Perhaps signifying the future introduction of an extended range Buick EV or hybrid flagship, General Motors has put in an application to trademark the Electra name.
From a marketing standpoint, adopting the name Electra for such a vehicle would appear to be a good move; not only does it clearly define the concept of electric based automotive technology, much like Ampera and Volt, it also plays heavily on Buick’s heritage.
From 1959 until 1990, Electra was the top-of-the-line full-size Buick, built off GM’s C-body large coupe/sedan platform. Electras were originally conceived as “premium” branded cars, fairly luxurious and almost as impressive in stature but a little less ostentatious than contemporary Cadillacs. Hugely popular during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the top of the line Electra 225 (popularly named “Deuce and a quarter,” because of it’s length, 225 inches) arguably came to symbolize the golden age of American motoring, alongside other such stalwarts as the Cadillac Eldorado, Chevrolet Corvette and original Ford Mustang.
From such heady heights, the Electra withered on the vine, ending up as a front-wheel drive, V6 powered sedan that was barely distinguishable from the lower priced LeSabre, or even its crosstown rival, the Oldsmobile 98.
Although some will argue that big Detroit cruisers are a thing of the past, the re-born Chrysler 300 has shown there is still a ready market for such vehicles. Thus, if General Motors does indeed decide to re-introduce the Electra as a top-of-the line flagship with extended-range EV technology, it will no doubt further solidify the brand’s once again growing reputation.
Not only that, but it would likely make a significant impact in China. Buick is a brand highly regarded in the world’s current largest car market and with EVs emerging as the preferred form of alternative vehicle, a car such as an Electra with Volt type technology would make almost perfect sense.