Giving us a glimpse into the future, on Wednesday, Buick unveiled its new Wildcat EV Concept, a dramatically styled coupe that previews the look of upcoming production models.
Wildcat was first used on a design study by this premium GM division way back in 1953, so it’s cool product planners were able to reuse that name in the 21st century as Buick transitions into an all-electric brand. The Wildcat EV Concept is a 2+2 coupe with a low, wide stance and dramatically tapering roofline, design elements that give the car an undeniably sporty look.
With a long dash-to-axle measurement and pumped-up aft fenders, the Wildcat EV Concept has decidedly rear-wheel-drive proportions. Unfortunately, zero powertrain details have been shared by Buick, but it’s safe to assume GM’s Ultium platform and related technologies play a starring role. The car wears 18-spoke, jet turbine-inspired wheels that look great and, up front, the forward-leaning prow and low, trapezoidal grille comprised of thin horizontal bars hint at the face future Buicks will wear. Checkmark-style front lighting elements flank the grille, a motif that’s echoed in the taillamp design at the rear.
Roadway illumination is handled by micro-LEDs and thin-beam projectors. The external state-of-charge indicator is visible through the rear hatch window, a clever touch.
Perhaps drawing inspiration from the dramatic Cadillac InnerSpace concept, with its massive, powerlifting roof, small sections of the Wildcat EV’s top pop up as the doors open, making it easier to get in or out of the vehicle. Is this feature practical or cost-effective to develop and manufacture? Almost certainly not, but this is a concept car, so we all have to suspend our cynicism.
Inside, this Buick design study has room for four people, two up front and two in the back. Running nearly the length of the cabin is a prominent center console, one that’s dressed up with jewelry-like elements and even a small screen. That console extends from just underneath the dashboard clear into the rear passenger compartment.
Somewhat similar to what’s offered in the Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV, this Buick’s dashboard is crowned by a sweeping touch screen that combines the digital instrument cluster and infotainment display into one panel that’s artfully integrated into the rest of the cockpit’s design. Exterior cameras and screens mounted on the door panels work together to replace traditional side view mirrors.
A color called Legato Green is featured prominently inside, as is both brushed and polished aluminum. Adding a bit of visual pop to what is an otherwise understated interior are splashes of orange, a hue used most noticeably on the seat belts.
The Wildcat EV’s futuristic-yet-retro front chairs look all-day comfortable and their unique cantilevered headrests could have been pilfered from a modern art museum. Similarly, a vintage-inspire steering wheel with a small, round center section and a flat bottom sits in front of the driver.
Keeping the everyone inside healthy and comfortable, the Wildcat EV is designed to feature artificial intelligence, biometrics and even aromatherapy. This concept car can detect the driver’s heartrate and automatically adjust the vehicle to calm them down. An available Zen mode also dims the cabin lighting, disperses calming aromatherapy scents and turns on the massaging seats.
Buick, along with many other competitors, is making the difficult but necessary transition to be an EV-only automaker. We don’t know what all-electric models the tri-shield brand will offer in the coming years, and we’re doubtful the Wildcat EV will ever enter production (seriously, who buys coupes these days?), but this concept still gives us a glimpse of what Buick is cooking up, and its future looks promising.