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Buick's showstopper spans 2 hemispheres
Anatomy of a Concept
Automotive News
By Jake Lingeman - Autoweek
February 10, 2015

How does a concept car go from drawing board to show stand? Most start with a couple-hundred-word design brief, explaining what executives are looking for, how it fits the brand, the size, the concept, the platform …

The brief for the stunning Buick Avenir, Autoweek’s Detroit show Best Concept, was considerably briefer, just nine words long: “Find a vision for the ultimate expression of Buick.”

Step 1: 'Sketch blitz'

For General Motors, concept design starts with a “sketch blitz.” That’s where interior and exterior designers from all corners of GM’s empire create their visions of what the concept could be.

Many tried their hands at the Avenir, but when Ed Welburn, GM’s global design VP, saw Australian designer Warrack Leach’s vision, only two words were necessary. “That’s it.”

Step 2: Interior

Interior sketching happens simultaneously with the exterior design. The two teams meet (virtually) once or twice a week. Inspiration came from architecture, furniture, ocean waves, aircraft and other objects.

Thankfully, for a concept like this, teams don’t have to take the same precautions to include all production-style features. In front, the Avenir gets a central touchscreen and a configurable dash screen in the instrument panel.

Step 3: Clay modeling

Sculpting a sketched form from clay is no small task, though the design team does use a scale model first to get the look right.

The team of five sculptors spent about four weeks on the scale model and four weeks on the real thing, though changes continue until the last conceivable moment, in every step. When the sculptors are done with the scale model, they scan it in three dimensions, and a computerized mill cuts a full-size version. Then they go back to tinkering with the design.

Step 4: The build

“Nothing is easy with a concept car,” said Paul Clarke, creative hard modeling manager for GM Australia.

The Avenir needed to be sturdier than most concepts because a.) it actually drives and b.) people would get in and out of it for two weeks during the Detroit auto show. That meant a roll cage to hold up the body, a minimalist engine to putter it through the show floor, and cool, pop-out billet door handles that really worked. Those intricate handles needed to be designed, engineered, powered and programmed, not to mention polished.

Step 5: Presentation

The Avenir was the centerpiece of Buick’s Detroit show display, by design. With a full year invested in working on it, there was no way Buick would stuff its concept flagship back in a far-off corner.

*Full Article at Link
 

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Nice to see how the process unfolds. Competition is best -- let the designers duke it out to see who comes up with the best design.

Hope they make a business case for such a product. It's beautiful and would be a huge image changer (or complimenter?!) for Buick in the United States.

That being said, if there was ever a reason to make it happen, it'll all come down to China. Chinese customers who can afford such a product like "limousines" and to be "chauffeured" around. The success of the China-only Buick Park Avenue was a testament to that. For a quick fix to plug a hole in Buick's Chinese lineup, it certainly fit the bill. I can only imagine that a successor as good looking as the Avenir would be an even bigger hit.


 
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That being said, if there was ever a reason to make it happen, it'll all come down to China. Chinese customers who can afford such a product like "limousines" and to be "chauffeured" around. The success of the China-only Buick Park Avenue was a testament to that. For a quick fix to plug a hole in Buick's Chinese lineup, it certainly fit the bill. I can only imagine that a successor as good looking as the Avenir would be an even bigger hit.
An automotive industry expert on Yahoo Finance is speculating the same exact rational as you. :) Buick, for once, has the hottest new car in Detroit
The Chinese market demand for such a car just might be sealing the production deal for the Avenir(Riviera).
 

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If (most likely when) GM shows the Avenir at the Beijing and Shanghai auto shows this year, it'll be interesting to see the public's reaction, and that will most likely set the ball rolling for production.

Though I know Buick has no presence in Europe, I’d love for GM to show it at the Frankfurt Auto Show – Just to see how the European press and public reacts to the car.
 

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If (most likely when) GM shows the Avenir at the Beijing and Shanghai auto shows this year, it'll be interesting to see the public's reaction, and that will most likely set the ball rolling for production.

Though I know Buick has no presence in Europe, I’d love for GM to show it at the Frankfurt Auto Show – Just to see how the European press and public reacts to the car.
Maybe they can sell it in Europe as an Opel?
 

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Too bad there wasn't a third hemisphere, then it could've spanned three.

*Spans both hemispeheres*

*Spans the globe*
 

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Too bad there wasn't a third hemisphere, then it could've spanned three.

*Spans both hemispeheres*

*Spans the globe*
Well technically, there are 4. Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western.
 

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Here's your more beautiful Panamera...and your more beautiful 7 series. There is zero reason for Buick not to build this car.
 

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if they don't build it, GM and Buick is/are complete Idiots...that car is a win win...hopefully I can get a new/updated Caprice as well of that platform to share some of the cost!
 
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