Buick Riviera concept showcases the raw power of water

"The greatest good is like water," says an old Chinese saying. There's something movingly beautiful about flowing rivers, glorious waterfalls, and crashing ocean waves. It's these influences that draw inspiration for the latest concept of the Buick Riviera - a design study offering clues into the brand's future aesthetics.

While the name Buick may not evoke feelings of beauty, cutting edge technology, and modern design amongst today's Americans - it does in China. This concept, therefore, was co-developed by GM Shanghai and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, and was revealed at the Shanghai auto show - the same location as the last Riviera concept a few years back.

The design they came up with bears little resemblance to the Buicks of today, and that's certainly not a bad thing. The influence of water runs deep, and you can visually identify the flow from the soft, swooping front end, to the gently sloping roof line. Like with the last Riviera concept, the gull-wing doors remain, offering some aggression to mesh with the calm styling - an approach I don't expect to hit production Buicks any time soon.


The Riviera concept adopts wireless plug-in hybrid technology, allowing electrical charging via the usual plug, or wirelessly via a sensory recharge panel situated on the car's chassis. Intelligent four-wheel steering comes equipped along with 4G internet, enabling real-time traffic, weather, and news updates; all the while communicating with other vehicles. A forward-looking active safety system collects traffic information via 10 high-resolution cameras, cross-referenced by 18 distance monitoring micro sensors, displaying the relevant data as a holographic image on the windshield.

All this information sounds great, and aesthetically, the Riviera concept stuns. It's the car Buick should be building, but unfortunately, it's hard to envisage it ever happening. The hope remains for this Chinese design methodic to flow to U.S shores, as the benefits of water appear crystal clear.