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http://blogs.motortrend.com/6254556/car-news/rwd-buick-isnt-dead-its-just-smaller/index.html

Finally after a day of gloom and doom some good news.
Last week I reported that General Motors' plans for a rear-wheel-drive 2011 Chevrolet Impala and Buick Lucerne appear to be dead. That's about half-right: the Impala certainly will remain FWD, but a RWD Lucerne replacement may survive. Designers apparently are reworking the car to make it smaller.


Buick Lucerne

Originally, the 2011 Buick Lucerne was to be about the same overall length, with the same wheelbase as the converged 2011 Cadillac DTS/STS replacement. All these cars, including the RWD Impala, were scheduled for the new Zeta platform, which as Mike Connor reports in the July 2008 issue of Motor Trend, is itself to converge with the Cadillac Sigma RWD platform.

The Buick was to go on the 118.5-inch-wheelbase "large" Zeta platform shared with the Holden Statesman and the Holden Ute/Pontiac G8 pickup. The converged big Caddy is scheduled for a premium version of the large Zeta platform, with forged aluminum suspension bits and probably longer overhangs.

It appears the Buick will instead take the midsize Zeta platform, sharing it with the Pontiac G8 sedan and Holden Commodore. It has a 114.8-inch wheelbase, which is 0.8-inches shorter than the current, FWD Buick Lucerne's. While front-wheel-drive provides better interior space efficiency, the G8 is a spacious large midsize car (or small full-size, if you will), and with a front short overhang, it's 196.1 inches overall, 7.1 inches shorter than the '08 Lucerne.
 
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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

It needs to incorporate some of these design elements. I also recommend a different name, like Riviera or Invicta. I'd also recommend it being a coupe.







 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

So.....it'll be about the size of a Chrysler 300C...exactly the car Buick should have introduced in 2004.

I'm happy they didn't abondon RWD, as I could see myself getting a "real" Buick someday.

But, for now, Chrysler is the one selling all the RWD you can handle, and at a steep discount. 15,242 RWD Chryslers and Dodges left dealer lots last month, and Buick is still at least 2 years away from any of that action.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

Please not a rebadged G8 Please not a rebadged G8 Please not a rebadged G8!!!

I agree. And this is what the current Chinese Park Avenue would have appeared to be. Even with its specific front and rear clips, they still share door sheetmetal and look very similar. Like the Fusion/Milan/MKZ.

I'm a little suprised by this. But if the RWD large Buick was killed, what were they going to do? They couldn't continue with the Lucerene forever. It's losing its factory to the Volt in a couple years anyway. There is no other large FWD platform. I do not object to a large FWD car as such. I don't think the best Buick MUST be RWD, but the lack of options has apparently forced the new car onto Zeta.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

The focus shouldn't be specifically making it smaller, as making it lighter, where smaller may be one consequence.

Regardless, I expect we will have on again, off again news on this until the Lucerne replacement is in a showroom, YEARS from now. Sigh.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

Just get the styling right. Make the new Lacrosse/Invicta/Regal/whatever have the lines of that concept and have the new Park Avenue/Lucerne share those lines and bring out an EpII Riviera and Buick will be set for cars. Crossovers? I still think they need a 5-seater to compete as not everyone wants something the size of an Enclave.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

Great news. Let's hope it is real news.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

If Oshawa is as flexible as they are supposed to be making it here is what I would do:

Camaro production as scheduled

Current FWD Impala with eventual switch over to extended wb Epsilon Impala to start there in a few years

Move G8 production to Oshawa within a year (sedan and wagon); give it a more efficient powertrain option, such as a 2 mode hybrid V6

Sell GTO coupe based on the recent Monaro concept, built in Australia, as a low volume halo vehicle

Shorter WB Zeta-based Buick Sedan and Coupe built in Oshawa, as sister vehicles to G8 and Camaro, but with unique interiors, exteriors (more differentiated than Enclave and Acadia), real luxury vehicles. Give them the Ecotec 2.0 Turbo, and HF 3.0 V6 turbo as engine options and try to keep the weight out of them. Add a hybrd version, either 2-mode or BAS+ a year later.

Cadillac STS replacement on LWB Zeta at LGR, both Sedan and Coupe (STC?), in standard (V6), hybrid and V series versions. Follow a year or two later with a high luxury hatch version that seats 4 (SGT) and is full of the best features. Between that and the variants of the CTS, including a hybrid, LGR will be busy enough and won't need the volume from a Buick.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

This makes sense. The G8 is already roomy enough with a big enough trunk to replace the Lucerne. The Lucerne really didn't need to get any bigger, it just needs to get much better so if it is the same size as the G8 that is fine. I've read at least once in magazines that there is no reason to buy a DTS because the Lucerne is the same size with the same V8 available and almost as good in most respects with a much lower price tag. They don't need to make that mistake again. This also allows the Cadillac model to have shorter overhangs and still be bigger than the Buick which will probably make for a better looking Cadillac model.

