By on May 18, 2010

At the Beijing Auto Show, they had a fine-looking and well-appointed Buick MPV, called the “Business Concept” (shown above.) I gave it no mention. After all, who cares about a concept MPV that will never see the light? Big mistake, Schmitt: It will see the light faster that I thought, namely by the end of the year.

In China, it will take over as the latest generation of the Buick GL8, replacing a definitely blander predecessor (think Pontiac Montana or Buick Terrazza.) The first gen GL8 was a pioneering venture for Shanghai-GM. It was designed in partnership between SAIC and GM as a “China only” model, albeit with heavy input from GM. The GL8 quickly became the business MPV to have amongst companies that had to pick up clients at the airport (a Chinese tradition.) The GL8 did a lot to Buick China sales.

According to China Car Times, the new GL8 will be powered by a new 2.4L engine from the Lacrosse and Regal, or a new 3.0L V6 from Opel’s HFV6 range. A mild hybrid is possible. Camouflaged pre-production models have already been spotted in China (they are kind of obvious.) If you mentally (or photoshopally) remove the camo, it won’t look much different than the “Concept” above.

The MPV was developed in China by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), a design and engineering joint venture between General Motors and SAIC. No word on a U.S. appearance.

If a U.S. model would look half as good as what I’d seen in Beijing, I wouldn’t mind handing the key to a valet parking attendant.

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7 Comments on “China To Get Handsome Buick GL8 MPV. And The U.S.?...”

  • avatar

    Wow, the Buick Camo Engineers must be working overtime … with that snazzy camo get-up, I can hardly see any distintuishing features of the vehicle … and so far from “rolling box” … and the false-flag “A6” on the side had me thinking it must be a new Audi … Not!

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I’m guessing this GL8 replacement is underpinned by an updated Opel Sintra/GM CSV platform, a relatively narrow van without the useful flip-in-the-floor 3rd row. Could it now be competitive with the Odyssey/Sienna duo? or would it be second tier with the Chrysler/VW & Kia vans with mega-cash on the hood?

    GMNA closed their Doraville, GA minivan factory a while back, and their plans to build a van on the Lambda platform were nixed as the US minivan market isn’t growing.

  • avatar

    Unit they put a bio diesel, 7 speed manual transmission and rear wheel drive in it, I won’t even look at it.

    Seriously why wouldn’t they have Chinese models up on the stage and why wouldn’t the women show more leg?

  • avatar

    Handsome? You’ve got to be kidding me. But then again, there are posters on this site that think 50/60’s era french cars are good looking too. Although the interior of this vehicle does look pretty nice.

  • avatar

    Is there much of open road in Middle Kingdom? Autobahn are not as demanding as here to have throttle open up pedal to metal for hours at a time.
    So as long as they had way oversized rad to handle the immense heat along with an ice cold HVAC to handle the Escargot pace or as fast as the Mark Twain’s Caravel County Frog jumping speed in the clogged city speed.

  • avatar

    wow that’s a long wheelbase. I wonder what the turning radius of that beast will be

  • avatar

    Nice idea, but that windshield would let in about 100kW of heat on a sunny Arizona day – whoa.

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