Earlier this year, it was reported that Buick had renewed patents on the Grand National and GNX, two performance cars from the 1980s. It has been confirmed that Buick is reviving the Grand National, the T-Type, and the legendary and infamous “Darth Vader” car, the Buick GNX, using a Cadillac platform.
Buick GNX, Grand National, T-Type to use Cadillac ATS platform
Not long ago, Buick was reported as having gotten patents or rather renewed patents on three models from it’s distant past, namely three performance variants of the Regal sedan of the 1980s, the Grand National, the T-Type and the Buick GNX.
Buick, according to AutoGuide, is officially reviving the line. All three will be built on the Cadillac ATS rear-wheel drive platform. Unlike the originals, however, they are most likely to be sedans rather than coupes, according to Fox News. A concept isn’t ready yet, so don’t bother with any auto loan solutions just yet.
You don’t know the power of the Dark Side
The Grand National, according to Fox, was launched in 1982 as a special edition Regal coupe, commemorating Buick’s consecutive titles in NASCAR’s Grand National series. Initially, it had a naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter V-6, according to MotorTrend, with turbocharging available as an option, boosting output to 180 horsepower up from the base 150 hp or 165 hp with a four-barrel carburetor. The Corvette at the time, with a 350 V-8, produced 195.
The Grand National was only sold with a four-speed automatic and offered only in black. Often referred to as “Darth Vader’s car,” it looked the part. The Dark Side of the Force runs through this vehicle like Colt 45 malt liquor through Billy Dee Williams.
Direct injection and an intercooler were added for 1984, and it was tuned up to 200 horsepower. Buyers could opt for the T-Type, essentially the same car with T-Top roof panels and, according to AutoTrader Classics, a full palette of color options. For 1986, Buick tuned the engine to 235 horsepower and again to 245 in 1987, the last year of production.
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That year, Buick handed 547 fully-loaded Grand Nationals over to ASC/McLaren, who dumped GM’s turbo unit in favor of a Garrett unit and with additional tuning, brought output up to 276 horsepower, creating the GNX. The GNX was faster to 60 and through a quarter-mile than a Corvette, just as fast as a Porsche 911 Turbo of the day and nearly as fast as a Ferrari Testarossa, for only $29,990, about $62,000 today.
New GNX rumored to get Corvette engine
According to AutoGuide, the T-Type will be the base model, with a Grand National as a performance variant. They will likely share a base engine, which according to AutoBlog, is said to be a twin-turbo V-6, offering 350 to 400 horsepower.
The new Buick GNX, the top-of-the-line model, is rumored to be primed for GM’s LT1 V-8 from the upcoming C7 Corvette. As the Cadillac ATS is said to be capable of taking one, the GNX using that plant could be feasible. A time-table for release hasn’t been mentioned yet, but it will likely be a few years.
AutoTrader Classics: http://www.autotraderclassics.com/car-article/Future+Collectible%3A+1986+Buick+Grand+National*T_Type-66683.xhtml