Buick Unveils An Electrifying Transformation

March 15th, 2024 by

Gray Buick Wildcat EV Sedan

“We were looking at new front ends, and one of the young designers did a sketch of the Wildcat concept, and it had that low mouth forward-leaning nose. And what’s funny is he did it as an assignment for the next-generation Buick LaCrosse, and it didn’t look anything like the LaCrosse. The simplicity of the front end was a really recognizable graphic signature of the grille and looked like something that could be adapted to a wide range of vehicles.” 

-Bob Boniface, Exterior/Interior Designer for General Motors 


Like other vehicles within the General Motors brand portfolio, Buick is transitioning towards all-electric models. This shift entails new vehicle styling for Buick’s upcoming EVs and its latest internal combustion engine (ICE) powered models. The Wildcat EV concept introduced in 2022 leads this comprehensive styling transformation, inspiring Buick’s latest design language. 

GM Authority recently delved into the genesis of this new Buick design ethos, with insights provided by Buick’s design chief, Bob Boniface. In a discussion with GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft, Boniface shed light on the origins of the brand’s current styling direction, describing it as “almost accidental.”


“I didn’t even tell [GM Vice President of Design] Michael Simcoe about it. So, in the summer of 2018, we made a scale model of it. Michael came in for a review of something else, and I said, ‘Put [the Wildcat model] over by the wall,’ and he saw it, but I didn’t tell him anything about it.” 


Boniface specifically cited the 2024 Buick LaCrosse sedan, which debuted in China last year (2023), as a reference point. However, a simple sketch by a young designer ignited a chain of events that significantly impacted Buick.

Encouraging the team to explore the design further, Boniface emphasized vital elements such as the low mouth, high badge, and elevated lamps. The refinements led to a scale model based on the initial sketch, culminating in the 2022 Wildcat EV concept—a model that captured the attention of VP Simcoe.


“I said, ‘I thought you might like that; we’re just doing a little study. He was really into it and said, ‘You know what, take this thing full size. I don’t care what it is; take it full size.’ He said to keep it internal as a concept to inspire and guide other Buick vehicles.”


Noteworthy features, such as the subtlety of a fresh design, typically go unnoticed by some observers. Nonetheless, the fresh elements now form the cornerstone of Buick’s contemporary design language, swiftly permeating the brand’s U.S. lineup within just two years: the 2024 Buick Encore GX refresh, the all-new Envista, the refresh of the Envision, and the upcoming Enclave.

This evolution in design arrives at an opportune moment. Following years of nondescript designs, the Buick lineup now boasts a cohesive design language that enhances visual appeal and makes Buick vehicles instantly recognizable. Isn’t it beautiful to think it all traces back to a single sketch?


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Photo Source/Copyright: Buick Media

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