The one in the top picture should be one of General Motors’ major launches for years to come. It’s the Buick Electra (here still in prototype), an all-electric SUV that should hit the streets in the coming years. His name, however, is no stranger to the GM range. I explain next.
When it was introduced in the United States in 1959, the Buick Electra (above) was the sleekest and most luxurious thing that could be put into a supercar at the time. Big by American standards, remember, and that meant less than six meters (5.715mm) from stem to stern, that is, from front to back. This in a four-door sedan version, as there were also two-door options (closed or convertible) and station wagon (lorry / pickup truck).
The model shared much of its base with mechanics and its famous Cadillac cousins - members of the same General Motors family. The inspiration for its lines came from the space race that had just begun – note the “wings” at the back (above), derivations of the iconic fish tails.
In our eyes today, few cars can be more “correct” than that beautiful and personal drawing of metal and chrome. The 330 hp V8 engine used fuel without ceremony and there were no worries about reducing weight, improving space utilization, using reusable materials or anything like that.
The Electra remained in production until 1990, spanning those 31 years and six different generations. If his body followed the evolution (?) of the market, moving from curved lines to straight lines, leaving chrome etc., his “spirit” always remained the same: big, happy, drunk … in other words, reeeem conservative. (see the gallery with examples from different eras at the end of this post)
Well now, the Buick Electra will hit the road in a very different way. Unveiled late last year at the China auto show, it has been reborn in the form of a bold electric SUV. As in the models of the 1960s, inspiration, the manufacturer says that the inspiration of its lines comes from spaceships (and perhaps that is the only similarity between them).
Part of the electric plans of General Motors for the coming years, it should be launched in the Asian country by 2025. It is very likely that, in its definitive version, the car will lose some of its more design features, but the base must be the same.
As in electric cars the space occupied by the engine is much smaller than in combustion cars and the batteries will be placed under the floor, the freedom to dare given to the designers is great. Furthermore, with this new generation of EVs, everything we’ve seen come to cars over the past 10 years in terms of comfort and safety features – including semi-autonomous driving – goes further.
It is interesting that such a project will start in China – and not in America, where the headquarters of GM is and where the Electra Original was born and lived. This, in part, is explained by the fact that such conservatism, the same that traveled in the “old” Electra, still travels on the streets and roads of America today. In China, whether by force or desire, new technologies and radical reforms are welcomed and encouraged – the electrification of cars there is one of the most expressive in the world, also encouraged by the need to reduce environmental pollution in its many megalopolises.
Some information about the new Electra:
Engine: two Ultium engines, one on the front axle, one on the rear (all-wheel drive)
Expected range: up to 600 km
Combined power: 591 hp
Acceleration: from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.3 seconds.
Let’s go to the gallery with the old Buick Electra, in chronological order: