We’ve all known about the trademark filings of the Grand National and GNX from General Motors for quite some time. The news broke in numerous outlets all across the country back in May of 2012, and since then, the internet has been awash with photoshopped renderings of ATS,’ G8s, and even a severely reworked CTS-V(1), among others.
Although literally none of those images are the official workings of General Motors, they have made fans of the all-black Buick terrors come up with some vivid ideas. Thanks to our friends at GM Authority, it turns out that General Motors has filed another extension through the United States Trademark and Patent Office. And that patent is for actual land vehicles (i.e, cars), not key chains or other forms of apparel.
Now before you get too excited, and start to believe that GM is simply going to start remanufacturing the good ole’ G-body GN/GNX all over again, we hate to burst your bubble. It’s not happening! Coming from an actual Grand National owner, your author has outlined the reasons this won’t be the case below.
Here’s what we do know:
It’ll be rear-wheel and/or all-wheel drive.
With GM’s strong push towards rear-wheel drive for its performance cars, this is a given. Plus, we hear they’ll be using the Alpha chassis that underpins the new CTS, ATS, and upcoming 6th-Gen Camaro. So this is definitely a start in the right direction.
It won’t be based on the now ancient G-body platform.
Forget it, not happening. The last full-frame passenger car GM assembled in North America was the 1996 Caprice/Impala SS – and it was hilariously outdated even by 1996 standards. It’s all about crash safety standards, fuel economy, and globalization in today’s world. So expect a platform at least similar to the aforementioned Alpha chassis.
Forget about a retro G-body Regal body, too.
Partly because the boxy styling would put a hindering effect on performance, aerodynamics, and fuel economy (it did even in the ’80s version), and partly because retro styling is on its way out. We don’t expect to see at least a concept until sometime next year, at the earliest. By the time the Buick(s) would go into production, it will be over.
The Buick 3.8L V6 Turbo (LC2) won’t be returning.
As good as the 245 hp V6 was in Grand National tune, and how great the 276 hp example was in the GNX, those engines are going to be left in the past, and in the dust by today’s performance vehicles. Buick hasn’t manufactured its own engine since 2008, anyway, with the last one being installed into a FWD Pontiac Grand Prix.
The obvious candidate would be the 3.6L TT V6 found in today’s XTS, CTS VSport, and upcoming ATS-V. Expect a horsepower output in the mid-400 range for both cars, as a result.
Whatever form a future Grand National or GNX will arrive in, we’ll welcome it with open arms. While we doubt it will be a Corvette killer like the original, it will more than likely go toe-to-toe with the BMW M3, M4, and M5. Only time will tell, however…
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.