While the automotive world kept pace with the Los Angeles Auto Show, last week some automakers were also at the 2021 Guangzhou Auto Show in China to showcase a few models for the local market. This is the case of Buick, an important brand in China, which went there from the unveiling of two rather strange concept vehicles, the Smart pod and GL8 Concept.
Created by GM design studios in North America, the Buick Smart Pod and GL8 Flagship Concept demonstrate what the brand’s future could look like in terms of luxury and autonomous mobility. Buick wants to make driving in the future easier, smarter and, above all, free up wasted time behind the wheel in order to be more productive.
In the case of the Buick GL8 Flagship concept, it is a vehicle mounted on GM’s new Ultium architecture that will serve as the basis for the manufacturer’s next electric models. The concept, a little more imposing than the Buick Envision, takes on the features of a van with its very square and elongated lines as well as its sliding doors at the rear.
This minivan, or MPV in China, demonstrates the direction Buick will take for its future vehicles. It is distinguished by its very flat front part with its imposing grille which is reminiscent of that of Lexus. The vehicle stands out above all for its extremely high beltline, especially at the rear, which gives it smaller window areas. According to Buick, it’s its huge glass roof that brings a good deal of natural light inside.
The interior provides an ultra modern environment which is unlike what we find today. Stylists have created a much more spacious environment that allows for socializing on the go. The driver benefits from a 30-inch screen at the front that allows you to control everything on board and to have fun along the way. The vehicle incorporates GM’s V2X technology which enables 100% autonomous driving should the driver ever decide to let themselves be driven.
Buick Smart Pod
For its part, the Buick Smart Pod does not offer an option for the driver. The vehicle is also assembled on GM’s Ultium platform. Above all, it showcases how stylists might rearrange a vehicle’s interior when it is possible to remove anything that touches driving.
As its name suggests, the Buick Smart Pod allows its occupants to move around in an autonomous vehicle that can ensure your daily trips without you having to worry about driving it. It is perhaps the future of our public transport in a more personal and luxurious version!
Artificial intelligence controls all aspects of the journey while passengers can interact with the Smart Pod through a voice control function. The vehicle is also connected to the Internet, and its interior can also be transformed into a work desk.
Of course, the Buick Smart Pod is just a concept, and you shouldn’t expect to see it on our roads for many years to come. As for the Buick GL8 Flagship, it could well inspire the designers of the brand’s next minivan for the Chinese market in a slightly less exploded version, of course.