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Buick Reatta Trivia......

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OK....so I have an advantage 'cause I was working in Buick Product Planning at the time....but here's some Reatta trivia..... HOW come the Buick Reatta never garnered a more responsive powertrain than the 165hp 3800 V6? Considering it was one of GM's few 2-seater sports/GT/touring cars....obviously a stronger powertrain could have been fitted......in fact, the lack of a more performance-oriented powertrains was one of the eventual downfalls of the vehicle....

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I am guessing that GM didn't want Buick to have a higher HP car as it might scare off some traditional Buick buyers.

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91z4me, I doubt it was that because Buick was still known for Grand Nationals & GNXs at the time. Then Buick introduced the SC3800 in the Park Avenue & Regal... not to mention the vette powered Roadmaster shortly after. Buick owners have never been scared off by a powerful powertrain. I'd probably guess it was due to Buick already losing money on the Reatta investment in addition to sales dropping off after the 2nd year. Besides, considering most cars in the late 1980's, 165hp wasn't that underpowered... should have been more, but oh well. I still want one. :)

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I want one, too. I still think one of its biggest downfalls was its ridiculously high MSRP ($50-something,000 in today's money).

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OK....so I have an advantage 'cause I was working in Buick Product Planning at the time....but here's some Reatta trivia.....

HOW come the Buick Reatta never garnered a more responsive powertrain than the 165hp 3800 V6? 

Considering it was one of GM's few 2-seater sports/GT/touring cars....obviously a stronger powertrain could have been fitted......in fact, the lack of a more performance-oriented powertrains was one of the eventual downfalls of the vehicle....

[post="61073"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


It was a GM Part's bin execution where someone a chainsaw to the back half of a Riviera. GM didn't really have much more then 3800 to fit in there. Couldn't use the Vette V8s, they are RWD. The only step up for a FWD car at the time was the boat anchor 4.1s, 4.5s, and 4.9s over at Caddy. The S/C 3800 wasn't out for a few more years.

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Reatta was based on the Riv/Toro therfore it used it powertrain. It was the best drivetrain available at the time. Or ever :P The 4T60 was up against enough stress with the current torque of the LN3-C. The 91 Reattas have the L27 @170hp 225 or 230 lb ft. There really wasnt another powerplant to use, that was Buicks powerplant and by far nothing to be ashamed of. Like someone else said that was respectable power at that time. There was once a statement made by a "real" Buick person on another site about how the Reatta was not a "real" Buick because it didnt have a huge engine and was underpowered, ect, ect, ect. So this guys pet car/ "real" Buick was a 71 Boattail Riv. I did the research and showed him how the 91 Reatta with the L27, the best Reatta was faster, braked better and handled better than a 71 Riviera GS, the best Boattail. I beleive there was track testing done of a turbo charged Reatta but like I said the 4T60 just wont live if pounded, even with the then current torque of the LN-3-C. Thankfully no one but Caddy used those V8's, thats Caddys cross to bare Reattas downfall for performance was it weighed something like 3500 lb :blink: , thats fat for a two seater. Combine that with the price tag and utility value and you have a low volumn seller. If it weighed 2800 as it should have it would have been alot faster. So to answer this "HOW come the Buick Reatta never garnered a more responsive powertrain than the 165hp 3800 V6? " Because there was'nt one. Edit: I should add that the 38 performed as it did to meet fuel economy and emmisions. For a car the price of Reatta and it being a low volumn speciality vehical they could have easily tweeked another 15-20 HP out of it. Performance was not the big deal back in the 80's that it is today. Everyone was happy to have a V6 luxury car and getting 20-26 mpg, something that just a few years earlier required driveing a 4 cyl. eco box Edited by razoredge

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I agree wiht the fact that since it's roots were in the FWD 3800 powered cars of the time it was not setup for anything bigger, even if the Northstar had be available it would have been too big. Besides, not like the chassis could handle much more than that, esp. in Convertible form. The axles were probably stroner than what you find on a Honda but that's not saying much.

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Does anyone read Collectible Automobile? There's an excellent history of the Reatta in there this month.

