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Beijing show: Buick Enspires future model

Worldly: The Buick Enspire concept electric SUV reportedly was designed in China for the world.

Chinese reports suggest funky Buick Enspire electric SUV could reach showrooms


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19 Apr 2018

BUICK has foreshadowed the shape of things to come in electric vehicles for General Motors’ mid-range brand.

Called Enspire, the sporty coupe-style five-door crossover to be shown at next week’s Beijing motor show is officially a concept, but Chinese reports suggest a production version for global consumption is likely.

If the figures accompanying the images are to be believed, the Enspire would be both practical and powerful, covering almost 600km on a single charge and springing from zero to 60 miles per hour (96.5km/h) in 4.0 seconds.

The all-electric, four-wheel-drive powertrain – dubbed eMotion – is said to have twin electric motors generating a hefty 410kW – enough to shame many V8s.

The ternary lithium battery can be charged to 80 per cent in 40 minutes on a fast charger, meaning the Enspire could drive between Melbourne and Sydney with one stop for lunch. Wireless charging is available too.

CarNewsChina reports that the vehicle was designed in China, presumably at the joint GM-SAIC Pan Asia Technical Automotive Centre (PATAC) in Shanghai, but will be sold globally when a production version appears.

Holden product and brand communications manager Mark Flintoft told GoAuto that Enspire was a concept, and as such it was too early to say if it would ever go into production or come to Australia under Holden badges.

It is unsurprising that GM has chosen to show off the Enspire at China’s biggest motor show, as China is by far Buick’s most successful market. China also happens to be the world’s biggest electric vehicle market.

A Chinese-made SUV, the Envision, is already exported to North America where it is sold alongside two other SUVs starting with “En”, the Enclave and Encore.

Although the official media release does not say so, the Enspire appears to have been designed as an autonomous vehicle, with a steering wheel that folds out of the way for a hands-free drive.

The futuristic interior features a panoramic head-up display spread over much of the windscreen, dubbed “surround skyline”. The display uses intelligent augmented reality technology to superimpose outlines of features such as mountains over the view through the windscreen.

The in-dash display screen is OLED, while communications between the car and the outside world is via 5G high-speed wireless connection.

Obligatory fanciful concept-car features such as floating seats and rear-hinged back doors can be expected to evaporate by the time a production version happens along.

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