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SHANGHAI -- General Motors Corp. will unveil a new pair of concept cars in its Chevrolet and Buick lines at this month's Shanghai Auto Show, GM China said Monday.

In this handout photo provided by General Motors, commuter Jerome Kleckly disembarks a new Chevrolet Uplander taxi van using the vehicle's ramp outside Grand Central Station in New York, Thursday, March 29, 2007. [AP]

The cars will be among 40 vehicles the company and its Chinese joint venture partners plan to display as GM increasingly looks to China to offset sluggish sales and crippling legacy costs elsewhere.

GM said the concept cars include the latest version of the Chevrolet Volt, the company's extended-range electric passenger vehicle which was introduced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

It said the Buick model was developed at GM's design and engineering center in Shanghai and would point to "possible future directions for the brand worldwide."

GM opened its first factory in China in 1998 and now operates seven joint ventures and two wholly owned foreign enterprises in the country. Along with five vehicle factories and one engine plant, the company has also launched an auto financing venture and a chain of dealerships.

Its China sales last year rose 32 percent to 876,747 vehicles, with joint venture Shanghai General Motors Corp. becoming China's top-selling domestic automaker with 365,400 vehicles sold.

GM said it also plans to display minivans and compact cars produced by its SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture set up in 2005. Wuling's vehicles have become a mainstay of the company's China business, accounting for more than half of GM's total sales in China last year.

GM said models from the company's German Opel brand, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Saab will also be featured at the show, which runs April 22-28.

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Buick Riviera Concept, which was developed in China, will be presented at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show.

Link: Detroit 2008: Buick Riviera Concept makes it through Customs

General Motors has released new photos of the Buick Riviera Concept, which reminds us that we are that much closer to getting our first up-close look at this concept designed in China. The Riviera, which made its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show last year, will make its first North American appearance in Detroit in just a few days. Designed at GM's Pan Asia Technical Center, the Riviera will supposedly set the tone for the next generation of Buick vehicles. Design highlights include carbon fiber bodywork, gullwing doors, and a futuristic interior with blue ambient lighting. We doubt much of that will ever make into a production vehicle, but we do give two thumbs up to the team that designed the exterior.
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Buick Riviera Concept in US.


DETROIT – The Buick Riviera, a stunning concept car designed to showcase Buick's new global design direction, makes its North American debut at the Buick stand during the North American International Auto Show.

Unveiled at China's Auto Shanghai 2007, the gull-wing, front-wheel-drive Riviera concept coupe was developed with global design input by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), a design and engineering joint venture between General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). PATAC is headquartered in Shanghai.

"We said last year the Riviera concept made us realize how small the world was – it's not East; it's not West. It's Buick," said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. "The reaction to the car around the globe proved that to be very much the case."

Engineered to accommodate a new hybrid system that will go into production this year at Shanghai GM (SGM), GM's flagship joint venture with SAIC, the Riviera features several technological and manufacturing advances. They represent the latest achievements of GM and its partners in the promotion and development of alternative propulsion technologies in China.

"The Riviera concept underscores the diversity, strength and depth of the GM global design and engineering network," said Welburn. "It also reflects PATAC's growing role within the GM Design family and China's significance as the world's largest Buick market."

The Riviera marks the return of a renowned Buick nameplate after an eight-year hiatus. Between 1963 and 1999, GM sold more than 1.1 million Rivieras in the United States.

"The Riviera concept, with its tightly stretched carbon fiber body panels, combination of positive and negative curves, strong front and rear identities and gull-wing doors, captures the essence of Buick classics, while presenting a thoroughly 21st century design," said Welburn. "It certainly lives up to the nameplate's reputation for bold design. The Riviera communicates the global design vocabulary of the Buick brand and sets the stage for General Motors' design, engineering and manufacturing centers to work together on the next generation of Buick midsize luxury cars."

