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2016 Buick Avista

2016 Buick Avista

Buick may only sell sedans and crossovers nowadays, but the GM-owned brand is no stranger to performance vehicles. A quick look into the history books brings amazing performance coupes such as the Riviera and the GSX into focus, while the GNX version of the second-gen Regal is nothing to sneeze at either. Someone at Buick must have taken a good look at these cars recently, because the company just came out of its shell with a 2+2 coupe at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

Dubbed Avista, Buick’s latest show car is the sleekest, most aggressive design since the Riviera concept we saw at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. But, unlike the Shanghai study, the Avista concept is less futuristic and sports an actual engine under its hood. I would even go as far as to say that this vehicle looks ready to go into production, but you shouldn’t get too excited about that as Buick has yet to say anything about the Avista’s future.

On the other hand, company vice president Duncan Aldred did say that "the Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick" and that it’s "a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance." This doesn’t say much about whether Buick is planning to build it, but the Avista is confirmation that the brand still knows how to build performance cars. Hopefully, it will be more than just a reminder of the past, but until we find out more about that, make sure you have a closer look at this concept in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Buick Avista.

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2014 Buick Regal GS AWD

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD

Buick’s 162-mph performance flagship is back for 2014 with a new AWD option and a revised engine design for quicker turbo boost. The 2014 Regal GS keeps all the styling elements that make it such a showstopper: the polished 20-inch alloy wheels and satin metallic intake/exhaust breathers.

There are new headlights and taillights to mark out the latest model but it will take a real spotter to differentiate the two from most angles. Up front, the projector ball is now toward the outside edge of the headlight assembly and a new LED design brings a much brighter corner graphic. Out back, the chrome trunk bar now runs the full width of the car and a wrap-around LED design brings wider tail lamps.

The GS now shares its engine with the 2014 Regal Turbo but stands alone when it comes to exterior presence, dynamic performance and interior materials. The AWD option is a welcome addition to the GS package but is only offered with the automatic transmission. Relax, the 2014 Regal GS is still available with a manual on the front-drive cars.

This hot midsize sport sedan is clearly a huge visual upgrade over the base Regal but is actually priced with a minimal $2000 jump above the loaded Regal Turbo.

Do the enhanced performance, sophisticated drivetrain and massively upgraded interior make it worthwhile? And how does it stack up versus the Audi A4 and the Cadillac ATS?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Buick Regal GS with extra information on the extensive engine update and AWD option.

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GM Trademarks Riviera Name

Back in 2007, Buick unveiled a cool Riviera Concept which many thought would move on to production form. Nothing has been heard about this concept since then, but on May 3rd General Motors filed a trademark for a Riviera name, citing it for use on automobiles. Although they did not say it would be used for a Buick model, the previous concept makes us consider this as an option.

In fact, last year, it was rumored that GM wanted to produce a sporty coupe, possibly based on the rear-wheel drive Alpha platform. Then, at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the company announced it was considering bringing the Riviera name back, but in a rear-wheel drive form. The concept unveiled back in 2007 was a sporty coupe built on an Epsilon front-wheel drive platform.

So, the Riviera name may be used either for either a production version of the concept which would arrive sometime in 2015, or a new Riviera concept. We’re hoping for the first scenario!

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2011 Buick Regal GS

2011 Buick Regal GS

At the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, Buick unveiled the Regal GS Concept - a US version for the European Insignia OPC. Now GM has confirmed that the company will build a high-performance version of the Buick Regal sports sedan. The production version will resemble the concept version and will most likely will feature the same 255HP, turbocharged 2-liter engine.

"That is the kind of excitement Buick needs to get a new cadre of buyers into their store," said autos analyst Joe Phillippi of AutoTrends Consulting in Short Hills, N.J. "Maybe Buick won’t be a four-letter word anymore."

With the new Regal GS, Buick intends to attract to younger customers, pushing the average age even lower and reversing perceptions that Buick is the brand of choice for senior citizens: "Buick kind of lost its way. We built big, floaty, quiet cars — what our customers wanted at the time. The GS would be the next step, more performance-based," Buick spokeswoman Dayna Hart said.

The Buick Regal GS will join the future compact car and small crossover the brand plans to build within the next few years. All of these new models build upon the new, younger image Buick is attempting to create.

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GM is rethinking the SS label

GM is rethinking the SS label

For the GM cars the SS badge comes from- super sport.It has traditionally signaled performance versions of the vehicles over the years since cars like the Camaro and Impala wear it , and the Cobalt sedan, most recently.

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