Pontiac GTO. Dodge Charger. Buick Regal. What do those three cars have in common? They're all new models with next to nothing in common with the old nameplates they wear. The 2004-2006 GTO has a rebadged Holden; the new Dodge Charger is a sedan instead of a coupe, while the new Buick Regal is at heart just a front-drive Opel. According to GM Inside News, another re-hashed historical nameplate may be making a comeback, as GM just trademarked the “Riviera” moniker.
This isn't the first time the automaker has toyed with bringing back the Riviera marque. At the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show, it introduced the well-received Buick Riviera Concept. The front-drive car featured gullwing doors and a two-plus-two seating configuration. Had the Riviera Concept been produced, it would have served as Buick's flagship model, just as the nameplate had in the past.
GM's trademarking of the Riviera name could mean a few different things. One possibility is that Buick is planning on showing off a new Riviera concept car sometime in the near future – a move that could preview a future Buick halo car. Another is that Buick is getting a rear-drive model of its own on either the Alpha or Zeta platforms. Currently, the only rear-drive Buick is the Chinese-market Park Avenue, which is a Holden Commodore with a Buick badge. Such a move would give the brand the more prestigious rear-drive model that would better allow it to compete with the likes of Lexus and Infiniti. Lastly, the Riviera trademark could mean nothing at all beyond GM protecting its past by trademarking one of its older nameplates.
We've reached out to Buick for comment but have yet to hear back.
What do you think GM's got in store for the Buick Riviera? Would you like to see the Riviera return, or would you rather GM just let sleeping dogs lie? What do you think a new Buick Riviera should look like? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Source: GM Inside News