Riviera's enticing curves and "earth and water" interior tones are drawn from diverse inspirations including classic Buicks, ancient Chinese artifacts and modern electronic icons. To PATAC designers, the car, inside and out, communicates universal beauty – a look that transcends cultural or national boundaries.

A sense of existence
To establish their design direction, PATAC designers looked, in part, to Buick icons such as the original Y-Job concept of 1938, the 1960s LeSabre, Electra 225 and the Riviera coupes of the 1960s and '70s.

The Riviera design is structured around the Buick tri-shield logo, sitting proudly on a trihedral waterfall grille that is formed by three intersecting planes. This takes the traditional Buick treatment to a new level of sophisticated boldness.

The Buick logo leads into a reflective strip through the hood, a mark of respect to the distinctive mid-hood crease prevalent in classic Buicks. Elongated LED headlamps flow up the hood sides to three-section, top-mounted chrome portholes as a single piece of jewelry.

The logo, hood strip, headlamps, side mirrors and rocker covers all have "icy green" backlighting available at night, matched by backlit logo and exhausts at the rear. Designers incorporated several other design signatures from the original Riviera generation, including the "double-sweep spear" line along the body side and a flared tail design.

In this theme, the Shell Blue exterior color was chosen to elicit the right level of attention. The color is metallic silver with light blue accents that highlight the coupe's exterior curves. The gull-wing doors, selected for their exotic appeal, achieve an expansive entrance to the 2+2 seating configuration. Measuring 1,938 mm at their widest point, the doors add to the coupe's sleek sideline. At night, the fully opened doors gently cast the "Buick" name on the ground.

The use of carbon fiber in all body panels allowed designers greater flexibility through reduced mass and added strength. This made the gull-wing engineering demands easier to realize and sharp, tight radius curves possible across the body surface. The side mirrors are sweeping yet unobtrusive, taking a cue from Formula One racecars, and the Riviera sits on 21-inch, 10-spoke forged aluminum wheels that combine polished and satin finishes with low-profile tires.

PATAC designed the Buick Riviera to accommodate the new hybrid system, which will be introduced in China in 2008 prior to the Beijing Olympics. The new hybrid system fits naturally with the Riviera's "earth and water" design theme.

All about relaxation
The Riviera's interior can be summed up with one word: sanctuary. The use of rich blue and subtle creams, representing water and earth, is conveyed in the high-quality leather bucket seats, plush carpet and a luxurious, padded steering wheel. Completing the organic feel, the roof comprises two shaded glass windows offering increased headroom and a celestial connection for occupants.

Designers aimed to have the driver feel relaxed and tranquil inside the car. Earth and water tones were used, and hard, aggressive edges were studiously avoided.

The interior has no discernable start and finish point for the front and sides, creating a comfortable lounge feel. It is immediately futuristic yet somehow familiar. A three-dimensional speedometer, inspired by past classics but utterly modern in design, complements the touchpad styled central console loosely modeled on a computer mouse. An LCD display screen crowns the central console.

Riviera's interior designers were encouraged to consider people's personal belongings to enhance their feeling of familiarity and comfort in the vehicle. Continuing the theme of calm simplicity, electronic shifter pads replace the traditional transmission shifter and controls are kept to a minimum to deter driver distraction.

Ambient light strips are applied across the console and inserted on the door liner, stretching to the front seats. Deliberately imitating precious Chinese jade stone, the lights are tinted a subtle icy green, which also offers tribute to a favored color of historical Buicks of days gone by.

Interior trim treatments befitting the Buick prestige abound: miniature aluminum tri-shields in the front seat headrests; a wooden floor mat in the rear; and a rear central armrest which can move sideways left and right to accommodate passengers of different sizes.

Royal blue Alcantara, a plush, suede-like covering, was chosen for the door, console and roof, while sandy white leather covers the lower door, lower console and seats.

Ancient influences in modern design
The design team set out to create a modern global design. At the same time, they sought to draw from their heritage outside the automotive industry from classic shapes, concepts and artifacts. They wanted to include a subtle Chinese essence and influence if one looked deeply enough.

