This hybrid car was inspired by water

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

General Motors continues to tinker with its green car strategy on a global level. Whether its the Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo DieselChevy Volt, Chevy Spark EV or Cadillac ELR, the American automaker is throwing its creativity at a variety of ideas to see what will be a hit with drivers.

One of its latest peeks into what could be was recently unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in the form of the new Buick Riviera plug-in hybrid concept car.

The Buick Riviera, according to GM, makes use of what is called the new “dual-mode W-PHEV (wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) propulsion system.” With this fancy sounding system, one can drive in either pure electric or hybrid mode if they so desire. The wireless aspect of the name comes into play via allowing for the car to “be charged with a traditional cable or wirelessly via a sensory recharge panel on the car’s chassis.”

Buick Riviera concept

Buick Riviera concept at 2013 Shanghai Auto Show (image via GM)

The Riviera’s design, created in conjunction with the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, reportedly takes inspiration from the Chinese saying: “The greatest good is like water.” How? By having a look said to go “from thick to thin,” while having “the vibrant nature of a moving river embodied in its athletic shape, elegant ambience and deeply sculpted lines.”

Interesting features in the vehicle’s concept idea include gull-wing doors, wing-shaped daytime running lights and a raked windshield.

The interior, besides making use of “refined materials such as sand-blasted aluminum alloy, lava suede and ebony,” also hosts a number of interesting technologies. These include a mobile Internet system based upon 4G LTE speeds that offers the driver real-time traffic information, weather updates, and news and entertainment while communicating with other vehicles; a forward-looking active safety system that collects traffic information through 10 high-resolution cameras (for image monitoring) and 18 micro high-precision sensors (for distance monitoring) that’s displayed as a holographic image onto the windshield; and an “intelligent” driver assist system which incorporates an array of safety features aiming to keep those in the cockpit more protected.

As with most concepts, an exact replica of this Riviera design will likely never see the light of day. It does show though, according to a GM official, of the 110-year oldBuick brand’s “future design language.” One thing is clear as well – it isn’t like the Buick Riviera of old which, in its heyday, was one of the more popular cars in the GM stable.