Might The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Spawn A New Buick Regal Grand National Or GNX?11
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.
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Could and this is why there is no RHD Camaro as it also will be a Holden and Opel.
If they’re going to make the Grand National, I think only its GNX trim should match or SLIGHTLY exceed the Camaro SS in performance.
Before you all get your torches and pitchforks, let me explain why: White space. If Buick is truly aiming for white space, the Grand National (not the GNX; more on that later) can’t step on the toes of Chevy (budget performance, little luxury) or Cadillac (top luxury and performance). It must stick to its brand identity as a Buick (budget luxury, little performance).
The Grand National (minus the GNX) should be tailored towards a buyer who wants a stylish luxury coupe, who wants something a little shinier than the Camaro, but with more performance than a large, luxurious, but not very sporty (E2XX or SWB Omega) Riviera, yet can’t afford a comparable-sized Cadillac. It will be those who don’t care too much for performance numbers, yet doesn’t need every single bell and whistle on a Cadillac.
I can picture it being a comfortable coupe with a spacious cabin that seats 5 passengers on a wheelbase sized between the CTS and the Camaro. On the outside I can see it wearing the current Buick/Opel/Vauxhall/Holden design language, while paying homage to the 80’s model (Dual rectangle [parallelogram?] LED headlights?). I think it would be easier to imagine it being cross-shopped with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Volkswagen CC, the future Acura Integra, and potential rivals from Lincoln and Chrysler.
As for the GNX, it will be to the ’86 GNX what the BMW M2 is to the 2002. Y’all can use your imagination for how far that goes.
They need to target the lower end Audi like drivers. Camaro owners that grew up or out of their cars as they become more affluent.
But I would not get too crazy going too retro in trying to recapture the past. This needs to be a world class sport coupe as it will also fit Opel and Holden.
You can use the name but you need to expand the legend.
Buick Regals are the best luxury sports sedans even made. I still have my 1995 Regal, and I would love to see a new GNX that is different from the Opel-produced Buick Regal which is a winner itself.
Go for it, GM!
I’d rather just see a Regal Coupe in AWD. A Alpha based car would kill any Aveair program .
Why do you say that?
You’d be better off bringing back Firebird and making Pontiac a sub-brand of Buick.
And that could work for GM. Sell Firebird in China to all the Chinese who want a sport car that has Buick DNA, via a Pontiac sub-brand and the heritage of Firebird.
The Chinese, who have no previous knowledge of the Firebird that they otherwise wouldn’t have to dig up via a Wikipedia search, have even less use for Pontiac than the Americans do.
GM doesn’t exist to fulfill your whimsical fantasies of a defunct sales channel and it’s defeated and disgraced sport car that had no equity outside the North American continent.
Furthermore, brands don’t have “DNA” as they are not a biological product of allele frequency.
Granddaddy, as usual, you trip up your own position with straw men arguments. Firebird sold quite well and was not a tarnished brand. If you were going to sell a pony car at Buick dealerships, that would be the way to do it – with added style, ride comfort, and luxury.
In fact, it could play in the opposite-drive of Buick – limited but significant sales in China while extremely profitable for GMNA.
Next time, focus on strong arguments and not the ones that make it a one-sided personal grudge.
P.S. Brand DNA is a marketing 101 topic in business school today. http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2012/12/14/do-you-know-your-brands-dna/
“with added style, ride comfort, and luxury”
The exact opposite of what a pony car is. Buick has no business there, and doesn’t need to have it’s place in the market diminished and scarred by direct association with Pontiac.
It simply isn’t within Buick’s mandate to keep perpetuating the image of a hair-metal band from the 80’s in their showroom. “Pontiac Firebird by Buick”, as your flimsy namesake that you hang your entire argument on, is that kind of negative association Buick doesn’t need in North America and won’t make any sense in China.
To what end does the soft, second-tier, middle-class, luxury approach of Buick need to be complimented with brash, vulgar, Firechicken vinyl appliques and Ram-Air hoods of a Firebird? Polar opposites, and nothing that could be reconciled between the two.
You want something that works? Then tell us all who is the target audience of this hypothetical “Pontiac Firebird by Buick”? Man-children who only got their licence after the Firebird was canceled who are clouded by dreams of cul-du-sac donuts and impromptu three-honk highway races, or white middle-class North Americans with steady careers and mortgages?
If I was a white middle-class North American with a steady career and mortgage AND I had a desire for speed and upward status seeking social climbing, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a “Pontiac Firebird by Buick”. In fact, the kind of upward status seeking social climbing that Buick buyers want is only satisfied with luxury cars on the top shelf. A 3-series, for instance, would be just the kind of thing needed to satisfy that desire, even if it wasn’t an M-sport.
Hell, even your mother knows that.
To put more simply; Buick owner want to move up the social ladder, but can’t as they are limited by fiscal or social means Their natural progression is to reach the top-tier. To submit to a Pontiac would be to lower their prospects and move down the ladder, and what exactly would the Firebird owner aspire for after doing that?
Sloan was right, and you aren’t.
You call all of that a grudge? It speaks of how distant you are from reality. You want a grudge? Shave that greasy smelly beard off, you look like some religious throwback. Will that make you feel vindicated, or will you still “try” to put me on probation?
I say go for it GM, after all a RWD platform sports car with a twin turbo V6 is a good idea. I also say bring back the Avenir as the Riviera in a 2 door coupe and also have the same platform in sedan version to make a Redo of the Park Avenue