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Guangzhou show: Buick connects with Velite

Charging on: The production version of the Velite concept will fall under the Buick Blue eco-car sub-brand when it is eventually launched.

Buick shows off plug-in hybrid Velite concept at Chinese auto extravaganza

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Buick logo22 Nov 2016

BUICK has revealed its plug-in hybrid Velite concept at the Guangzhou motor show, previewing a possible production model while detailing the company’s plans for green technology.

The concept was developed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Centre (PATAC), which is GM’s design and engineering joint venture with its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

Buick says the design and development team, based in Shanghai, were inspired by water and traditional Chinese culture in creating the “efficient, intelligent and green” concept car.

The hatchback crossover body style appears to be a cross between the new Holden Astra and the Infiniti Q30, while reflecting Buick’s latest design language that was ushered in by the Australian-designed Avenir concept from last year’s Detroit motor show.

The US car-maker says the front grille, paired with LED matrix headlights, hints at the design cues that will be adopted on Buick’s future green cars.

Inside the Velite features a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting and recycled materials, all of which also points to future eco-car cabins.

Few details were revealed about the “high-performance” plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain, but Buick says it features GM’s new-generation modular intelligent electric drive system with a lithium-ion battery pack.

The enhanced electric drive unit and intelligent controls help improve performance and fuel use depending on the driving conditions and Buick says this tech will find its way in the production version of the PHEV.

The Velite is described as a “mobile network” because of technologies such as cloud-based connection and storage as well as customised service and remote operation.

It also features a 360-degree “intelligent traffic induction system” connected by sensors, allowing for features such as lane keep assist, high-speed adaptive cruise control, night vision and low-speed automated driving.

The Velite will fall under the Buick Blue “new energy vehicle strategy” that will eventually include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, range-extender EVs and full EVs based on various platforms. The recently-launched LaCrosse hybrid was the most recent model to spring from the new green sub-brand.

Buick also used Guangzhou to reveal its new GL8 and GL8 Avenir people-movers, the latter falling under the newly-minted Avenir sub-brand.

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