• Aug 7th 2010 at 2:25PM
  • 50
We can quit wondering where General Motors is heading with Buick. Maybe. If rumors dusting up from GM Inside News are to be believed, company leadership has the Tri-Shield's sights trained solidly on Lexus. We all know that the 2010 Buick LaCrosse was positioned as the answer to the Lexus ES 350, but supposedly, GM is aiming even higher and cooking up a Zeta-based sedan to go head-to-head with the Lexus LS. If you believe the hype, design work has already been given the go-ahead, but production ihas yet to receive an official OK from up top. Details are predictably scarce, but GM Inside News claims that the styling is sharp as can be.

Interestingly enough, the Zeta platform that would provide the basis for the rumored big Buick isn't exactly the same as the one underpinning the mega-Holdens prowling Australia (or the Caprice soon to be cruising your local donut shop, or the Buick Park Avenue that's already sold in China). Instead, GMI says that the luxe Buick will be built upon something called the Premium Zeta Platform, and that the oft-rumored Cadillac flagship will use the same bones. Sounds great, but until we hear something official from The General, we won't start holding our collective breath.

[Source: GM Inside News]
Photo by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2009 AOL

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good idea. Maybe they could call it Roadmaster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This makes absolutely no sense - Buick is now trying to be Lexus so what does that leave Cadillac? Cadillac is a mass produced rolling eyesore that is over-priced. So, GMC decides rather than selling a $50k Cadillac that is cheaply built with mediocre materials, it will sell a $30k Buick that uses the same materials and GMC loses $10k in profit potential. And Buick won't be a great product either - so the vehicle will not sell enough to make up for Cadillac's lost sales - and Cadillac can't with a straight face compete with real luxury products unless you count V-Series as luxury (they aren't).

      What GMC is doing is saving Mercury and killing Lincoln using the Ford analogy. Having duplicative Buick and Cadillac models makes no sense and gives further evidence that GMC has learned nothing from bankruptcy and duplicative brands.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So basically the G8 is coming back???

      Honestly, if they use some of the styling cues from Buick's latest concept car - the gorgeous Riviera - they really could be onto something.


      Just knowing the Zeta platform is already heavy (see Camaro), making a "premium" version of it in sedan form, is kind of scary in terms of how much it might weight. Still though, giving Buick some higher-end offerings could be pretty cool... that might mean that Cadillac is moving even higher upmarket and really go after top line cars like the S class and 7 series.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think we're talking about a G8, although we could see something like that for a new Seville & Eldo STS / ETC offering tackling the 5s & 6s.

        Caddy needs to go after the 7s, sooner rather than later, which is what it sounds like the Zeta Premium chassis is designed to do.

        I agree that premium Zeta would need Al & HSS to be competitive in segment, given that all competition is doing the same to get weight down.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ^ that would be nice (more use of AL and HSS), but my gut is telling me that that might require too much of a redesign for this generation and they might simply stretch it and not trying to go lighter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Chinese Riviera concept is a horrible looking car, all wrong for Buick and the Riviera name. They need to modernize the timeless look of the classic Rivieras of the 1960s, similar to what GM did with the Camaro. That would be much more like it.

      Zeta isn't heavier than any other fullsize RWD platform in existence and it's an awesomely engineered one to boot. It makes an awesome family car for Aussies and Pontiac fans and a wicked Camaro. The specs of the Holden Caprice that will be sold here as a Chevrolet will give you a good idea what it will weigh. It is a huge car and longer than the Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8 with more rear room and a bigger trunk.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The Chinese Riviera concept is a horrible looking car"

        Wow, no.
        That Riv concept is stunning, and from previous posts, magazine reviews and various other sources, I think most people agree that it is a great looking car.

        The Zeta is not a good platform for the Camaro at all - I mean I love the car and all, but it definitely is way bigger (and heavier) than it should have been.

        For a large sedan it might not be that bad, but this upcoming model is probably going to get stretched - and thus even heavier. Cars overall need to get lighter and if the G8 is already a 2 ton car (~4000 lbs), a stretched version is only going to get heavier. To put this into perspective, the Lexus LS (which supposedly this car is aimed at), weighs only ~300 Lbs more and obviously has a ton more luxury features, leather, electronic gizmos and amenities that would add weight. And the LS is already 8" longer with a 7" longer wheelbase than the G8.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Buick is like Lexus. Not too expensive, interior, roomy where you can stick your arms out practically. Faster than the average car. Handles good enough so the driver won't wreck from the extra power. Hey, I'm 20 and I would love a fast Buick, that's roomy for my social needs, and I like to drive in winding hills, so understeer makes me mad. It better not understeer. Cross between a G8 and a Rolls Royce.

      Cadillac is a BMW with Pushrods. Nothing wrong with that. Pushrods cut costs, last forever, make good power, easy to service, GO GM!

