It’s never wise to overestimate the power of a car with a cult following. According to a reports from auto blogs, General Motors (NYSE:GM) is planning to test the waters with performance versions of Buick models, including more GS cars, after a revival of Grand National thrillers. GM is betting more performance rides in the product lineup will help the brand appeal to younger drivers.
Edmunds reported last year that Buick had new versions of the blistering Grand National, the GNX, and T-Type models planned for the coming years. The originals circulated in the ’80s and earned Buick street cred among racers and anyone young enough to enjoy blasting out of a stoplight in a powerful ride. According to Edmunds, the new Grand National models would be equipped with the rear-drive powertrain GM uses in the Cadillac ATS.
Car and Driver reports a GM design VP said the company is likely to deliver more Buick GS models for customers in the meantime. Currently, the 259-hp Regal GS is the burner in the Buick class. The auto site hypothesized a Verano GS is a possibility when weighing the options. In any event, GM is looking to get Buicks back into the hand of performance enthusiasts, who usually skew toward the younger age groups.
Buick drivers have been of the more mature variety since the company departed from its line of performance vehicles. A line of cars offering more than 300 horsepower would be a good step toward getting some more youthful drivers behind the wheel of a Buick, though Autoblog notes GM will have to be careful in order not to cannibalize buyers of its more expensive Cadillac VSport offerings.
GM has certainly got performance car buyers’ attention with its VSport offerings of the ATS and CTS, the latter of which won Motor Trend Car of the Year honors. With the Cadillac CTS-V starting at $64,900, GM has a lot of leeway between the Buick Regal GS, which starts at $37,800. Finding that sweet spot for mid-level buyers could make first-time Buick buyers become Cadillac buyers down the road. GM hopes more Buick performance models will be the ticket to getting them while they’re young.
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