2013 Buick Riviera concept car inspired by water; runs on electricity

Designed in China (Shanghai to be exact), the 2013 Riviera concept reprises a great name from Buick’s history to offer a possible glimpse into its future styling direction.


The 2013 Buick Riviera concept is said to be inspired by the Chinese saying “the greatest good comes from water”.

What powers the 2013 Buick Riviera concept car? Given the car’s watery inspiration we were hoping that would be hydrogen fuel cells under that slinky body converting hydrogen and oxygen into power and water vapour, like the Honda FCX Clarity. Alas, according to GM, this Riviera is plug-in hybrid. The company isn’t giving out any other specifics, so we’ll have to assume a Volt-style layout, albeit with the addition of conductive wireless charging technology.

What outrageous show car tech has it got? Info from 18 sensors and 10 HD cameras are apparently transmitted as holographic images on the windscreen; yeah, right. More realistically the car is equipped with 4G LTE mobile and internet connectivity so the nav system is kept up-to-date with the latest traffic info, while you can stream weather updates, news and (probably) YouTube via the entertainment system.

Haven’t I seen this concept car before? No. But it isn’t the first time that Buick’s used the storied Riviera nameplate on a concept car in recent history. There was a show car from 2007 with the same now; it’s in the gallery below.

Will Buick make this? Probably not, unless it’s hatching a plan to offer a car based on the Holden Volt/Cadillac ELR platform.


Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]