Avista concept shows Buick's performance potential [w/video]

400 Horsepower. Rear-Wheel Drive. Buick, You Have Our Attention

With names like Wildcat and Riviera in its past, Buick knows how to make a good-looking performance machine. It's just been awhile. But the Avista concept revealed Sunday night ahead of the Detroit Auto Show suggests Buick's sporting heritage might be more than relegated to grainy photos.

The Avista is a 2+2 sports coupe running a twin-turbocharged V6 cranking out 400 horsepower through the rear wheels. Look familiar? It should, as it reprises many of the design cues from Buick's last show-stealer, the Avenir, which debuted a year ago in Detroit.

"The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global Buick sales, service, and marketing. "It is a modern expression of the brand's heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance."

The front end features a prominent grille with Buick's newly colored tr-shield as the centerpiece. It's flanked by wings that stretch out horizontally and edgy headlights that portend the appearance of future Buicks. There's an aggressive fascia, chrome-trimmed vents, and it all rolls on 20-inch wheels. The Avista has a 110.7-inch wheelbase (which is the same as the Chevy Camaro), and the tracks measure 63 inches in front and 62.9 inches in back, which Buick says makes for a sporty stance.

The B-pillarless cabin conjures the open layout of great boulevard cruisers of days gone by. It's done up in gray leather punctuated with carbon-fiber and aluminum accents.

Yep, Buick does know how to do performance. In case you forgot, the Avista is a strong reminder of the past, and it offers hope for the brand's future. Watch the live unveiling in the video below.

Buick Avista Concept Unveiling | 2016 Detroit Auto Show

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Buick Introduces Avista Concept
Design elegance, performance heritage conveyed in turbocharged 2+2 coupe

DETROIT – Ahead of its public debut at the North American International Auto Show, Buick today revealed the Avista concept – a 2+2 coupe that pushes the brand's contemporary design ethos and rekindles its historic performance roots.

A sleek, sweeping proportion is the foundation for this vision of a contemporary grand tourer, with a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 driving the rear wheels and a driver-focused cockpit offering a comfortable, connected center of control.

"The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. "It is a modern expression of the brand's heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance."

The Avista's uninterrupted body lines stretch front to rear, suggesting motion – resembling Buick's design language introduced on the Avenir concept and carried into production on the 2017 LaCrosse. The absence of conventional B-pillars between the doors and rear side windows enhances the flowing profile.

"There is elegant simplicity in the Avista's surfaces, which speak to the purity of the car's performance, and a timeless beauty that's a hallmark of Buick design," said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director Global Buick Design. "It was designed to capture the spirit of the perfect drive."

Marking the front and rear, Buick evolves its signature wing-shaped lighting with "soft curtain" elements that create illuminated "halos" around lamps' edges, suggesting a three-dimensional shape and sculpture. Their design forecasts the evolution of Buick's production lighting features, while the Avista's grille features the brand's new winged tri-shield insignia set against a three-dimensional mesh background.

Additional exterior features include:
- A 110.7-inch (2,811 mm) wheelbase and 63-inch (1,601 mm) front/62.9-inch (1,598 mm) rear tracks for sporty proportions and an aggressive stance
- Twenty-inch aluminum wheels with color-toned accents match the car's Dark Sapphire Jewel exterior
- Front fender vents with chrome accents evolve Buick's signature fender ports.

Performance-oriented, modern cockpit
Like the exterior, the Avista's 2+2 interior is defined by flowing, uninterrupted lines conveying elegance through simplicity – with intense technical and surfaces details, in everything from 3D-printed door and seat trim to a future vision of Buick's IntelliLink, with touchscreen controls on a widescreen instrument panel display.

The center console also incorporates touchscreen controls and extends to the rear seating area. Open side storage compartments built into the front of the console are enabled by the new Electronic Precision Shift, similar to the 2017 LaCrosse.

A Superior Blue foundation color echoes the exterior and is complemented with Mist Gray leather seating inserts, console trim and door trim. Exposed carbon fiber and aluminum accents throughout reinforce the precision of the performance-oriented driving experience. The fading pattern on the seats, console and doors were inspired by waves receding at a beach's edge.

"Waves, whether from the sea or in the sand, are all about motion and flow," said Nesbitt. "That's exactly what this concept is all about – flowing design and the purity of the driving experience."

Buick designers enhanced the passengers' sensory experiences with next-generation QuietTuning and air-quality control, including advanced noise cancellation technology, ionic air purifiers and aromatherapy.

The Avista also advances Buick's legacy of turbocharged performance, which carries forward in the 2016 Regal GS and other models. Similar to the 2017 LaCrosse, the concept twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-6 features fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology to complement its power with efficiency. The engine is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and Magnetic Ride Control delivers more precise body motion control.

FAST FACT: The Buick Y-Job, introduced in 1938, is widely recognized as the auto industry's first concept vehicle.

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at, on Twitter @buick, on Instagram, or at

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