The Buick T-Type, Grand National, and GNX are Returning!

The GNX was an ultra rare, higher performance version of the Grand National. This GM press photo of the '87 GNX is a classic, and among a favorite to the Turbo Buick loyalists.

After a long holiday weekend, some people dread returning to work. It’s easy becoming accustomed to your couch, stuffing your face with leftovers and wasting your days by watching reruns of Seinfeld. Fortunately, we’re not like those people. We love what we do, and we look forward to Mondays to bring you the latest in the world of everything automotive. 

So imagine the looks on our faces this morning when we heard that Buick was bringing back one of our favorite all-time muscle cars! Yup, hot off the presses courtesy of our friends over at, is a report that GM is relaunching the T-Type and Grand National models with a twin turbocharged V6, and a reborn GNX powered by the new LT1.

The Grand National was the fastest U.S production car in 1986 and 1987, beating cars like the Corvette, 5.0 Mustangs, and 5.7L F-bodies.

We’ve heard rumors of a GN/GNX returning for years, so it’s tough to say exactly how legit these rumors are. However, with GM trademarking the Grand National and GNX names not too long ago, we’re right in saying that these rumors are probably true.

Better still, they will be based on a version of the Cadillac ATS’s RWD Alpha platform, so while it’s possible that they will be 4-door sedans like Edmunds insinuates, we’re betting that they will be coupes. It’s already been said that the 6th-generation Camaro will be using the same platform, so you could draw your own conclusion.

The LC2 3.8L V6 found under the hoods of the originals, though potentially very powerful, will be left on the shelf this go around. With all of the technical advances made over the last 25 years, it’s considered antiquated by modern standards.

The Gen-V LT1 powering the new GNX is proposed to have between 450-480hp, while the twin boosted six-shooter will probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of 400hp. If this turns out to be true, there’s no doubt that they’ll have plenty of power, and a huge aftermarket support system.  

How awesome will it be to see these three badges once again attached to brand new Buicks?

One of the drawbacks to the original Buicks of yore, was the mandatory 4-speed automatic gearbox. It was decent for the era, and adequate for a stocker, but it left as lot to be desired in cars set up for the dragstrip. Transmission builders can cure the issues of the 200-4R, but a more stout unit from the factory couldn’t hurt this time.

With a production launch in most likely 2014 or 2015, it’s safe to assume that the new Buicks will be equipped with at least a 6-speed automatic, and quite possibly a manual transmission with as many forward gears. The lack of a manual is something the critics always bemoaned about for, well, decades. But that never kept owners of these cars from leaving their competition in the rear view.

For those of you a little out of the loop, the '84-87 Regal T-Type was Buick's version of the Firebird Formula in terms of form and function. It shared all of the performance and mechanical attributes of the coveted GN, with a much more subtle wrapper. The owner of this '86 added GNX wheels and a T-Type badge to the grille.

Now that Pontiac no longer with us, and with a huge price gap between the Camaro SS and CTS-V models, it only makes sense for Buick to bridge that gap with exclusive, high-performance luxury/midrange vehicles. We’ve awaited the return of the GN and GNX since 1987, and we are greatly anticipating this car now even more than the unveiling of the Corvette C7. 

If you think we’re crazy, you might not remember that in the ’80s Turbo Buicks were actually quicker than the Corvette.

Stay tuned…

About the author

Rick Seitz

Being into cars at a very early age, Rick has always preferred GM performance cars, and today's LS series engines just sealed the deal. When he's not busy running errands around town in his CTS-V, you can find him in the garage wrenching on his WS6 Trans Am, or at the local cruise spots in his Grand National.
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