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Buick Surprises Detroit Auto Show ick Surprises Detroit Auto Show

                                                      WITH STUNNING “
                                                      WITH STUNNING “AVISTA” CONCEPTAVISTA” CONCEPT

      BY ALAN OLDFIELD     Buick unveiled a stunning new sporty concept car to open the 2016 North American International Auto
                           Show in Detroit. Called Avista, the two-door sport coupe was the second of Buick’s new vehicles revealed at
                           a party at Detroit’s Eastern Market.
                           Avista was a surprise to the throng of journalists assembled for the bash. Buick had already promised that
                           its new mid-size SUV Envision would break cover in Detroit. But as a tease leading up to the Detroit show,
                           Buick also promised a “surprise.”
                           That surprise was Avista. For the second year in a row, Buick brought down the house with a stunning concept
                           car no one saw coming (last year, it was the Avenir which included design cues from the boattail Riviera).
                           The word “Riviera” has not been uttered by anyone at GM, but who could blame you if you look at Avista
                           and see a 21st-century Riviera?
                           Indeed, Jes Ahn, the lead exterior designer on Avista told me in Detroit that members of the design team
                           even took a field trip to the Buick Gallery at the Sloan Museum in Flint to look at the first-generation Buick
                           Riviera Silver Arrow that Bill Mitchell had built as a styling exercise. The team pulled design elements from
                           the Silver Arrow for Avista.
                           Buick has been working hard to dispel its image as a brand for old people, and has had success—lowering
                           the average age of its buyer from the 60s into the 50s. A concept car with just two doors and sleek lines

        8                                                                                May/June 2016       The Riview
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