Hacker-Craft has been making some of the world’s most sought-after mahogany boats since 1908. From their manufacturing facility in Ticonderoga, New York, 40 craftspeople work anywhere from 1,700 to 3,000 hours building each boat by hand. Not only does Hacker-Craft manufacture custom and semi-custom runabouts, sport boats, and racers, it’s also a full restoration facility, where owners can have their vintage boats re-bottomed, re-varnished, and sometimes, almost completely rebuilt.
It’s here, on the northernmost end of Lake George, that Buick has brought us to observe some of the daily workings of the Hacker-Craft facility, and to understand the amount of skill and care required for such an undertaking. It’s that dedication to quality that Buick hopes to convey with its Avenir lineup, an upscale sub-brand that packages distinctive looks with an arsenal of standard features.
Interior designer Chris Hilts, who is with us on our journey, tell us: “The Avenir is the highest expression of Buick luxury.” Models available with the Avenir badge include the LaCrosse sedan, Enclave SUV, and most recently, the sleek Avenir sportback. These can be distinguished not only by their badging, but by their distinctive, crosshatch-patterned front grille, as well as their unique wheel designs.
Although they’re the same under the hood as their standard Buick counterparts, Avenir models differ inside the cabin with upgraded materials and several standard features. The new Regal Avenir is the most tech-savvy of the bunch, with a new, more refined central touch screen and Buick’s first cloud-connected infotainment system.
Other standard features include an eight-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and wireless device charging. Although powered by a modest 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Regal Avenir’s silhouette brings to mind more expensive, German sportbacks such as the Audi A6 and BMW 4 Series Grand Coupe.
Buick has enjoyed renewed success in recent years, especially in China, where the brand is still seen today as a status symbol. As SUVs account for roughly half of vehicle sales in the U.S., the Enclave Avenir should appeal to buyers who want a spacious crossover with an extra touch of elegance – and the brawn to haul away a shiny new Hacker-Craft boat.
For more information, please visit www.buick.com.