As you might remember, we were left unfulfilled by the 2012 Buick Regal GS. Buick just didn't go far enough, in our estimation, which is why when we read about the possibility of a tuner version of the GS from SLP Performance Parts on Inside Line, we got on the phone posthaste.
SLP is best known for building the Firehawk and SS versions of fourth-generation F-body Pontiac Firebirds and Chevrolet Camaros for General Motors, and owning the "ZL" trademark that both it and GM have used on the current-gen Camaro. But the company is also the rights holder of fabled Buick monikers "Grand National" and "GNX," names that it intends to put back into play.
An SLP spokesman confirmed the report that a 300-plus-horsepower Buick GNX based on the GS is in development, saying that it should have a final mock-up based on the above sketch by the middle of this month. But SLP also told us that it has plans to revive the Grand National name, which would presumably fall somewhere between the GS and the GNX on the performance scale.
But before we get too lathered up about this, remember that SLP has dipped its toes in the performance Buick game before, with middling results. The company rolled out a Buick GSX back in the early part of last decade, based on the supercharged, 3800 V6-powered Regal GS. This dealer-installed kit was a good idea applied to the wrong car, as the front-drive, fourth-generation Regal just wasn't enough of a performance machine out of the box to bother with.
The current GS, on the other hand, offers a much more intriguing proposition for a little bit of aftermarket improvement. As long as SLP does the full-blackout treatment that was a hallmark of the original GNX, we'd be willing to take it for a spin.
Posted Mar 2nd 2012 1:14PM