Buick gets its swagger back with new Avista concept

Published: 11 January 2016

► Buick Avista concept revealed in Detroit
► Features 395bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6
► Underpinned by GM’s ‘Alpha’ platform

When was the last time that a Buick piqued your curiosity? Okay, outside of spotting the likes of the turbo-tastic Grand National or boat-tailed Riviera in the classifieds. Can’t remember? Thought as much.

That may all be about to change, however. The new Avista sports coupe concept, which was revealed at the Detroit motor show, may actually a) remind you that Buick’s still a thing and that b) it’s still got the potential to come up with something interesting.

Looks pretty slick. Got the performance to back it up?

Yup. Well, on paper, at least. The Buick is based on General Motor’s ‘Alpha’ platform, which is shared with the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac ATS. Past experience tells us that both of those cars have the potential to be pretty capable, so the Avista – which also features the brand’s Magnetic Ride Control system – shouldn’t disappoint in the bends.

It shouldn’t leave you wanting in terms of straight-line performance, either. Buick’s gone with a stout twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, instead of the V8 you might expect, which is claimed to produce some 395bhp. The force-fed motor sends its power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic, which should grant the concept suitable pace and lairy oversteer when desired.

Isn’t it just another big American coupe concept?

Well, it’s about the same size as a BMW 4-series – so it’s not necessarily the leviathan you might expect. There’s also the chance that the Avista could make it into production. After all, its styling cues are similar to that seen on the production version of the LaCrosse, and they’ve been showcased previously on the Avenir concept.

Similarly, there’s nothing unconventional about its platform or powertrain to prevent it rolling down one of GM’s production lines. Only the interior, which is clearly that of a concept car, would require some reworking for the Avista to go into production. Hopefully some of its neat features, including active noise cancellation and an air purification system, would be retained, though. 

Read more of CAR’s Detroit motor show coverage here.

Buick Avista concept

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car