Avista concept shows Buick's performance potential

With names like Wildcat and Riviera in its past, Buick knows how to make a good-looking performance machine. It's just been awhile. But the Avista concept revealed Sunday night ahead of the Detroit Auto Show suggests Buick's sporting heritage might be more than relegated to grainy photos.

The Avista is a 2+2 sports coupe running a twin-turbocharged V6 cranking out 400 horsepower through the rear wheels. Look familiar? It should, as it reprises many of the design cues from Buick's last show-stealer, the Avenir, which debuted a year ago in Detroit.

"The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global Buick sales, service, and marketing. "It is a modern expression of the brand's heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance."

The front end features a prominent grille with Buick's newly colored tr-shield as the centerpiece. It's flanked by wings that stretch out horizontally and edgy headlights that portend the appearance of future Buicks. There's an aggressive fascia, chrome-trimmed vents, and it all rolls on 20-inch wheels. The Avista has a 110.7-inch wheelbase (which is the same as the Chevy Camaro), and the tracks measure 63 inches in front and 62.9 inches in back, which Buick says makes for a sporty stance.

The B-pillarless cabin conjures the open layout of great boulevard cruisers of days gone by. It's done up in gray leather punctuated with carbon-fiber and aluminum accents.

Yep, Buick does know how to do performance. In case you forgot, the Avista is a strong reminder of the past, and it offers hope for the brand's future.


More from Autoblog

2016 Detroit Auto Show full coverage

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class revealed

VW Tiguan GTE Concept is a sporty off-road hybrid