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

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.


"Promotes" 370 miles of range? Maybe "Promises" is better.

Hopes for 370 miles of range.

Exactly. Concept… we’ll see what it will really do when it’s real

Buying a car in 5 years is gonna be awesome

It’s a concept, so there’s a vanishing chance of this being sold in it’s current form, but damn that’s good looking. Not what I’d expect from Buick (which just seems like a dinosaur of a brand in my mind). Though the old badge looks out of place. Asymmetrical and colored badges just never look modern to me.

I somewhat prefer it over your garden variety 3-dimensional chrome shape that kind of resembles a letter and sometimes has wings too

Oh give me a break. No real "Concept" ever makes it to production. However, plenty of ideas come from these concepts, including massive electric range.

I was specifically talking about the design, not the range.

Speaking of range though. Is there anything technically impressive there? Seems like they just dumped a gigantic battery on top of a regular motor. Its rated at less than 1 mile per kW.

That’s probably a good strategy. As in, it’s very likely they can pull this off. Unlike Karma promising solid state batteries when they probably have no clue how they’re going to pull that off.

True, though it makes me wonder just how heavy this vehicle is going to be. The Model X weighs 5,531lbs, already nearly matching an Escalade, with a 100kW battery, and gets a 289mi range (googling all these numbers).

This Buick has to be monstrously heavy not just from a 410kW battery (assuming a standard cell is being used) but to get that short of a range with that much capacity.

Sounds like it’d be too heavy. But then again with enough breakthroughs in the tech, they may change what battery they end up going with by 2023.

ench and Stone Cold Dan Quinn,
Be sure you don’t confuse kW (kilowatts) with kWh (kilowatt-hours). kW is a unit of power, i.e. how fast you can go. kWh is a unit of energy, i.e. how far you can go. The 410 kW is the power used to do 0-60 in 4 seconds (this thing will be heavy). The article did not mention the size of the battery in kWh. It likely is around 75-90kWh, assuming the SUV gets 4-5 miles per kWh.

They brought back the colorized tri-shield emblem because the Chinese market preferred it over the just silver one Buick had in the States for over a decade. This car is more so for the Chinese market, where Buick is considered a premium car brand and where they sell over 1 million vehicles a year.

Also, it’s getting harder to sell in China if you don’t manufacture real electric vehicles.

Ah, cool to know the history. Aesthetics are always personal, and I was never in the market for a Buick anyways.

And the chrome giraffe in my living room promises a grilled cheese sandwich that lets you see 5 minutes into the future. Man, this is some gooood isht…

Wish the govn’t would roll back those pesky mirror regulations already. Just give me a camera and a screen.

Would that need redundancy? Seems like a failure in the electrical system is more likely than losing a physical mirror.

It doesn’t exist. It’s vapourware.

And when it does exist it will be restricted and hardly sold anywhere, much like GM’s ?olt.

Meanwhile, Tesla is actually building vehicles (several hundred thousand per year at mid-April rates) that actually go about 300 miles in a single go.


  • By that definition Model 3 was vaporware for years. Vaporware is when it won’t be made, this will likely be made… perhaps not soon, but it’s probably not vaporware unless you expect GM to go belly up.
  • Bolts are hard to find over seas, but they are easy-ish to get in every state of the US.
  • At mid-april rates they weren’t breaking 200K cars a year.
  • Most Tesla’s can’t do 300mi real world without slowing down, even the long range model 3 can’t do 300 miles if you take off the aero wheels or go 70mph+.

GM has some great engineering (they made the Lion battery after all…) But they are so reserved in their release to production. They really should take the cuffs off and go crazy in production on at least a few models.

They don’t want to sell their electric vehicles. That’s the difference.

Top 3 selling vehicles in the US are trucks. Get a clue automakers

Did you read the article? Specifically the lines that mention that this was announced and shown in China, since Buick is one of China’s most popular brands?

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