The Commodore, the Falcon, the Cruze, the Camry, the Territory – all the Aussie built cars of late will no longer be made in Australia (or at all) in the very near future, so what hope is there for the Australian automotive industry?  That hope sits with the brilliant designers and engineers the big companies will retain in Australia long after vehicle production ends – and the proof of that was unveiled in Detroit overnight.

The Commodore and the platform it sits on was designed entirely in Australia, likewise there was huge Australian design centre influence in the Ford Ranger just a few years back, so there is something to be said for our skills and ability in this area.

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General Motors describes its Aussie design team’s talents as “exceptional” and when you see the Buick concept car that was unveiled in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show you’ll see why.

The “Avenir” was designed and built at the GM “advanced design studio” in Port Melbourne in collaboration with GM North America.

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Interestingly, the Port Melbourne design centre is one of only two GM design centres globally actually capable of designing a car for concept like this and actually constructing a fully functional show car.

Avenir is French for “future” and looks to explore the vision for a modern flagship sedan – and it certainly does that.

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The outside is almost entirely Australian, while the interior was penned in the USA.

To put this in perspective, unveiling a show car like this for Buick at the Detroit show is like the unveil of the Monaro at the Sydney show all those years ago – it’s headline grabbing and appealing, just what GM would have wanted and that’s a big deal for Aussie design.

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Here’s how GM explain the car’s overall Design:


A long hood, wheels-at-the-corners stance and a sloping, rear deck that pays homage to historical models, such as the Riviera, distinguish Avenir’s sports proportion.

Avenir remains unmistakably Buick with a modern take on the traditional Buick cues, such as the sweep spear and boattail.

The most striking departure from contemporary Buick models is a new grille design that puts anew face on the brand. It features a large opening accented by a return to the three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements. The grille is flanked by bold headlamps featuring full LED lighting.

The new grille is a modern interpretation of a design introduced on the landmark 1954 Wildcat II concept, which shattered expectations of what a Buick was supposed to be. On Avenir, it represents progressiveness in technology and a break from convention.

Sculptural surfaces, taught lines, short overhangs and a broad-shouldered stance stretches 5,195mm in length and 1,931mm in width. Its reimagined sweep-spear element complements the long body lines and conveys a sense of motion, as does tapered rear-end styling.

Its length enables exceptional spaciousness inside, but just as importantly, a presence that speaks to luxury and the importance of style. In short, it’s the befitting proportion for a Buick flagship.

Avenir’s sophisticated colour palette, including a Crystalline exterior colour and measured use of bright work, accent the Avenir’s body lines and sets up the interior for a combination that takes Buick’s contemporary style to a higher level.


Avenir’s four-place interior includes deco trim, premium leather and ambient lighting to create an environment that is inviting and comfortable.

Inspired by nature and sea waves receding on a beach, the interior flows seamlessly through the cabin featuring a three-dimensional motif on the seats and carried through in other components including the clear transparent décor that reveals the intriguing, sculptural wave motif beneath the surface A colour palette of light and natural tones blended with rich, premium materials such as oiled and buffed wood trim, and Galvano satin-chrome accents, enhance Avenir’s ambience.

Functionality is manifested in Avenir’s device-integration technologies, which are designed to lift the user’s mood and make the details associated with daily life a little easier. It starts the moment the vehicle is started, synchronizing information and devices within seconds.

Avenir’s integration features build on the technologies already available or coming soon in smartphones and streamline them in a system that makes accessing and interacting with them easier.

Personal connectivity extends to rear-seat passengers, where USB ports and video screens allow occupants to plug in to their favourite media and slip into complete relaxation, arriving at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated.

Avenir is a showcase of thoughtful and modern design with the capacity to anticipate and facilitate the personal needs of its occupants. It’s absolutely its own getaway destination.

Vehicle highlights:

  • Personal seating for four
  • Full light-emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting
  • 21-inch wheels
  • Next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop/start technology
  • Nine-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
  • Driver-selectable suspension damping
  • Twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system
  • Next-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment with large, 12-inch diagonal colour touch screen
  • Driver-recognition features that automatically sync infotainment preferences
  • Ionic cabin air filtration
  • Mobile device wireless charging
  • OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot

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