An All-New Firebird from Buick for 2018?

Truthfully, there is no hard evidence that Buick will bring back the Firebird name, but there is an awful lot of speculation and rumor regarding the release of a Buick branded Firebird for 2018, but it could be just that – rumor and speculation.

Sure, we have seen renderings of what it could look like, but these are just computer generated pictures from people wishing that Buick would make it, and to be honest, looking at some of the pictures, we would have to agree – listen up Buick, you need to make this car!

Although the Firebird lasted for a 35-year production run, we would have to say that when someone mentions the Firebird name, we automatically think of the Rockford Files TV program, just the same as the Trans Am is Smokey and the Bandit – you just can’t help but put them together.

Just why Buick should make a 2018 Firebird

Contents

1. Why Buick should make a 2018 Firebird
2. V6 Power
3. Modern VS Retro
4. Should Buick make it happen?

Buick don’t really have a performance car right now, that’s possibly because General Motors feels that competition with the Camaro may hurt sales, but you’d have to say that adding another performance car into the mix has to be the way to go?

Retro-styled muscle cars are hot right now, and looking at how manufacturers work within other segments (like the crossover SUV market for example), surely GM just need to get as many cars out there filling the gaps that other manufacturers are leaving behind – you can pick virtually anything you like in the SUV segment, why not the performance market?

So what could we expect from a 2018 Buick Firebird?


V6 Power for the 2018 Firebird from Buick?

Thanks to emissions legislation, most manufacturers are choosing to offer their cars with smaller capacity, forced induction engines; once where a big capacity V8 was the norm, the smaller V6 turbocharged engines are replacing them.

In theory, this isn’t a bad thing – they can be made to give the same, if not more power and they give better gas mileage, but that dirty V8 noise is missing, and that’s something that horsepower isn’t going to change – even when manufacturers start adding noise systems to their cars, they’ll never have that V8 soundtrack that we’ve all come to associate with performance motoring, and that is a definite loss.

We would expect that any new performance model from Buick will have a such an engine – probably around the 3.6 liter capacity, with a turbocharger strapped on. We’d expect a minimum of 300 horsepower in the base model, going up to around 400 horsepower for the high-end range – even regular sedans are creeping toward the 350-horsepower figure so if Buick want to make it a ‘performance’ model, it’ll need some power under the hood.

Again, emissions means that a multi-speed automatic transmission will have to be fitted, we would think that it will be an 8-speed transmission, driving the rear-wheels as standard.

Modern VS Retro

As for the styling, you know that Buick would have to draw from the Pontiac heritage and give the 2018 Firebird some fantastic retro-inspired style. Think long, low and wide with perhaps just a little built in lip spoiler on the trunk decklid.
Unfortunately, that fat back end won’t look quite as menacing as it could – the tires will be big enough to control the vehicle and the power, but not wide enough to give that look that we want. Again, we can thank the emissions legislations for that.

We would also expect to see modern design touches, things like built in aero tweaks and styling, giving the car a decent ride and handling to match the power when making progress – putting 400+ BHP through the wheels isn’t going to be much fun if the chassis and body aren’t up to the job.

As for the platform, a lot depends on whether GM will be introducing other new models at the same time – there’s talk of a new Tans Am to sit beside the Firebird in the line-up. Would this mean that GM create a new platform for the two? We think it more likely that they’ll borrow one from the existing range – chassis’ are expensive to develop, and if General Motors are just dipping their toe in the water to see how popular the concept is, they are going to want to keep cost to a minimum.

Should Buick make it happen?

As we said at the start of the article, all of this is pure speculation, and General Motors / Buick haven’t actually announced anything official about a new 2018 Firebird, nor is there any substantiated rumors, so we are pretty sure in saying that it probably won’t happen for 2018, but as for 2019 or beyond, there’s a great possibility that it will – General Motors listen to the public, and if the public want a new Firebird or Trans Am, there’s a good chance that they’ll get one.

As for prices … to be competitive, Buick would have to sit the new Firebird within any competition, so we think a base starting price of around $45,000 would fit within the segment, but that’s only if Buick decide to keep any Firebird as a ‘normal’ car – super-hot versions would see that price rise significantly.

2017-05-27 by Luke Widmeyer