A strong influence was the yuanbao, a small curvaceous gold or silver ingot used in ancient China as currency and popular today as a symbol of ancient Chinese prosperity.

PATAC designers intended the design convey East and West coexisting in harmony. The design brief was global, taking a portion of Buick's DNA and creating something for the world. The North American debut of the Buick Riviera concept highlighted the achievement of that goal.

Detroit 2008: Buick Riviera concept Photo Gallery

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Buick Invicta concept car

Buick to show Invicta concept next month in China - from Autoblog:

Buick gave a sneak peak today of its Invicta concept car that will be revealed next month in China at the Beijing Motor Show. The design will be an evolution of the sleek Riviera Concept, and was a collaboration of efforts between various GM Design Studios around the world to create what Buick hopes will be a vehicle with international appeal in its two largest markets - the United States and China. The Invicta, a name which hasn't been used by the Buick brand since 1963, will also feature retro design cues from Buicks of the past. A short press release can be found after the jump, and look for the full details on the Invicta in just over a month when it makes its official debut in Beijing. We'll, of course, have someone there to relay back all the info on this Sino-American hybrid.


NEW YORK – Buick took another step to bolster its global design presence with a sneak peek at a luxurious show car it plans to reveal in China at the Beijing Motor Show on April 19. Named Invicta, Buick's show car reflects the way General Motors utilizes design and engineering talent around the world to execute a premium vehicle with international appeal.

The Invicta, which is Latin for "invincible," evolves Buick's global design direction from the Riviera concept introduced last year in Shanghai. The Invicta show car was co-developed by GM design centers in North America and China to meet customers' expectations equally in the world's two largest automotive markets.

"Buick's global appeal created an opportunity for GM Design Centers to elevate our collaboration to new levels. Using our virtual reality centers in Warren, Mich. and Shanghai, designers fused the best ideas from both cultures during the development of the Invicta, " said Edward T. Welburn, vice president, General Motors Global Design. "The result will set a new design standard for Buick, and it couldn't have been achieved by one studio working in isolation. The Invicta represents another significant design milestone in Buick's history."

Invicta draws inspiration from the Riviera concept with a modern and graceful exterior design matched by a sumptuous interior. Invicta pays homage to Buicks of the 1940s through the 1970s with its nostalgic sweepspear design cue, a curved line running the length of the car. The exterior also features Buick's signature vertical chrome waterfall grille and a new look to its portholes. The Invicta interior will share Riviera's ambient lighting feature and lavish design.

Buick returns the Invicta name after a 45-year hiatus. Buick originally introduced the Invicta in North America as a production vehicle from 1959 to 1963. It is the first time the nameplate has appeared on a Buick in China.


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Buick Invicta concept

Buick Invicta Concept debuts.

Official press release.
Buick Evolves Global Design Inspiration Into Invicta Show Car

BEIJING – The sleek Buick Invicta show car revealed here in conjunction with Auto China 2008 is Buick's strongest statement yet of its deliberately international plans. The four-door midsize sedan with a coupe-like roofline presents bold direction for Buick's new generation of vehicles in the world's two biggest automotive markets – the United States and China.

Invicta has evolved from Buick concepts such as the 2004 Velite convertible and 2007 Riviera coupe, both of which received accolades for their thoroughly modern adaptation of classic Buick themes. Invicta was designed collaboratively by GM centers of expertise in Warren, Mich. and Shanghai, China. The name, which is Latin for "invincible," returns to Buick after a 45-year hiatus in the United States.

"Buick's global appeal created an opportunity for GM Design Centers to elevate our collaboration to new levels. Using our virtual reality centers in Warren and Shanghai, designers fused the best ideas from both cultures during the development of the Invicta," said Edward T. Welburn, vice president, General Motors Global Design. "The result will set a new design standard for Buick, and it couldn't have been achieved by one studio working in isolation. The Invicta represents another significant design milestone in Buick's history."

