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Virtually Reborn Buick Grand National Pretends It Has AWD and 650-HP Twin-Turbo V6

Buick Grand National rendering by jlord8 46 photos
Photo: jlord8 / Instagram
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The near-premium US automaker doesn't come up in our news lane nearly as often as it used to just a few years ago because no matter how hard we try to give it five minutes of glory, it just doesn't have that much to show for itself anymore.
Sure, the General Motors subsidiary already has the all-new first-ever Envista up for grabs from just $22,400, and the refreshed Encore GX starts at $25,600. Plus, the facelifted Envision is coming later this year during the summer season, along with the all-new 2025 Enclave. But the big problem is that we have already wrapped the list of available models from Buick – and it really doesn't matter that you can have different options with the Sport Touring or Avenir lines; they're just different trims of the same nameplates.

Like with other US carmakers, the main issue is that Buick has forsaken the passenger car sector, and they're not even into trucks like some of their soulmates (Chevy and GMC). As such, the family is running thin – and traditional fans aren't particularly fond of that. As such, sometimes, they take matters into their own hands. Or at the tip of their CGI brush, as is the case here with the imaginative realm of digital car content creators. For example, Jim, a virtual artist better known as jlord8 on social media, loves messing around with all things CGI from the automotive realm, and he dreams of a reborn Buick because he's the proud owner of a 1986 Buick Regal T-Type along with a 2001 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning.

Obviously, this is not the first time he has dreamed of resurrecting the Buick Regal's Grand National – a version of the second-generation Regal series inspired by the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Series, as the "Grand National" term was a staple of the Cup series nameplate until 1986. So, after Buick won the Manufacturers Cup in 1981 and 1982, it wanted to take advantage of the success, bringing out the Buick Grand National in 1982 – initially with a naturally aspirated V6 and dressed in Charcoal Gray.

However, the Grand National achieved widespread acclaim and success starting with the 1984 model year when the turbo 3.8-liter V6 became standard along with the all-black appearance. Its final year was the most famous of all, naturally, as 1987 brought the arrival of the Buick Grand National GNX (aka "Grand National Experimental") created alongside McLaren Performance Technologies/ASC and underrated it at 'just' 276 hp and a substantial 360 lb-ft (488 Nm).

In fact, the actual output was 300 hp and a hefty 420 lb-ft or 569 Nm – with dragstrip performance measured to be superior to the likes of Ferrari's F40 and Porsche's 930 (aka 911 Turbo) at the time, with an elapsed time of 12.7s at 113 mph (182 kph), and a zero to 60 mph (96 kph) of 4.6 seconds. Obviously, for Buick enthusiasts, the GNX, in particular, and the Grand National series, in general, is the turbo V6 Holy Grail of the brand.

So, this pixel master spared no CGI effort for this quick design project – he even dug up the 2013 Buick Riviera Concept introduced at that year's Shanghai Motor Show after it was developed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). With cues inspired by the visionary prototype, all-wheel drive, and a twin-turbo V6 making 650 hp, this would be a worthy spiritual successor, right?


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Editor's note: Gallery includes official images of Buick Regal series.

About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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