All-electric Buick Enspire crossover SUV concept bows in China


Buick Enspire electric SUV concept

Buick Enspire electric SUV concept

Enlarge Photo

Buick unveiled Tuesday an electric crossover SUV concept bound for the 2018 Beijing auto show with promise.

In addition to 370 miles of range, the Buick Enspire concept can charge up to 80 percent in 40 minutes through fast and wireless charging. Its motors combine for 410 kilowatts (550 horsepower) of total output, and the SUV can sprint up to 60 mph in around four seconds.

According to Buick, all the typical luxury car equipment is there: wood and leather, touchscreen for infotainment, and fast 5G internet connectivity too.

DON'T MISS: Buick to launch new electric, plug-in hybrid models in China; what about US?

But don't run down to plunk real cash for the Enspire just yet: it's a concept, and there are plenty of pie-in-the-sky-concept features there too.

Buick is mum on battery specifics, and napkin math would lead us to believe that the Enspire's 370-mile range would require a huge battery (at least 100 kwh), small footprint, remarkable efficiency, a forgiving European test cycle—or all of the above.

It's also bound for China, where Buick is big. That's not to say that the Enspire—or something like it, perhaps the next-generation Encore?—wouldn't have a future in the U.S., but its debut at a Chinese auto show first is telling.

Buick Enspire electric SUV concept

Buick Enspire electric SUV concept

Enlarge Photo

Even though it'd be the first electric car in Buick's portfolio, it still carries some of the brand's familiar shapes forward. The Enspire's hood and angles look borrowed from the current LaCrosse sedan—although its grille and body sides are very new.

The Enspire's rear hatch borrows liberally from the Avenir concept from just a few years ago—and with good effect. The Enspire's rear third is distinctive, even somewhat sporty. 

Buick Enspire electric SUV concept

Buick Enspire electric SUV concept

Enlarge Photo

Inside, the cockpit is more "futuristic" than "foretelling." An augmented reality head-up display projects information on to the windshield, and it appears that the steering wheel has a screen in it.

A spokesman for Buick told Green Car Reports that the battery specifics represent concept more than confirmation. 

 
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