The US automaker is today more interested in China – the world’s largest market – than its home territory, which is why they’re presenting the Velite electrified concept at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
Buick sales have long seen China as their biggest shareholder so we’re not surprised the rehashed name for the electrified concept of the future was used in China. Back in 2004 Buick introduced the first Velite – a roadster penned by Bertone and named after an elite class of soldiers in Napoleon’s army. Buick is rebirthing the name for an entirely different purpose. This time around we’re dealing with a great-looking five-door hatchback – which is different from a rebadged second-generation Chevy Volt. Unfortunately, the production series model will go down that road – the concept was introduced at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show to actually preview the electric strategy of the company’s Buick Blue plan.
General Motors and SAIC used their Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) engineering and design joint venture to develop the concept with an unnamed plug-in hybrid “high-performance” powertrain. The model of course uses GM’s latest and greatest in terms of electric drive systems – a high-performance unit with a modular lithium-ion battery pack. Inside it uses an eco-friendly construction with recycled materials as well as induction ambient lighting. Safety includes a 360-degree intelligent traffic induction system working with a series of body-mounted sensors.