At the Detroit Auto show Buick showed off the rather handsome Avista concept car which is based on Chevrolet’s Camaro.
And at Geneva ’16, Opel is planning to show off a GT inspired by the GT of the 1960s, a car many admired for its pretty styling.
I’ve lumped Buick and Opel together because these days they are interchangeable (for better and for worse). When the Avista was revealed I immediately saw that the Tristar badge could be replaced by an Opel propeller flash if something like the Avista was sold in Europe. This would be a good thing because the Avista would be a Buick first and an Opel second. For too long the traffic has been from Rüsselsheim to Detroit and at this stage Buick is a nameplate lacking its own identity, nice and all as some of those Buickised Opels are.
Even better than the Avista spawning an Opel is Opel having its own GT. As has been pointed out here, Opel have not bothered too much with halo cars. Perhaps they realise they are often a waste of time and money. The Speedster did little for them though it’s a car with a steady following if the firm prices are much to go by. The Calibra received many admiring glances and did not alter people’s perceptions of the Vectra/Cavalier one iota. The two Tigras were delightful little vehicles and utterly ignored. In spite of all that, there is supposed to be a GT concept car on the way, to be revealed at Geneva.
Is there any chance the GT will be something like the Avista or will it be based on an Opel platform? And is there a chance that this GT will make it back to the US as a Buick? Well, according to Autocar the Opel GT is a reworked Astra so that scotches the idea that the Avista will be moulded to fit an Opel platform. If the Avista comes to Europe it could be positioned as a Monza replacement. Why not? Audi do a nice business in two door cars and BMW do as well.
Without too much work Opel could gain sales – and not from Audi or BMW but perhaps from their “mass market” peers who don’t have any entrants in this sector. For once, it might be a profitable sideline for Opel to take a Buick and tune it for European roads. There is nothing about the Avista that looks very far out or overly American. It has, rather, a touch of Bentley about it though it manages to look at lot more agile than the Continental.
I plan a more general discussion of Buick in the near future, one of the surprising results of my magisterial Top 50 Best Cars Ever judgement.