Invicta is powered by Buick's first direct injection turbocharged engine, a four-cylinder powerplant that produces 250 horsepower (186 kW) and 220 lb-ft (298 Nm) of torque. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission for maximum fuel efficiency.

Modern, sleek exterior

Invicta's designers drew inspiration from the Riviera concept. Invicta features modern and sleek proportions with exterior lines that flow uninterrupted around the vehicle. For example, Invicta's cat-eye headlamps transition into the Buick heritage-inspired sweepspear design cue, which flows seamlessly along the body sides and merges into the taillamps. Similarly, one can trace the top of the headlamp casing to the roofline and the rear of the vehicle without interruptions.

As with Riviera, Invicta features short overhangs with wheels pushed out to the corners for a well-planted stance. The overall appearance is sleek, thanks in part to a sweeping, low roofline and a front windshield that has an aggressive rake.

Up front, the Buick tri-shield is prominently displayed inside the Velite-inspired chrome vertical waterfall grille. Polished aluminum surrounding the headlamps, portholes, around the D-pillar and along the lower side of the vehicle on the lower doors accentuates the overall exterior design. Reminiscent of a number of historic Buick models, Invicta's portholes – three per side – are located on the hood rather than on the front quarter panels.

Invicta's wheelbase and high belt line give the vehicle more substantial proportions while visually reinforcing its premium appearance. Invicta's 20-inch polished aluminum wheels feature a milled Buick tri-shield in the center cap.

To signal its premium attributes while enhancing the vehicle's sleek proportions, Invicta's exterior is draped in a sumptuous AluStone color. Its warm beige tone contains wafer-thin flakes of aluminum that reflect light to emit a liquid gold appearance.

Flowing, crafted interior

The focus and attention to seamless transitions carry over inside Invicta. The doors merge to become one with the instrument panel, which morphs into the center console.

The wrap-around design of the interior and fluid design provide a spacious cabin for all passengers, especially those seated in the back of the vehicle. At nearly 100 cubic feet of interior space, Invicta delivers large-car comfort in a mid-size sedan. The sense of roominess is further accentuated by a full glass roof, which allows all passengers to enjoy the sights, day or night.

Invicta also showcases a high level of interior craftsmanship while creating an environment that is soothing, quiet, comfortable and inviting for all passengers.

The blending of premium materials – such as wood trim and polished aluminum accents, soft aniline leather, supple suede-like material and soothing Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting technology – encase passengers in Buick luxury.

Beyond its sumptuous appearance, Buick created a show car for the senses. Authentic French seam stitching on the soft-touch instrument panel pad, door panels and steering wheel invites touch. Buttons, switches and door pulls are crafted to deliver a tactile quality experience. Soft and soothing Ice Blue ambient LED lighting on the instrument panel, around the central vehicle function controls, along the console and center storage, and in the front footwells provoke visual sophistication. Two discriminating "spotlights" also accent the center point of the front and rear seats.

Buick introduced the Invicta in North America as a production vehicle in 1959. The Invicta show car is the first time the nameplate has appeared on a Buick in China.


Vehicle type: four-door, five-passenger luxury show car sedan

Wheelbase (in / mm): 114.5 / 2908

Length (in / mm): 194.2 / 4932

Width (in / mm): 73.8 / 1874

Height (in / mm): 57.7 / 1466

Track (in / mm): 64.4 / 1635 front; 64.5 / 1637 rear

Engine: 2.0L DOHC, direct injection turbo

Horsepower (kW): 250 / 186

Torque (Nm): 220 / 298

Transmission: six-speed automatic

Suspension: MacPherson strut, front; independent, rear

Brakes: four-wheel anti-lock disc

Wheels: polished aluminum, 20 in. x 8.5 in. with milled Buick emblem

Tires: P245/40R20
Buick Invicta Concept Apr 19, 2008 Photo Gallery

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2013 Buick Riviera 2 @ Auto Shanghai:

SHANGHAI – The new Buick Riviera concept vehicle made its global debut this evening in Shanghai.

