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Design exec eyes flagship Buick coupe

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Design exec eyes flagship Buick coupe

Rick Kranz

Automotive News -- February 15, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

CHICAGO -- General Motors is considering adding a coupe to Buick's lineup.

"Buick definitely needs more product in the pipeline," John Cafaro, director of design for Buick and Chevrolet, said in an interview last week at the Chicago Auto Show.

"My role is really being a zealot for getting Buick more youthful, more spirited and probing ideas [for] coupes, more expressive vehicles. That is really my job."

So far, five models -- all sedans and crossovers -- have been approved for Buick. The redesigned LaCrosse went on sale last fall. The 2011 Regal sedan goes on sale this spring. A small, unnamed sedan that will share a vehicle platform with the Chevrolet Cruze goes on sale in 2011. The Lucerne will be dropped in a year or so.

Buick also has the Enclave large crossover. A small unnamed crossover will arrive either late this year or sometime next year.

Cafaro said Buick is developing an image and determining what models need to be added to the product line.

"Buick is kind of going through what Cadillac went through" when it reinvented itself, he said. "Cadillac said: 'What we are doing is not working. Our customers are dying off. We have to carve a new image.' That is where Buick is right now."

Cafaro said a coupe would make a statement for Buick, "and a statement means it is going to be the flagship. All the design cues and everything would drive themselves down into all Buicks.

"A coupe is definitely where you say, 'I'm back.' "

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100215/OEM03/302159909/1144#ixzz0fc2TXkzT

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"Our customers are dying off." Bravo to the Buick team for facing the harsh reality of the situation.

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Alpha? Torana, ATS & CTS, Camaro, Riviera(?) could make an interesting a case for the Alpha architecture. Of course this Riviera(?) could also be a production verison of the Opel coupe that previwed the Insignia's looks, or something different altogether... Interesting stuff...

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Great stuff. But I hate being teased like this. I hope it is a reality even though I know for me personally I'd never be able to afford a flagship anything!

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I was given a very strong wink and nudge at Detroit when I asked about a Regal coupe. To quote him as close as possible "I can have it ready to go in no time, but we want to see how buyers respond to the sedan first."

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I was given a very strong wink and nudge at Detroit when I asked about a Regal coupe. To quote him as close as possible "I can have it ready to go in no time, but we want to see how buyers respond to the sedan first."

That would be awesome. But, in the context of the original post, would even a GS coupe be a "flagship", or are talking about two different things here - a GS coupe as something which merely extends the existing Regal range versus a new bigger or more upscale flagship coupe (along the lines of the Shanghai Riviera 2+2 concept or perhaps a scaled-down spiritual air to the Velite concept)?

Edited by 1970s
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In terms of the original post, I think this is Buick wishing for a Lucerne replacement

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In terms of the original post, I think this is Buick wishing for a Lucerne replacement

Perhaps. But then it really is better to have that replacement in coupe form than a 3rd super-Epsilon sedan.

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does flagship = halo?

the lacrosse was supposed to replace the lucerne, no?

certainly riviera would fit, but invicta sounds just as good (sounds, not necessarily historically)

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Remember this?

buick-avant.jpg

Buick-Avant-2.jpg

buick-avant-concept-300x297.jpg

You know something? I would really like to see this particular car produced for Buick on the Alpha platform. I could see it as something of a spiritual heir to the Firebird ...

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Like I have said Buick may have not been the choice of many here but in the future I think the new prodcuts will change that.

Buick will be what Pontiac could and should have been. No fancy Chevys here.

Hmm A Turbo AWD coupe with real performance...........Hmmm!

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Remember this?

buick-avant.jpg

Buick-Avant-2.jpg

buick-avant-concept-300x297.jpg

You know something? I would really like to see this particular car produced for Buick on the Alpha platform. I could see it as something of a spiritual heir to the Firebird ...

Now that's something I could go for!

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Now that's something I could go for!

Agreed, especially if the third design could be built on the Alpha platform. I see a little bit of the early second-gen Firebird in its lines (as well as the Solstice coupe concept).

Of course, the car has to set itself apart from the Camaro aside from the sheetmetal. I think Buick should focus on its turbo V6 heritage here. A Buick "Avant" GS with the twin-turbo V6 everyone thinks should be in the Z/28 would be supreme here. It might not have a ground-shaking V8, but I could see it filling the hole the Trans Am left behind.

Edited by whiteknight
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Agreed, especially if the third design could be built on the Alpha platform. I see a little bit of the early second-gen Firebird in its lines (as well as the Solstice coupe concept).

Of course, the car has to set itself apart from the Camaro aside from the sheetmetal. I think Buick should focus on its turbo V6 heritage here. A Buick "Avant" GS with the twin-turbo V6 everyone thinks should be in the Z/28 would be supreme here. It might not have a ground-shaking V8, but I could see it filling the hole the Trans Am left behind.

The majortity of the future Buicks will be based on a 4 or V6 and the V8 will be linited in the any cars. Not just GM but all cars.

The Turbo will be the prime engine and it will not be a heritege thing as most of GM cars will have a Turbo option in the future, it will be very common.

There should be no comparison of a Buick coupe and Camaro. They should two entirely different cars in styling, and image. Even the performance needs to be more refined in the Buick with Turbo's and AWD.

No clones applied.

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The majortity of the future Buicks will be based on a 4 or V6 and the V8 will be limited in the any cars. Not just GM but all cars.

The Turbo will be the prime engine and it will not be a heritage thing as most of GM cars will have a Turbo option in the future, it will be very common.

I don't see the V8 being all that limited. I can see range-topping Cadillacs, the Camaro and a Chevrolet sedan, and of course the Corvette and pickups keeping the V8 alive well into the future.

There should be no comparison of a Buick coupe and Camaro. They should two entirely different cars in styling, and image. Even the performance needs to be more refined in the Buick with Turbo's and AWD.

No clones applied.

Of course they wouldn't be clones. But to hear the Alpha F6 Camaro and an Alpha Buick coupe being mentioned in the same sentence wouldn't surprise me at all. It shouldn't surprise anyone, really.

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That third design is a gem, but you'll pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

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