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Buick’s semi-autonomous electric concept promotes 370 miles of range

Buick’s semi-autonomous electric concept promotes 370 miles of range


The Enspire SUV uses Cadillac’s Super Cruise system

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Buick Enspire Concept
Buick Enspire Concept

Buick may still have a reputation for making pleasant if less-than-exciting sedans for older buyers, but it’s one of China’s most popular brands. That’s why the Enspire concept is being shown at this year’s Auto China show in Beijing, and it’s full of advanced technology promises.

The Enspire, announced on Tuesday in China, is a design and technology study for General Motors to explore what the public thinks of the brand’s idea for an all-electric SUV. It adopts some of the technologies we’ve seen on other concepts, such as lots of OLED to project vehicle information, navigation and audio functions, as well as 5G connectivity. Buick says the Enspire has a “‘surround skyline’ interior theme and suspended theater-type seating,” which brings to mind the Byton SUV concept we rode in earlier this year.

But the other technology on the Enspire is under the skin. Buick says the concept boasts a 370-mile EV range, thanks to a battery electric powertrain with up to 410kW of power driving on all four wheels and a claim that it can go from 0–60 mph in four seconds. It can also be fast-charged to 80 percent in 40 minutes.

The Enspire is also equipped with the Super Cruise system that, so far, has been exclusive to the Cadillac CT6. We’ve tried the system and found it to be a worthy rival to semi-autonomous driving systems such as Tesla’s Autopilot, and its lack of availability even on Cadillac’s newest models is a shame. A Buick spokesperson in the US said the company wasn’t commenting on the prospect of adopting Super Cruise on any of its future products, and the Enspire wasn’t based on any current GM vehicles.

But this is a promising sign of where Buick could go in the not-to-distant future. GM has already pledged to release more than 20 new electric vehicles by 2023, and there’s no reason this slick Buick SUV shouldn’t be one of them — especially if it boasts a sophisticated driver assistance system and a generous range.