed, given how those vehicles have gotten bigger over the years they are actually in the size classes of the "bigger" cars of 5-10 years ago (the current BMW M3, in example, is just shy of having the dimensions of the late nineties M5 and only 200lbs not as heavy).

      When GM wants Buick to be the American Lexus, they are getting it all wrong. They wanted Buick to be the American Lexus 10 to 20 years ago. But to do that today? Its one step forward, and still two steps behind.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Allen, that is the first comment over 3 paragraphs long that I have actually read all the way through. Congratulations. Not that I agree with all of it but it was interesting and pretty well thought out.

        James, Bang for your buck is why people would buy a Hyundai Genesis coupe over an M3. Are you a drug dealer or do you just have really rich parents?
        • 6 Years Ago
        No James, I think you were just born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
        • 6 Years Ago
        When they say Lexus they mean "Not really prestigious". It's the luxury car for the masses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love the sweep spear on the side. :D
      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems much bigger than the CLS,a four-door coupe or a American-style big car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is an exciting product. This sedan alone could revitalize Buick in the U.S. I can see a base model with the turbo 4 cylinder/6 speed auto combo and higher trim levels with the direct injection 3.6 liter V6/6 speed auto combo. I think this design could also be easily morped into an accompanying coupe-cabrio variant (This would really move Buick's image upscale). I can't wait until the production version reaches the market.

      Now Buick needs a sub-Enclave crossover, a SWB Epsilon II based compact sedan and coupe-cabrio, and a competitive full size sedan (and maybe accompanying coupe-cabrio also). I think this brand could make a big impact on the market and return to relevance in the U.S. if the division is given great looking, upscale, brand appropriate products such as this car and the Enclave.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This Buick is nice, but, where the doorknob in this car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow! I guess GM wasn't playing when it said it wanted Buick to be the American Lexus. This a great looking car. This looks like it can easily be targeted at the Lexus ES. This is a great start. I can't see why anyone wouldn't consider this, but the Lexus ES is an easy car to compete with, now if Buick can build a car to compete with the Lexus LS and IS (at a Buick price point)they will surely be on their way to becoming a world competitor.
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