Once again, Buick has revealed a drop-dead stunner of a coupe concept, the Wildcat EV. And just like the Avista that came before it, don’t get your hopes up too high for a production model. Buick hasn’t said “no,” but they haven’t said “yes,” either. But unlike the Avista, the Wildcat does give us a look at where Buick is going as far as styling, branding and technology. Also, did we mention it’s freaking gorgeous?
The Wildcat EV started out as a sketch by a Buick designer that caught the eye of the department, simply because it was really cool. The team started developing it further, and eventually the brand gave the go-ahead to bring it to the full-size concept you see here. It is purely a design concept, so although it’s an EV by name, it doesn’t have any kind of production powertrain or real specs. But it is designed with electric power in mind, as evidenced by the extremely long wheelbase and short overhangs. And this translates into Buick’s electric future. The brand plans to be fully electric by 2030, and its first EV will launch in 2024 as a 2025 model.
The shape of the coupe is very clean, simple and organic, but with interesting creases and intersections scattered throughout. It has wide haunches and a low, pointy nose. The grille is pushed down and made wide, which accentuates the shape of the car. The badge now sits atop the bumper, too. The greenhouse has blacked-out front pillars to create a wraparound look, and the roof has a gentle slope toward the rear. It incorporates a glass hatch, and the taillights blend into the glass and extend all the way up the rear pillars.
While Buick isn’t making a commitment either way for the Wildcat EV, these styling cues will appear on future Buick models. So imagine the front and rear fascias, the window treatment and sheetmetal detailing, but on other bodystyles, likely crossovers and SUVs. In fact, Buick said it has two models it will reveal later this year with some styling based on the Wildcat.
Before we get too far from design, we should also highlight other cool aspects of the Wildcat EV concept. The wheels are turbine shaped as a throwback to Jet Age design and optimism. Each wheel took two months to produce and finish. The doors on the Wildcat are conventional, except for the gull-wing upper panels. They open up to make ingress and egress easier. And the interior is a gorgeous, mid-century-modern design. There’s beautiful green and white colors with bright red accents, lots of polished aluminum, and almost every panel from the dash to the armrests is floating, with hollow sections. Buick designers also envisioned the car having sensors to detect the occupants’ biometrics such as heart-rate and adjust the lighting and perfume to help with mood, such as creating a calm space for a stressed driver.
Besides the styling, the Wildcat EV features Buick’s new corporate branding. The current badge has been cleaned up and modernized with the tri-shield put on an even plane, and the circle surrounding it removed. The “BUICK” word mark features new typography, too. According to Buick representatives, the brand will start incorporating the red, white and blue tones from the badge more with advertising and dealer design.
While not specifically shown on the Wildcat EV, Buick representatives also revealed another interesting aspect of its branding plans. It will be reviving the Electra name for its electric models. It’s such a no-brainer of a brand revival (Electra appearing on models in the 1960s and 1970s) that we’re a little surprised it actually happened. The name will be used on all Buick EVs with some form of alphanumeric addendum, and it will be used globally.
The Electra EV may not make it to production (though we really think it should), but we’re glad it got as far as it did. And assuming that Buick can translate its cues elegantly to future Buicks, the brand should have a very bright future.