How much would you pay for a car that doesn’t technically exist?
A new Buick Grand National or GNX has long been on enthusiasts’ wish lists. General Motors hasn’t confirmed any plans to build these cars, but that apparently hasn’t stopped a North Carolina dealer from starting a waiting list.
Liberty Buick GMC of South Charlotte told GM Authority that customers have been calling about test drives of the as-yet-unconfirmed models, and it’s been putting their names on a list.
The dealer claims the first examples will arrive late next year, and will be based on the GM Alpha rear-wheel drive platform that underpins the Cadillac ATS and CTS, and is expected to form the basis for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, too.
That’s pretty bold, considering the only hard evidence so far are U.S. Patent Office filings for the Grand National and GNX names.
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The Grand National put Buick on the performance map in the 1980s, and changed the perception of performance cars. It was introduced in 1982, but didn’t achieve iconic status until 1986, when Buick blacked out every piece of exterior trim in apparent homage to Darth Vader.
Based on the Regal, the Grand National packed a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 and that smaller engines using modern electronics end forced induction could match the performance of traditional V8s.
The GNX was an even sportier version offered in 1987 to send the model out on a high note, as it was due to be scrapped along with the rest of the rear-wheel drive Regal lineup.
The Regal switched to front-wheel drive and it’s still in production today, but even the turbocharged GS model can’t match the bravado of the Grand National and GNX.
The return of those models would be as improbable today as their genesis was in the 1980s, but stranger things have happened in the car industry.
It might be a bit too early to put down a deposit, though.