A new name for a fully-loaded Buick.
GMC has Denali, Cadillac has the V Series, and now Buick has Avenir. GM's near-premium brand has announced plans to launch its own luxury sub-brand that is the “highest expression of the luxury experiences we're delivering now and in the future,” according to Duncan Aldred, Vice President of Buick Global Sales, Service, and Marketing.
Aldred's comment certainly invites comparisons with Denali. And based on Motor1's conversation with PR man Stuart Fowle, it sounds like Buick's execution is going to be similar, too. But there will be necessary differences. Fowle indicated, for example, that we aren't likely to see an Avenir-badged Buick rub up against the $77,760 mark the way the GMC Yukon Denali does.
“I wouldn't expect to aim that high with where we are in the segment,” Fowle said, referencing the Yukon Denali's price. He was similarly coy about which Buicks would get the Avenir treatment.
“Denali started as a single product on the Yukon, with a special package, and it's grown to be all the way across the lineup,” Fowle said. “If you look at Enclave specifically, 90 percent of customers are already doing the top two trim levels, so we're seeing that as a great sign that this is where we need to go. But the percentages aren't quite there for some of the other products.”
While Fowle wouldn't offer particulars on which models Buick's new range-topping trim level would come to, he did hint at what customers could expect, using the LaCrosse as an example.
“If we're going to talk LaCrosse, what you should expect with a LaCrosse Avenir, if you went into a dealer today and said ‘I want the LaCrosse loaded up with everything,' tomorrow, it'll be ‘I want the LaCrosse Avenir,’” Fowle said. “You should expect that it has everything that the other trim levels would have, and then it has all this special equipment, too.”
That will likely take the form of material and aesthetic changes that draw inspiration from the Avenir and Avista concepts. In fact, Fowle specifically cited the latter's “3D mesh grille” and wheel design as future Avenir traits. So if you're disappointed that the lovely two-door that introduced the Avenir name still isn't in production, be happy knowing that at least some of its style will influence future models.
While all we have to go on right now is the badge you see above, that won't be the case for long. According to Fowle, Buick will introduce three different Avenir models globally over the next 18 months, with “a couple of those in the next six to nine months.” We're looking forward to seeing what Buick can come up with.