It's a Future Product Extravaganza!
Feature Website: HERE
Welcome to a new Feature here at GMI; Revitalization In Action. Planned as a series of dream lineups possible for each of GM's brands, the first in this series, Revitalization in Action; The Dream Buick Lineup, has been a long time in the making, a collaboration of GMI Staff Member ChevroletRevived and GMI Chopper Fbodyrules. Our mission? To show, with a realistic feasibility factor, the great and focused lineups possible for each GM brand in North America. There has been talk of a brand cancellation, but with tight focus and a small, but effective vehicle lineup, divisions can become as one, as with the BPG collaboration. This Feature does this, showing what is possible in a focused line of Buick vehicles. The reason for the selection of the Buick brand as the first in our series is simple; Buick, along with the rest of BPG, is first in line for it's $3 billion revitalization. That, along with the shared belief that the Buick brand has much yet untapped potential were the driving factors in it's selection. The voice of the fans can make a difference. Some serious R&D and a brand with a lot of potential can spell success; if done right. And that's what we're here for. Thanks for viewing, and enjoy!
2010 Buick LaCrosse
Available: Spring 2009
Drive Wheels: Front
Engines: CXL: 2.8L HF V6 w/245 hp (FWD), CXS: 3.6L HF V6 w/295 hp (AWD)
Transmission: 6 speed Automatic (Standard)
This car is a proposal for the next LaCrosse, set on the versatile new EPII platform, currently under development. Our proposed LaCrosse, following the rumors of the next generations's move upwards in size and price, is larger then the current model, and is mirrored after it's larger and more expensive Roadmaster sibling. Not developed to be a sports performance BMW-esque sedan, the LaCrosse's mission is to take the ES head on. This car is not positioned as a ''cut rate'' ES, rather the LaCrosse not only matches, but exceeds the standards set for this class. It's aim? To take refinement, sophistication and technology to new levels, directly competing and winning it's Japanese peers. The LaCrosse is priced competitivley, with the uplevel CXS model priced squarely in ES territory. Moving downmarket, the CXL starts you out at a lower price point the the car's competitors, covering the smaller luxury segments with it's $29,995 introducutory price point. We believe that it's competitiveness in exceeding the set standards, combined with distinctive American style and boldness lacking in the ES, the LaCrosse will win over buyers as it changes perceptions and Buick shifts back into contention.
2010 Buick Wildcat
Available: February 2009
Drive Wheels: Rear
Engines: CXL: 3.6L HF V6 w/300 hp, CXS: 4.6L Northstar V8 w/350 hp
Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic (Standard)
Starting out above standard LaCrosse CXS territory, the Wildcat RWD sedan is priced competitively, coming at around $42-55k. Positioned as a Buick alternative to the Lexus GS and aimed toward young professionals and businessmen, the Zeta based RWD Wildcat will be a Buick ''want'' vehicle, the sportiest in the sedan lineup. Inside and out, the styling of the Wildcat sedan copies cues from the successful Velite concept car, first shown in 2004. The interior of the Wildcat possesses subtle retro cues, like a retro-futuristic steering wheel, chromed vents and round instrument binnacle showcased in the Wildcat Gran Sport (shown below). Satin nickel trim abounds, and only a few sparse, yet ideally placed, pieces of wood round off the look of freshness and modern minimalist style inherent in the car's design. A favorite of enthusiasts and professionals alike, the Wildcat is a Buick like no other, a uniquely placed piece of automotive perfection, and the image leader of the sedan lineup.
2009 Buick Wildcat Gran Sport
Available: Fall 2008
Platform: GM Y-Body
Drive Wheels: Rear
Engines: 4.4L Supercharged Northstar V8 w/425 hp
Transmission: 6 speed automatic
Introducing the Buick Wildcat Gran Sport: the ultimate expression of Buick's renaissance and the ''Halo'' vehicle of the Buick lineup. Coming in at around $55-60k, the powerful and luxurious V8 Gran Sport takes cues from Buick's past, most noticeably in it's unmistakable Riviera boat tail liftback rear end. The Gran Sport is a styling stunner, oozing style and class with it's beautiful pilarless construction, Velite styling, and handleless doors. Truly the pinnacle of style and luxury in the Buick lineup, the Gran Sport, like the Corvette, offers value for the money, keeping company with exotics and luxury coupes much higher in price. The Gran Sport will be a real perception shatter, bringing a competitive dose of American style and luxury to the segment and spreading the positive new image across the entire lineup.
2009 Buick Roadmaster & 2010 Roadmaster Coupe (below)
Available: Spring 2008 (Sedan) and January 2009 (Coupe)
Drive Wheels: RWD
Engines: CXL: 3.6L HF V6 w/275 hp, & Northstar 4.6L V8 w/350 hp
Transmission: 6 speed automatic (Standard)
The next generation Lucurne is currently under development by Buick. In our proposal, it will be getting a name change, to Roadmaster. Based on the Zeta RWD platform and built at the Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada, the Roadmaster features the emotional styling language displayed on the Enclave luxury crossover, first introduced as a concept in January 2006. As the replacement for Buick's hot selling Lucurne, the Roadmaster carries on that car's strong points and builds on them. With even more power and bold American styling, the new Roadmaster offers RWD V8 power and a refined and upscale interior. Roadmaster will be in a class of it's own, offering comparable features and refinement of luxury sedans costing thousands more. Starting at the high end of the 300C's price point, the Roadmaster will handily surpass that car's refinement, luxury and features, all with a distinctive American style of it's own. Positioned as a low price American Lexus LS, Roadmaster will be the integral part of Buick's renaissance plan, an exellent selling, high profit model in the Buick lineup.
GMI Staffer Ming's Opinion:
It disappoints me that GM needs to spend huge sums of money to "revitalize" any of its brands. Revitalization means that for any number of reasons GM has let these brands decay or has led them astray. Either that, or it takes GM so long to come "full circle" back to infuse more money into its many brands that they become stale over the span of time it takes for GM to cycle through them completely.
For Buick the problem has been using "proven" technology as an excuse for not spending R&D dollars on keeping things up to date. The naturally aspirated 3800 engine, for instance - the Buick Workhorse, while great in 2000, hasn't changed a bit since then. The Lucerne's 3800 engine gets less than 200 horsepower, while Hyundai has since introduced its Azera 3.8L V6 producing 265 horsepower. Buick needs two things for success. Technology and Style. On the tech front, Buick should have the best possible, most competitive engines that still have a track record for reliability. The 3.6L DOHC engine should be standard on the Lucerne. If that means tweaking horsepower output a bit to improve smoothness, NVH and fuel economy then so be it. It also needs 6-speed automatics across the board.
Nothing says "value" (read "cheap") these days more than a 4-speed. Buick needs expressive styling that oozes luxury and harkens back to its glory days of the mid 20th century. Buick of China seems to have the right formula for looks. Detroit's CSV Terraza and to a lesser degree, the LaCrosse are examples of Detroit budget styling gone wrong. The examples of styling in the photos above would give Buick a great injection of life that is sorely needed. But the Beancounters at GM must not be allowed to saddle any of them with yesterday's technology, giving only pricey "Ultra" models the technology needed to compete. Looks alone will not win back respect for Buick.
Writer/Design Director: GMI Staff Member ChevroletRevived
Vehicle Design Artist: GMI Contributor FBODYRULES (George Loizou)
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