The Evolution of a Concept Car to a Captivating Crossover: GM’s Buick Enclave
With the news that the 2022 Buick Enclave arrives with a bold and fresh design, new technologies and improved features, I thought it would be interesting for us to take a look at the journey of this crossover SUV since its introduction as a concept vehicle in the North American International Auto Show in 2006. In doing so, we see the progression of the first Lambda vehicle from its origin to the current iteration, a stylish family vehicle capable of rivaling the most luxurious vehicle offerings from Europe like the BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
In the beginning…
Prior to the Enclave’s inception, there was a succession of midsize and full-size SUVs – the most closely related to the Enclave being the Buick Terraza, Rendezvous and Rainier models.
The Buick Terraza was a mid-2000s luxury minivan version of the vehicle design that would later become the Enclave, competing with models like the Saturn Relay and Chevrolet Uplander. It was definitely simpler in design, looking more like older minivans, with simple lines and nothing at all to make it stand out as the luxury SUV families would later seek.
The Buick Rendezvous, on the other hand, was a mid-size crossover SUV in the early to mid-2000s, sportier and sleeker in design than the simple Terraza. It also retained the distinction of being the highest-carrying Buick since the Roadmaster Estate station wagon, one of the Buick family vehicles of the 1990s that was later phased out in favor of SUVs.
The last predecessor was the Buick Rainier, a mid-2000s midsize SUV with a little more style than the Terraza and less sportiness than the Rendezvous, a happy medium with quality upgrades like the QuietTuning insulation now used in the Buick Enclave. This, however, was not enough, and eventually it followed the path of all previous models, resulting in the Enclave making a splash by becoming the very first Buick to use the Lambda platform.
What is the Lambda Platform?
The Buick Enclave isn’t the only vehicle in GM’s lineup to use the Lambda platform, but it’s the first Buick to do so, beginning with the original Enclave model sold in 2007. The Lambda platform s is inspired by the earlier Epsilon design and was a successor to the Theta platform, the first to be used for Buick’s crossover vehicles. The underlying architecture is where the chassis, suspension and steering come together to create the foundation of every vehicle. Often a single platform is used for a variety of models, such as the Lambda, which was not only used for the Buick Enclave, but also for the Chevrolet Traverse, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia, but not all the generations.
The Lambda platform is renowned for its roominess, offering plenty of space for three-row seats and storage, its four-wheel independent suspension system, and its front and all-wheel applications. Its full-size capability provides a perfect platform for crossover SUVs like the Enclave while maintaining a welded steel unibody that doesn’t compromise safety. Of course, continuous improvement and the need to stand out from the competition means that platforms don’t stay the same for very long, and the Lambda had to make way for a new and improved platform that underpins the Buick Enclave since 2017, the C1XX platform.
The C1XX platform
Since 2017, the Buick Enclave has had the C1XX chassis, which is a bit more flexible than the previous Lambda, allowing for two- or three-row seating, depending on whether you’re looking for midsize or full-size. luxury family vehicle. This change allows fewer platforms to be used, as the Theta/Epsilon platform was used for regular wheelbase models, and the Lambda platform was for full-size crossovers. Like the Lambda platform, it also includes the four-wheel independent suspension system and front and all-wheel drive. So what makes it better for the Buick Enclave? Instead of catering to a family size, this rig allows for greater flexibility, whether you need a more comfortable seven-seater or a roomier eight-seater for the perfect weekend getaway or road trip. with family in summer.
What else is new for the 2022 Enclave?
Along with the previous platform change, the next Buick Enclave will be a new version of the crossover SUV – with an updated design, improved technology and special features in the Enclave Avenir that make it perfect for a more luxurious family drive. .
New design features
While older Enclave models were rather plain with flat exterior surfaces and minimal curves, the 2022 model is cleaner and sleeker. The sharp lines set him apart from the crowd, whether he’s parked at the new upscale restaurant in town for a family dinner or driving down the highway on a family vacation. It’s also available in a wider variety of colors for those who want more exciting choices than your standard black, white, and gray options. I particularly like the Emperor Blue Metallic shade, a bold yet subtle hue somewhere between royal blue and navy, with a shimmering plating that evokes richness and power.
The 2022 Buick Enclave’s connectivity features include wireless compatibility with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, plus wireless charging so you never have to buy another cord to replace the ones that always go missing when you need them . With an available Wi-Fi hotspot that can handle up to four phones or tablets, there’s never a need to bring extra entertainment, leaving more legroom and promoting a quieter, more peaceful ride for the whole family. Don’t forget to bring headphones.
The Buick Driver Confidence Plus has become standard, along with a hands-free tailgate when those suitcases, groceries and all the sports gear keep your hands full. With the Avenir, you can also get Rainsense wipers for driving in rain, sleet and snow.
Visit the interior of the Future
The Enclave Avenir has the optional extra comfort that makes it such a luxurious vehicle. The first and second rows of seats are in leather, and heating is available for the front seats and the steering wheel. For those who want even more, there’s another optional package that includes front seats that massage the driver and passenger, keeping people comfortable for longer periods. With its brushed chrome, leather and wood tones, plus a sun visor, skylight and sunroof, the Avenir’s interior is top of the line for comfort and style. It is reminiscent of older luxury models from decades ago, with plenty of room for passengers, cargo or a combination of the two with the ability to still enjoy fresh air and a great view.
From concept to ultimate comfort
The family vehicle has come a long way, even since the early 2000s, with each model striving to become the ultimate comfort vehicle for families on the go. I believe we have reached a major milestone with the 2022 Buick Enclave, although, of course, the pinnacle always seems to be reached by the latest edition, the latest model, or the latest design. It’s unclear what they’ll change with the next gen Enclave or if they’ll get rid of it altogether, but hopefully they’ll retain some of the strengths of that particular model and just be built on an excellent platform.
I think we should appreciate where we are right now, with the technology to provide heated massages, a wifi hotspot, security features to protect every member of the family, including the hairs, and a design that definitely stands out in a crowd while providing the most comfortable ride possible. Whatever happens next, in my opinion, the Enclave will remain a highlight for Buick.