As has already been said, this needs to be a completely different styled car compared to the G8. Especially since they are in the same showroom. I agree the Buick doesn't need the V8 as well. Perhaps a DI 3.6 or a much smaller V6 with DI and a turbo would be a more than adequate top of the line motor. V8's are going out of style I'm afraid.

Move G8 production to Oshawa within a year (sedan and wagon); give it a more efficient powertrain option, such as a 2 mode hybrid V6
I like that idea! Bring us a fuel efficient G8 wagon!
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

Please not a rebadged G8 Please not a rebadged G8 Please not a rebadged G8!!!
So you don't want the Park Avenue? That's what it is! (Albeit a very nice one)

Still, nice to hear this after so much bad news.

I think I agree with GM giving only either Chevy or Buick one RWD car, not both brands. That would prevent overlap.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

So you don't want the Park Avenue? That's what it is! (Albeit a very nice one)

Still, nice to hear this after so much bad news.
Yes, I want the Park Avenue, and I love the Holden Statesman, but I don't want to see such a similar car right next to a G8 in the same showroom.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

While I would prefer to see a Buick that didn't look at all like the Pontiac G8, but if it did bare some resemblance, I don't think it would be the end of the world.

The two cars should be greatly differentiated by their driving character. The G8 is overtly sporty; the Buick should be all about quiet luxury. The suspension should be very good at absorbing road shock; it should have enough sound deadening to be one of the quietest cars in its class; and the interior should be a cut above the G8 and the rest of the competition.

In other words, a test drive would quickly show buyers they are very different cars.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

Yes, I want the Park Avenue, and I love the Holden Statesman, but I don't want to see such a similar car right next to a G8 in the same showroom.
Considering how different the Acadia and Enclave look, I'm pretty sure the G8 and Park Avenue will look nothing alike.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

They need to make up their minds already. With all the back and forth, they could've already had the thing on the lots!
 
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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

I think I agree with GM giving only either Chevy or Buick one RWD car, not both brands. That would prevent overlap.
Being a purist, I am disappointed that the Impala is staying FWD. I would have liked to see Chevy have the Camaro and Impala on the Zeta. Don't get me started on a Kappa coupe for Chevy. And Buick having it's own Zeta, and Kappa coupe. So we may yet see a Buick Zeta. I'm happy.

In this current environment I can understand their thinking on the Impala. But then again, with the Impala staying FWD, is seems to me it may cannabalize sales from the Malibu. I would rather see GM focus resources on making the Malibu a better US family sedan, instead of splitting those resources between a Malibu and Impala which are both going to be FWD.

Then if the goal with the FWD Impala is to give it a more sporty "look" without any real performance upgrades, then that defeats the purpose. For a performance sedan, the US consumer has the choice of the G8 from GM. I can easily see the Zeta Impala slipping in to be Chevy's G8.

Let's hope that the new CAFE Standard Congress recently passed will be scaled back as manufacturers will not be able to meet it, including the saintly-Japanese manufacturers.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

In this current environment I can understand their thinking on the Impala. But then again, with the Impala staying FWD, is seems to me it may cannabalize sales from the Malibu. I would rather see GM focus resources on making the Malibu a better US family sedan, instead of splitting those resources between a Malibu and Impala which are both going to be FWD .... For a performance sedan, the US consumer has the choice of the G8 from GM. I can easily see the Zeta Impala slipping in to be Chevy's G8.
So, how come a larger FWD Impala is a bad idea as it would cannabalize Malibu sales, but a "Chevy G8" on Zeta is a good idea? Won't it just cannabalize sales from Pontiac's G8? Isn't that even worse given the relatively small size of the performance sedan market, as compared to the larger "family sedan" market?

I agree -- the FWD Impala only makes sense if it can differentiate itself from the Malibu. This probably needs to happen through size -- the Malibu still has a smaller trunk and less rear seat width than the Impala. An improved FWD Impala that retains the current car's vast trunk and three-passenger rear seat width and improves rear seat legroom would catch people who like the Malibu, but find it a bit small for their needs.

But, a Zeta Impala simply competes against the G8 in an already competitive market. The Buick, on the other hand, is pretty easy to differentiate as it will be more of a luxury car than a performance sedan.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

I still don't understand why the delay.
The RWD buick is being made now in China. Why all the unnecessary runaround?
Wait for DT7? Will this be another semi-rebadge?

Park Avenue is there. it exists. Build the damn thing. Whatever localization necessities to make the car compatible to US regulations has already been done on the G8. This shouldn't be difficult for GM!!
 

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I think I agree with GM giving only either Chevy or Buick one RWD car, not both brands. That would prevent overlap.
This seems to be a too common sentiment around here, and I don't understand it--people somehow automatically assume RWD Chevy + RWD Buick = overlap. So by that logic, FWD Chevy + FWD Buick = overlap. Since all they have is FWD sedans, they then must now all overlap. Its a rediculus premise.

While the drive layout plays a significant part in defining the character of a car, it is by no means homogenizes cars--the Town Car and the 7 series for example do not overlap.
 

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Re: RWD Buick is alive!!!

...and by the way, do we all really believe Motor Trend in these matters?
 
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