Buick this week unveiled the Wildcat EV concept — an expressive vision of the brand’s new design direction as it transitions to an all-electric future.
The Wildcat was developed to convey the all-new design language that will influence Buick production models for the foreseeable future. Buick’s new tri-shield logo, mounted prominently on the body front and rear, symbolizes the design transformation and new production models will wear it starting next year.
“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.”
The Wildcat EV concept also introduces a new, expressive face for Buick, distinguished by a bold, forward-leaning front-end appearance that features a low-mounted, trapezoidal grille. Sharp, high-mounted and horizontal check mark-shaped lighting flanks the vehicle, while the outer edges of the grille house primary lighting. The lighting elements are configured to create a unique welcome choreography when the driver approaches.
Further, the vehicle — a 2+2 coupe — strikes a powerful, expressive presence, with an all-new, laid-back proportion complemented by a low, wide stance. The windshield wraps around and flows into the side glass, which tapers dramatically with the fast roofline to accentuate the aggressive profile.
“From every angle, the vehicle looks like it’s ready to pounce,” said Bob Boniface, director, Global Buick Design. “It’s the result of careful attention to the proportions and sculptural beauty derived from the intersection of forms, not lines.”
Additional exterior design highlights include:
- Distinctive semi-swing doors for easy entry and exit.
- Unique aluminum trim that appears to flow seamlessly into the interior seat structures.
- 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.
- An external “state of charge” indicator visible in the exterior hatchback glass.
- Jet Age-inspired 18-spoke “turbine” wheels.
“The more you look at the Wildcat EV concept, the more the details reveal themselves,” said Boniface. “Its timeless proportions acknowledge the brand’s rich design legacy, while our latest technology moves you forward.”
A blend of modernity and warmth
Inside, the Wildcat EV concept’s cabin has an inner glow that is inviting and comforting, all while integrating new technologies designed to make the riding experience more enjoyable.
“It’s a space intended to strike an emotional chord,” said Therese Pinazzo, Buick exterior and interior design manager. “It is defined by simple, graceful forms that convey balance, harmony and a feeling of warmth.”
The 2+2 configuration, delineated by a prominent console that extends from the base of the instrument panel to the rear seating area, uses unique graphic and color contrasts to create the perception of visually floating elements intended to accentuate the cabin’s lightweight feel and spaciousness.
Color plays an important role in the warmth and comfort the interior conveys. Legato Green flows through the cabin and is accented with brushed or polished aluminum trim. Lively orange elements, including the seat belts, also add visual distinction.
Additional interior design elements include cockpit-style seats with cantilevered headrests that appear to be floating, and a lightweight, flat-bottom steering wheel.
When it comes to technology integration and infotainment interaction, a sweeping touchscreen is the access point on the instrument panel, along with a complementing screen on the console.
The Wildcat EV concept is built to be a platform for futuristic features such as artificial intelligence, biometrics and aromatherapy. The vehicle is designed to detect an elevation in driver heart rate and automatically adjust vehicle settings to calm them down. For example, when Zen Mode is activated, it will dim the cabin lights, disperse calming aromatherapy scents and activate massaging seats.
Everything about the concept is intended to convey what’s possible — in design, technology and the transformative experience of EV mobility.
“We are on the cusp of true change, and this concept is a tangible vision of it,” said Gauci. “It inaugurates the next chapter in Buick’s design heritage, as we make the crucial transition to our all-electric future.”
Buick EV – Electra Brand
Buick’s EV products – coming to market in North America for 2024 – will carry the Electra name, drawing inspiration from the brand’s history.
“The Buick brand is committed to an all-electric future by the end of this decade,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice president, Buick and GMC. “Buick’s new logo, use of the-c Electra naming series and a new design look for our future products will transform the brand.”
The new badge, which is the first significant change to the emblem since 1990, will be body-mounted onto the front fascia of Buick products starting next year. No longer a circular logo, the badge incorporates a sleek, horizontally aligned layout that builds upon Buick’s recognizable tri-shield. The redesigned columns of the tri-shield, which have roots in company founder David Dunbar Buick’s ancestral heraldry, incorporate fluid movements that will be found in future vehicle design.
“Our forthcoming products will adopt a new design language that emphasizes a sleek, dynamic and forward-looking appearance,” said Sharon Gauci, executive director, Global Buick and GMC Design. “Our exteriors will incorporate fluid movements that contrast with tension to convey motion. Interiors will balance modern design, new technologies and attention to detail to evoke warmth and a rich sensory experience.”
The Buick Wildcat EV concept illustrates the new global brand design language that will be apparent in production vehicles going forward. The new Buick badge and design will debut on production vehicles starting next year.
In addition to the new badge, Buick’s revamped brand identity will also include new typography, an updated color palette and a new marketing approach. Buick will update its physical and digital properties over the next 12 to 16 months.
History of the Wildcat Concepts
For nearly 70 years, the Wildcat name has been reserved for innovative, progressive Buick concept vehicles that push the boundaries of design and technology.
Like the new Wildcat EV concept, the first Wildcat — introduced in 1953 — was a show vehicle that previewed next-generation Buick design. The Wildcat II and III concepts followed in 1954 and 1955, respectively, and the designs of all were overseen by legendary chief designer Harley Earl.
In 1985, another Wildcat concept debuted. It was a futuristically styled, mid-engine and AWD supercar developed to showcase new engine technologies
Source: Buick Brand Press Release(s)