      Chevy pickups are for those who love the bowtie.
      GMC is for people who like the GMC grille style more, which is identified as being "free flowing for the radiator."
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is exactly what GM needs to be doing with Buick...competing with Lexus while Cadillac targets BMW. I look forward to seeing what the develop...hopefully they'll go full-out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As mentioned above, this sounds like the G8 to me. And I'm all for it. Restyle it and get it out there.

      Buick has so many great historical names to choose from. And as much as I like the Park Avenue name because it rolls off the tongue well, oozes luxury and actually is an American name unlike many others which are trying to be something European (Riviera, Parisienne, Le Mans), it's too new to reuse that name.

      They should reach back further, use Special, Super or Electra. Personally, I like Special. Electra is good too, but GM might want to hold that back for a hybrid or electric car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. "Invicta" is such a great name for a flagship sedan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure about this one at all. GM is going after a smaller market, where brand snobbery matters. The Buick might be nice, but it has to compete in price. With Hyundai set to release the Equus, I doubt GM can compete with them feature for feature and still maintain a low cost. Right now it seems they're going after everything all at once and half-a$$ing some products. In attempt to have a compact Buick, they're going to release the Excelle, which is essentially a Buick Cimmaron. The XTS is using a front based AWD platform, just so Cadillac can have a larger offering than the CTS. Slow down a bit GM and focus on the quality.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Makes perfect sense actually, specially as they are doing a top range Rwd model for china,
      based on a Holden , and Holden did a big chunk of the basic work on the Zeta platform in the first place.
      Its also makese sense for GM to get back into the Rwd or a Awd based off a rear drive platform here for the police car and taxi market.
      which ford and dodge with rear drive designs are taking advantage of.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well . . . here we go (again) . . . the same 'ole GM we've known for decades, building cars that compete against other GM models. Why a luxury Buick when there is going to be a full-sized Cadillac to fill that void in the general's lineup? Buick - I thought - was on its way to becoming an entirely new line of cars (i.e. competitive with European and Asian cars), but from the sound of this announcement the general is going back to building the Buicks that have been on the roads since the 1940s. And that's too bad because Buick has been on a roll lately creating desirable cars. Looks like their revision didn't last very long before the 'ole guard' at GM got their way (again) to build the boats they seem to love (Cadillacs with different front clips and tail lights).
      • 5 Years Ago
      this would be awesome
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's the only thing that makes sense if Buick is to reclaim what Lexus took.

        The LaCrosse, while excellent, simply isn't big enough to be the Buick flagship, and a resurgent Buick desperately needs a true full-size luxury sedan to cap their line. Especially in China where a large, comfortable passenger-oriented sedan is obviously missing (hence the ZDM-exclusive Park Avenue).

        In that context, any USDM sales would be gravy, and just nice to work out any kinks and refine the product before it hits its real market: China..
        • 5 Years Ago
        "This would be awesome."

        It would also be a massive *duh.*

        GM has sold excellent rear-drive, full-size, thoroughly modern luxury sedans here in Australia for a decade, badged as the Holden Statesman, sportier HSV Grange, and others. There was absolutely no reason for GM to spend millions developing the lackluster Lucerne and first-gen LaCrosse when these cars already existed, already had their R&D budgets allocated, and were just waiting to be rebadged.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @david: as below:

        Buick competes against Lexus and Benz with "luxury" highway / boulevard cruisers featuring soft & plush, large rear passenger seats, and a comfortable ride.

        Caddy competes against BMW and Audi with "premium" sport sedans featuring strong engines, supportive drivers seat, and a sharp handling.

        The only one I don't quite get is GMC "professional grade", which has the trucks that neither Buick nor Caddy sell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ahh i see

        cheers for that

        seems massivly over complicated though, we don't get nearly as much brand engineering over here, with the possible exception of the vw group, with seat as the cheep young peoples choice, skoda as the cheep old persons choice, vw itself as, well what audi used to be and audi as the bmw merc competitor

        though i wonder if its because of the abscence of the european brands (renault fiat etc) over there meaning theres gaps in the market or because we have them that theres no gap
        • 5 Years Ago
        I love my new Camaro. I miss my old CTS. ;-( When I'm ready for another new 4-door car. Might it be a Buick? Hmmmm. I think it might! :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @david: the "basic" v "better" is a split that any simpleton can understand (or sell). Like old GM, VAG, of course, has issues with brand identity and management.

        @Clay: The CTS-V and Corvette show GM has plenty enough juice flowing in their nuts. They're just a bit more selective in how it gets apportioned across the brands, in order that the various brands actually retain some distinctiveness.

        @filbert: back when GM owned practically the entire USDM, things were simple, and "luxury" was simply a question of plusher and plusher. BMW and Audi redefining things means Caddy evolves, too. Engines and tuning and a smaller performance market to spread the costs means Caddy will pretty much always cost more than the equivalent Buick
      • 5 Years Ago
      Grand National or its pure fail!
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