The coupe combines avant-garde aesthetics and advanced technology, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion, in a single package. It is the fourth global concept vehicle jointly developed by GM's Shanghai GM and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint ventures in Shanghai.

"The new Riviera offers a preview of Buick's future design language," said Shanghai GM President Ye Yongming. "By seamlessly integrating advanced technologies, flexible functions and contemporary aesthetics, the new Riviera heralds the start of a new chapter for the 110-year-old Buick brand."

Elegant Design Inspired by the Dynamic Nature of Water

The new Riviera's designers took inspiration from the Chinese saying: "The greatest good is like water." The vehicle's sweeping design, which goes from thick to thin, has the vibrant nature of a moving river embodied in its athletic shape, elegant ambience and deeply sculpted lines.

"Riviera is a design study of the future expression of Buick design with its elegant athletic shape, sculptural beauty, and precision execution," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. "It is a great opportunity to share Buick's future design language and technology strategy."

The concept's silhouette with Buick's recognizable "sweep spear" has a three-dimensional effect that resembles waves in the ocean coming to a standstill for a split second. Buick's unique gull-wing doors exude a dynamic yet elegant ambience. The new Riviera has an ice celadon finish inspired by jade.

Up front, the concept vehicle's updated waterfall grille and wing-shaped daytime running lights will both become key elements of Buick's future design DNA.

The new Riviera has a low drag coefficient and a harmonious balance between style and performance thanks to its raked windshield, 14-degree fastback design and metallic fiber spoiler, which are complemented by active grille shutters and diffusers, and active pneumatic wheels.

The interior carries on Buick's signature 360-degree integrated design with high levels of elegance and refinement. The eaglewood tone interior features the abundant use of refined materials such as sand-blasted aluminum alloy, lava suede and ebony used in a bold style reminiscent of traditional Chinese jade-inlaid wood. This creates a striking visual effect as well as a subdued sense of luxury.

The new Riviera's compact yet well-structured center console, front floating seats and adaptive seating system, as well as its noise-absorbing head restraint system, represent the best combination of interior design and elegance.

Innovative Propulsion, Infotainment and Safety Technology

The new Riviera has adopted BIP (Buick Intelligent Performance) technology. It is equipped with GM's all-new, dual-mode W-PHEV (wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) propulsion system. The user can drive the car on green power in electric mode and enjoy the exhilarating handling and performance of a sports car while driving "green" in hybrid mode. In addition, the vehicle can be charged with a traditional cable or wirelessly via a sensory recharge panel on the car's chassis. The charging port is integrated into Buick's iconic porthole design.

The new Riviera is also equipped with intelligent four-wheel steering, an electromagnetic-controlled suspension and an air spring package for sure handling and comfort in extreme conditions.

The innovative mobile Internet system adopted in the new Riviera supports high-speed 4G LTE network use. The concept vehicle offers real-time traffic information, weather updates, and news and entertainment while communicating with other vehicles. The vehicle's voice commands and controls along with touch and gesture recognition activate a range of vehicle systems and enable seamless interaction between driver and vehicle.

The new Riviera employs a forward-looking active safety system that collects traffic information through 10 high-resolution cameras (for image monitoring) and 18 micro high-precision sensors (for distance monitoring). The information is integrated and presented in a holographic image onto the windshield.

The intelligent driver assist system provides occupants a high level of active safety and security. The system incorporates a variety of driver assist functions, including: an eagle view record system, night view assist, side blind-zone alert system, lane departure warning system, full-speed range-adaptive cruise control system, lane change assist system, parking assist system, rear cross-traffic alert system, autopilot system and "transparent" A pillars.

The new Riviera will be featured in the Buick display at Auto Shanghai 2013, which runs from April 20-29.
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