The launch of the Electra E5 in China kick starts the Ultium era for Buick. Introduced last year, this electric crossover features a sleek and “pure” design that draws inspiration from the Electra-X concept.
The car boasts Buick’s new and contentious face, smooth styling, and flush-mounted door handles. The model also comes equipped with 18- or 20-inch wheels and the latest tri-shield emblem.
Measuring 192.6 inches (4,892 mm) long, 75 inches (1,905 mm) wide, and 65.2 inches (1,655 mm) tall, the Electra E5 sits on a wheelbase spanning 116.3 inches (2,954 mm). This places it between the Enclave and Envision in terms of size.
For those wanting a more exclusive option, the Electra E5 Avenir is available, for the first time in an EV form. The flagship sports a flashier exterior with “crystal diamond digital headlights” and Gavanolo chrome trim.
Inside the cabin, significant changes are visible, as the Avenir features contrasting blue accents that give it a “composed, noble temperament.” Avenir-branded sill plates, a suede/microfiber headliner, and special front seats with embroidered headrests complete the luxurious look.
The interior also features a 30-inch curved display packing a digital instrument cluster and an infotainment system. Buick hasn’t provided many details about it, but it has voice and gesture recognition technology, as well as upgraded navigation. Users can also play multimedia content.
Apart from the display, the model boasts hidden air vents, a floating center console, and a 121-color ambient lighting system. The wood and metallic trim add to the luxurious feel. Additionally, the model features a frunk and up to 1,658 liters of storage space in the cargo compartment.
The Electra E5 offers two types of battery packs for different performance levels. The standard option is a 68.4 kWh battery, providing up to 339 miles (545 km) of range based on the CLTC cycle. The long-range version has a bigger 79.7 kWh battery, extending the range up to 385 miles (620 km). Fast charging can replenish the battery from 30-80% in around 28 minutes.
In terms of power, the standard range model has a front-mounted electric motor generating 241 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to reach 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds. Meanwhile, the long-range model has a weaker 201 hp electric motor, but with the larger battery, it can still go up to 0-62 mph in 8.6 seconds. The maximum speed for both models is 112 mph.
For those seeking greater performance, the Electra E5 Avenir provides an opportunity to upgrade. Its dual-motor all-wheel drive system yields a combined output of 283 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. With these specs, the crossover can achieve 62 mph in just 6.7 seconds and travel 375 miles on a single charge, thanks to its 79.7 kWh battery pack.
Upon getting behind the wheel, customers will appreciate the convenience of a one-pedal driving mode and a Regen-on-Demand paddle, both of which are reminiscent of Cadillac’s Lyriq. Furthermore, the Electra E5 will be the first Buick in China to offer enhanced Super Cruise, a Cadillac technology.
The Electra E5 Avenir is priced at ¥208,900 ($30,412) for the base model and goes up to ¥278,900 ($40,603) for the top-of-the-line version. It is worth noting that more Buick EVs are expected to launch in the near future.
Buick has confirmed the introduction of a second Ultium-based electric vehicle in China by mid-2023, in addition to discussing the Electra E5. This is likely to be the Electra E4, which has been recently seen during testing in the US.
Furthermore, Buick plans to launch three more Ultium-based models, with a total of five Ultium products in its lineup by the end of 2025. Although Buick did not provide details, it stated that the lineup will include sedans and multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), as well as crossovers such as the E4 and E5.