Let’s be clear first: this is purely speculative. This is the fine minds at GM Authority linking pieces together to create a plausible scenario. But let’s play this out for a moment. Because if anything else, we dare to dream.
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro rides on General Motors’ Alpha platform, foregoing the bulkier Zeta bones which brought us the fifth-generation Camaro, and the platform has already shown what it’s capable of with the superb driving-dynamics of the Cadillac ATS and CTS. The 2016 Camaro isn’t just a direct ATS or CTS clone, though. The new Camaro actually has a distinct wheelbase unique from its Cadillac cousins, with 70 percent of its parts exclusive to itself, along with its own engineering team calibrating everything together. These traits help give the 2016 Camaro a character all its own (and at the same time, keeps certain charms unique to the Cadillacs) based on what we can tell from early driving impressions.
And we think this wheelbase would supplement the perfect Buick Regal Grand National reintroduction. Or Buick GNX, for that matter.
It wouldn’t take much to reimagine the 2016 Camaro as a modern day Buick Regal Grand National. Foremost, it would be a coupe, and we feel sleek, all-black sleeper styling cues could really distance this hypothetical car from its flashy Camaro cousin, with its ambient lighting preferences to boot. Not to mention, the only other place to source a rear-wheel platform for this car would be the Omega platform. And we have Buick Avenir hopes for that.
Despite the cars sharing very different pasts, it’s the most plausible scenario should General Motors decide to do something with the Grand National and GNX patents it has continuously renewed.
The original Buick Regal Grand National utilized a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine and, luckily, GM has already developed the perfect modern day successor to the engine in the 464 hp LF4 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6. The engine is currently employed in the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V, which is also based on the Alpha, and we’d imagine engineers are itching to drop the engine into something else as well. The twin-turbo six would also add more differentiation of a theoretical new Buick Grand National from the 2016 Camaro, as the Chevy likely won’t use an engine of that kind of output when it has the 455 hp LT1 V8 in the SS model.
You may ask if calm and contemporary Buick has any need to introduce a rear-wheel drive sports coupe such as a new Regal Grand National or GNX into its portfolio, however. We say, why not? The brand has consistently paraded its “white space” mentality, and has acted as a pioneer for GM recently, applying itself to niches where the company sees fit (cc: Verano, Encore, Cascada). A new Buick GNX would very much be in its own playing field, from what we can tell, when it comes to the combination of branding and theoretical performance.
Fusing the genetics of both the Cadillac and Chevrolet performance cars to make a new (2018?) Buick Grand National or GNX seems like a solid opportunity here, if not one with relatively low development costs. Feasible? We think so. Is it happening? We hope so.