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OK....here you go. We had a 3800 SC Reatta ready to go to market. We even had the new electronic 4-speed to go in it (which DID make it to Reatta eventually.) I drove the cars, helped road-test the cars, and I can tell you the motor was a perfect match with the Reatta. The problem? Our 3800 SC Reatta handily outran the (MUCH more expensive) Cadillac Allante with it's then heavier and slightly less-powerful 200hp 4.5L V8. That it! Cadillac (or GM...or whoever) "forbade" Buick from coming to market with the supercharged Reatta because it would have been quicker than their precious Allante. Corporate politics, my friends. That's the kind of crap that we had to deal with in those days.....and based upon what we see with Lucerne versus DTS (275hp versus 291hp) they are still at it. SO because of Cadillac and GM's short-sightedness.....Reatta was doomed to fail in the market against less-expensive and more-powerful and sportier competitors. AND gee.....keeping the SC 3800 out of the Reatta really helped Allante's success....didn't it? As an aside.....we did NUMEROUS Reatta project cars. It was a fun time. We even converted one (an expensive proposition I might add) to RWD using a Corvette rear suspension....and plugged in a longitudinally-mounted GN turbo 3.8litre. I also drove that car...and it was a monster....and DID outrun the day's Corvette. We also did a GN-turbo'd FWD Reatta.....but that one was too unruly to be liveable. In the end, we all determined that the SC3800 Reatta, with it's FWD, and 205-225hp (at the time...from what I remembered) was a perfect match for the car.....and it was relatively inexpensive to engineer and bring to market 'cause you really didn't have to change anything else....and the powertrain slipped right in under the hood. Damn shame.....isn't it? <_<

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If that's the case, Cadillac should have just shuffled along behind their walker a little faster to get the Northstar into the Allante'. Then there wouldn't have been any problems.

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WOW!!! That sucks. :huh: BV was right!

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WOW!!! That sucks. :huh:

BV was right!

[post="61369"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Looks like I was... figures. I can't believe this even goes on in GM. Brands should not have control over other brands and they sure as hell should not be competing with each other. They should live in perfect harmony to properly go against their competition. But this is GM... :rolleyes: Damn bastards killed two of my favorite GM vehicles, the Fiero and Reatta.

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Looks like I was... figures. I can't believe this even goes on in GM. Brands should not have control over other brands and they sure as hell should not be competing with each other. They should live in perfect harmony to properly go against their competition. But this is GM... :rolleyes: Damn bastards killed two of my favorite GM vehicles, the Fiero and Reatta.

[post="61394"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


And those same damn bastards kill the cars just as they get in the prime of their lives.....Fiero with new suspension, electric power steering, etc. Reatta with 4T60-E tranny, upgraded interior and dash (w/o CRT) and elegant convertible version. Allante with NorthStar, new seats, and an analog gauge package.

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Well, OC I do appreaciate your giving us this information. Its very interesting and it also sounds like you had a real fun job there. Thats cool !

I knew the L67 was in development as well as the 4T60 & 65E HD tranny but did not hear that it was tested in Reatta. Just the gossip about a turbo Reatta.

I have always been suspect of Buicks castration. There was alot that was kabosched it seems to me. The GN, but then turbo6 revived 2 years later to do a Pontiac ??????????? Okie dookie. 2dr LeSabre killed but yet the "new" 2dr. Lumina looked remarkable similar in styling as did the "new" Seville. Buicks NASCAR efforts were stopped. 2dr. LeSabre H was NASCAR body but then 2dr W Regal became the body........next thing you know its the Z34 and that was that. Buick got that 4dr 92 Lesabre and a PA Ultra (thank goodness, it was something), at least the W Regal did recieve the Buick V6 and got away from the Chevy 60*.

Thing is as soon as someone points out these areas of concern you get nailed with the "everythings a conspiracy" treatment.

92 Reatta therefore could have had the S1 L67, but sales had already faded and it would have been 4 years old. In other words too little too late. this may have been the problem with the N* Allante as well, too little too late.

Saddest part to me is and I have mentioned it many many times. The division that gave us that most excellent V6 got little back in return. Just castrated and left in the corner to bleed to death, yet Im sure the money and reputation earned from the powerplant floated GM through the 80's & 90's. Not Cadillac with the troublesome aluminum block/iron head V8 and not Chevy with the somewhat troublesome 60* V6's and apparently cheap cars (so everyone says).

Oh well, I just wish more people realized how much Buick helped to keep the ball rolling and get us into more modern tec successfully, something that was less successfull at other divisions.

Once again the 1986 Buick LeSabre GN, the new aerodynamic body that replaced the GN for Buicks use in NASCAR. In production the car started a new styling trend for GM and put to good use the new developement of ECM (engine control module) and tight FWD powertrain.

Long live B U I C K

Posted Image

Edited by razoredge

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