Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
May 9th, 2012
For a span of almost four decades, Buick’s classic Riviera models brought critical acclaim to one of GM’s oldest marques. Arguably GM’s first real success at building a “personal luxury car,” the Riviera was a “best-of” showcase for Buick offering class-competitive styling, luxury and technology.
While the Riviera name has been previously used on a concept car introduced for the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show, it hasn’t been applied to a production model since the last Riviera was built in 1999. Now, according to GM enthusiast website GM Inside News, there is the potential for a Riviera revival.
Last week, on May 3rd, General Motors filed to trademark the Riviera name with the US Patent Office for use on automobiles.
As GM Inside News mentions, it isn’t really much of a secret that automakers regularly trademark various names and wind up not putting them to use on a production car. On the other hand, AutoGuide points out that GM doesn’t trademark names unless it’s serious about putting them to use.
So then if GM intends to use the name, what would a new Riviera be like? At the moment, your guess is as good as ours.
While rumors of Buick adding a new coupe to its lineup have been rather persistent over the last few years, they’ve always been rather sporadic. At one point it was speculated that Buick would sell a coupe version of its Regal sports sedan, based on reports of Vauxhall getting the green-light to develop a two-door version of the related Insignia. There has also since been rumors of Buick building a rear-drive coupe based off of the Alpha platform used by the Cadillac ATS.
However, Car and Driver recently mentioned in a report on the upcoming Chevy SS sports sedan that GM’s Australian firm Holden was being tasked with developing two new rear-drive Buick vehicles primarily for China. The two Buicks would be based on a revised version of GM's Zeta platform. It’s obvious that one of those vehicles could be a replacement for the Holden Statesman-based Chinese Buick Park Avenue. But could the other be a Zeta-based Buick Riviera coupe?