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Auto blogMon, 09 Jun 2014 16:31:00 EST
When you think of daring concept cars or emotional design-student projects, Buick probably isn't the first brand that comes to mind. It's not for lack of concepts; when General Motors ran down 11 concept-car highlights from Buick's 110-year history, three of them are from the past 15 years, with other experiments in that same timeframe like the Black Hawk, Centieme and Cielo left unmentioned.
But the company still thinks about them even if we don't. It ran a contest for students at Detroit's College for Creative Studies to create a Buick for the year 2030 that would incorporate future materials and transportation needs, and nanotechnology.
Best exterior design went to Sam Kenny for his Neo Classical Buick, Justin Salmon took honors for innovative material use, like having exposed algae on the bodyshell to generate energy, and Namsuk Lee nabbed best overall concept and best interior for his Buick Vision Sedan. You can read more about the design challenge and winners in the press release, and hear students talk about what went into the work in the video below.
The options sheet of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse gets all kinds of fancy with the addition of the Ultra Luxury Interior. Pointing its Tri-Shield logo at the world of haute luxury, the cabin treatment combines sangria leather with ebony accents, shadow tamo ash wood trim and a microsuede headliner to "drive fashion forward."
You'll need to start with LaCrosse models with the 3.6-liter V6 and either the Leather, Premium or Premium II trims to go all Brioni and Buckingham on the cabin, and the privilege package will run you $2,495. We're told that you won't find such contrasting hues anywhere else in the class, though, and that kind of exclusivity might make any price a bargain.
You can find more information on the Ultra Luxury Interior in the press release below, along with some intensely fashion-foward gobbledygook.
Buick has taken the time to highlight some of the company's personal points of pride from the past 110 years. Those include everything from the automaker's very first vehicle, the 1904 Model B, to what Buick claims is the world's first concept car: The 1938 Y Job (above). That one also walked away with the worst name for a design study.
All told, the automaker has sold 43 million vehicles through the end of last year, and those include the lusty 1963 Riviera. That model celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013, and remains one of the brand's most iconic designs.
Of course, Buick is rightfully proud of its quickest model, too. The 1987 GNX managed a 4.6-second bolt to 60 mph in tests by Car and Driver, and it also took the honor of being one of the automaker's rarest creations at just 547 units. You can check out all 10 in the gallery above.