Why the Buick GNX was so goodThe GNX itself was born in 1987, the final year of the Grand National. Buick partnered up with McLaren Performance Technologies and American Specialty Cars to create just 547 examples of the car that would easily become the most special of all Grand Nationals. Under the hood of this stealth-black machine was a 276 hp turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine. This is up from the 245 hp of the standard Grand National, and up to 360 lb-ft of torque from 355 lb-ft of torque. However, Buick underestimated the power of the GNX as it could actually produce 300 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
With a 0-60 mph time of just 4.7 seconds and a 1/4 mile time of 13.2 seconds, the GNX was an absolute monster during its era. And it produced a sensational sound thanks to the Garret Hybrid Turbocharger it now had. But what made the GNX so good was that it had essentially the same interior as the regular Grand National. So it was still quite comfortable, and Buick ensured the cabin was of the same high quality as your tamer Grand National. Buick had also showcased just how mighty a turbocharged V6 engine could be against a brutal V8.
The Buick GNX has become a highly desirable classic
Few cars like the GNX exist today. We are entering a world where hybrid and electric power is becoming more and more common. And there are fewer mad, sleeper cars on the market at the moment. GM itself isn’t having the best time in the performance car world. This thanks to various dealer markup issues with its C8 Z06 Corvette, and the sad farewell of the Camaro at the end of the year. A new GNX could potentially inject some fresh life into the GM performance range. And certainly make Buick a bigger name once again in the United States.
How likely is a New Buick GNX?If we are honest about it, it's hardly likely to happen at all. The GNX was a very limited run, made special by the fact it was a one-year-only model. We are also living in a very different world from the one the GNX was born into. Climate change has pushed the automotive industry into electrification. Performance cars are already heading in that direction, so a new GNX with electric power may not have the same appeal. Nor is a big, shouty V6 sleeper car as appealing to car companies as it was in the 1980s.
Buick is firmly focused on the Chinese market. But that itself is just a sad fact, and the lack of a major Buick presence in the United States is something that would be nice to see corrected. What better way to do it than with a new GNX?