Buick has shown off its new Riviera concept at the Shanghai Auto Show, showcasing a new styling direction for the 110 year-old brand.
Inspired by the flow of water and painted an appealing shade of cool silver (with a hint of jade to appeal to Buick's Chinese fans), the Riviera concept is a shapely reinterpretation of the classic luxury coupe formula.
Like Rivieras of old, the concept has a long bonnet, low roof and a shallow glasshouse. But unlike its predecessors, this four-seat concept has double-length gullwing doors, a hybrid powerplant and an interior straight out of sci-fi.
It's not just any hybrid, either. Buick makes no mention of what kind of combustion engine powers the Riviera concept, but the company says that, like corporate cousin Chevy Volt, the Riviera is a plug-in hybrid.
The Riviera concept can also recharge wirelessly via an inductive loop panel on its underside, as long as its parked over a corresponding panel in the ground.
The concept is equipped with magnetorheological dampers and air springs for a cushy - but controlled - ride, as well as active four-wheel steering for sharp handling.
There's no claimed performance stats, but being a concept car these features are probably purely theoretical.
The technology story doesn't end there though. the infotainment system s able to stream data through a 4G LTE mobile broadband connection, and the driver is kept aware via a multi-sensor monitoring system that feeds data into a holographic head-up display.
There's also a top-down camera view, a night vision system and a camera array that allows the driver to see "through" the A-pillars.
Curiously, Buick's press release also makes mention of an "autopilot system". We can't wait for that one to trickle down to lesser models.
As for a production model, expect the gullwing doors to get lopped off for starters.
The rest of the technological package is actually achievable though and, while it's unlikely we'll see that level of hardware in a Buick in the short-term, the Riviera concept is an enticing look at what's in store for General Motors' luxury brand.
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