Introduced in 1982, the Buick Regal Grand National began life as a special edition honoring Buick’s back-to-back titles in NASCAR’s Grand National series. However, delivering just 125 horsepower, these race-inspired models left a lot to be desired. I owned several of these in the late 1970’s.
Just two years later, the car received an engine transplant that would eventually see it become one of the fastest models money could buy. Now, it looks like the Grand National is set to return, though this time it won’t be based on the Regal, and it won’t be a coupe.
Citing an inside source, Edmunds is reporting that Buick is looking to launch a new Grand National sedan as well as new versions of the T-Type and GNX variants.
Instead of using the Regal as the basis of its new Grand National range, Buick engineers would likely go with the Alpha rear-wheel-drive platform currently underpinning the highly praised Cadillac ATS sedan. The overall size of the cars should be similar to that of the ATS, even though the Alpha platform can spawn bigger models.
All three variants are said to share basic powertrains and suspension, though with different settings. It’s not clear what powertrains would be used, though GM’s upcoming twin-turbocharged V-6 is a likely candidate. This could allow an output of between 300 and 400 horsepower.
The GNX, however, would likely feature GM’s new LT1 V-8 engine, which is set to debut in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. This engine would be good for about 450-horsepower. Note, the addition of the LT1 V-8 would also mean that the upcoming Cadillac ATS-V will likely adopt V-8 power as well.
Note, there’s another twist to this story. One of the key people behind the project, GM’s North American boss Mark Reuss, is a previous GNX owner. He also happened to be the boss of GM’s Australian division Holden during 2008 and 2009, which has led to speculation that a version of the new Buick Grand National may serve as the Holden Commodore that’s due after the upcoming VF Commodore has run its course, which is currently scheduled for some time in 2018.
Holden is an expert in the development of rear-wheel-drive cars at GM and may end up developing the new Grand National alongside its next Commodore. Holden has been appointed the task of developing two new models for China based on global GM platforms and it’s possible the new Grand National could be one of them.
It sure does make for a great story, and hopefully there’s some truth to it