China is super into the luxury vehicles that allow you to be chauffeuredwhile relaxing in utter opulence. It’s allowed for some automakers to build up some wild vehicles that you wouldn’t expect to be ultra luxurious. More notably, the luxury minivan segment there. Minivans in China have Mercedes Maybach-level rivaling luxury. Examples including tea Lexus LM. Now, to your surprise, Buick has been in the luxury van business for years in China. But its newest luxury minivan revives an old beloved nameplate the US is quite familiar with: Century.
Remember the Buick Century? It was a Buick nameplate for over 75 years. But here in the States, it was a boring bread-and-butter midsize family sedan — a tan soap bar on wheels. While the Century died (and Buick’s popularity in the US as well), GM focused on Buick in China, and with that apparently all the good stuff they’ve been designing.
Buyers will get to choose a new Century in either a six or four-seat layout. But if you want to be driven aboutthe four-seat layout would be your go-to. Buick describes the four-seat layout as a “sanctuary on wheels.” The automaker isn’t kidding — the four-seater is all about the rear passengers.
Inside, if you opt for fourthere’s a full wall partition separating you from the driver. On that wall is a 32-inch flat-screen display that can retract at the press of a button. The wall also acts to keep the rear compartment as a place of privacy. Did I mention that it also houses the main interface for a 21-speaker Bose sound system and a 13-liter fridge for your drinks? There’s even aa scent diffuser that will keep the rear cabin smelling great.
The seats are even more luxurious. They get covered in Nappa leather, 18-way adjustable, can be heated in five independent zones, and can even massage you in 18 specific points. If you end up feeling a bit closed in back there and don’t want to look out the window, don’Don’t worry. All you have to do is look up.
The suede-covered ceiling boasts a Rolls Royce-like starry roof with 366 individual LED lights, 162 of which flash like little stars. And they don’don’t just flash. Using voice commands or controls in the center wall screen, you can turn on a variety of lighting modes for the ceiling with modes like romance, meditation, and Welcome. It gets better with 128-color LED lighting — yor can create a hell of a mood for a date.
And if you care enough about how fast you get where you’re going, Buick says the Century is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotech I4 with a 48V mild hybrid system.
Of course, all of this won’t come cheap. It’s likely one of the reasons why we’d never see anything like this on our shores: no one would pay the premium money this thing commands. Based on current exchange rates, prices for the GL8 Century start at $74,500 and go all the way up to $97,000. That’s serious money for a minivan and even bigger money for a Buick.
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