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Buick Wildcat EV Concept Promises a Brand Transformation

06.21.22 | By
Buick Wildcat EV Concept Promises a Brand Transformation

The next chapter in automotive isn’t just about new brands like Tesla paving the way toward an electrified future. Brands burdened by the dulled prestige of their own heritage are recognizing the transition toward electric vehicles offers a golden opportunity to reestablish a new identity with younger buyers. And nothing builds excitement like a captivating concept vehicle, something the Buick Wildcat EV Concept succeeds with a mere glance.

Buick says this concept represents the brand’s all-new design language that supposedly will influence upcoming Buick production models for the foreseeable future as the brand transitions to an all-electric future.

Announced alongside Buick’s plans to go fully electric by the start of the next decade and the unveiling of a refreshed emblem logo, this 2+2 coupe concept is a sculpturally sleek evocation of the Wildcat name, with a wide stance and sinewy flex hinting of its big cat power. The Buick Wildcat EV Concept’s sloping roofline paired with a wraparound cockpit and abbreviated backside really accentuate the vehicle’s front, a visage beautifully expressed in an industrial banded grill that seems to be grinning with menacing intent, an impression emphasized by Bob Boniface, director, Global Buick Design, who calls it a “vehicle [that] looks like it’s ready to pounce.”

Buick Wildcat EV concept rear three-quarter with distinctive semi-swing doors that open on the passenger side

Wilder still is the concept’s doors. The roofline is marked in a manner to hint of a sorta-kinda T-top; instead, these section angles open to offer a taller opening for egress.

“The Wildcat EV concept represents the real design future for the brand,” said Sharon Gauci, executive director, Global Buick and GMC Design. “Buick has always been forward looking and this expression is a glimpse of where we’re going, and the optimism we have for the limitless possibilities of an electric future.”

Ditching the circular badge logo, Buick’s new badge is the first emblem redesign since 1990. The tri-shield design will be body-mounted onto the front fascia of Buick products starting next year.

Micro-LED lighting technology and thin-beam projector lenses for the front lighting

Blade-style taillights embedded in the roof’s sail panels, culminating in check mark-style horizontal lamps that echo the front lighting signature

Buick Wildcat EV concept’s 18-spoke “turbine” wheels are one of the details referencing the brand’s Jet Age legacy.

The interior is no less dramatic, filled with all varieties of technologies and infotainment options one expects of a marquee headlining concept, including an enormous sweeping touchscreen to keep drivers abreast of relevant information.

Aluminum trim is used strategically throughout the interior cabin, and complement the cockpit-style seats with cantilevered headrests

Buick Wildcat EV concept sideview mirrors

This being a concept, the Wildcat EV is also outfitted with futuristic features such as artificial intelligence, biometrics, and aromatherapy. The vehicle is designed to detect an elevation in driver heart rate and will automatically adjust vehicle settings to calm them down. For example, when Zen Mode is activated cabin lights dim, an aromatherapy scent is released, and massaging seats activate to set a mood of calm.

The Buick Wildcat EV concept features a touchscreen on the instrument panel and complementing screen on the console.

Of course, what Buick presents as a concept today in no way guarantees anything we’ll see on the road tomorrow. The original Wildcat, a model produced by Buick from the 1963 to 1970, was a sport coupe also derived from a series of captivating Wildcat concept models that left many wanting for its more expressive conceptual predecessors. And we still haven’t forgotten the elegant Avista we hoped/thought we were getting, but never materialized. So, while Buick has our attention yet again with this futuristic Buick Wildcat EV Concept – because it’s absolutely a stunner – the new design language needs to be fluently translated into production vehicles exhibiting more than a hint here, a suggestion there of what the Wildcat promises.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.