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General Motors is looking to expand the Buick lineup to between 6 or 7 vehicles from its current 4. Buick is looking to add product as it attempts to lure buyers away from import luxury brands and attract a much younger audience as it shed its image as a car for retirees.
Among the products Buick is looking to introduce are the Chevrolet Cruze-based Verano compact, a hybrid version of the Lacrosse and a small crossover below the Enclave. Buick is also reportedly looking at introducing a full-size rear-drive sedan that may revive the Park Avenue nameplate.
The decision to jettison the Pontiac nameplate over Buick, which was perceived as a brand thats customer base was literally dying off, but Buick’s incredibly strong image in China, as well as their infusion of new product has led many to feel that the General made a smart choice.
[Source: Automotive News]
While all the news from Buick as of late has been in regards to new smaller models and a move d0wn-market, the GM luxury brand is also planning a new flagship model. Targeted at the Lexus LS, the team at GMInsideNews has confirmed from sources inside GM that an early design for the new model has been approved and the team responsible for the car has been given a limited budget to continue developing the idea.
This new model would be based on the Premium Zeta architecture, much like the proposed (but not yet confirmed) Cadillac XTS. In order to keep these two models from competing too closely with each other, the Buick model would target the Lexus LS, while the Cadillac would be poised to take on the sportier BMW 7 Series.
Currently Buick does have a flagship sedan based on the Zeta architecture – sold in China as the Park Avenue. There’s a possibility that this new model could also replace the Chinese Park Avenue and bring back the Park Avenue name to North America.
This author has loved hip-hop music since the tender age of 3, when Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance” caught my attention. I didn’t really understand the lyric “I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom” but it had a fat bassline and a character from a nursery rhyme, and that was enough for me.
In the same way that rock and roll groups mythologized American muscle in the 1960′s, rappers have taken to lionizing the automobile in all its forms, whether it’s an East Coast rapper like Jay-Z rapping about Maybachs or Jaguars, or Snoop Dogg cruising through Long Beach, California in one of his famous 1964 Impalas.
Recently, the Southern United States has had a stranglehold on the hip-hop scene, and their love of American muscle has seen a resurgence of interest in rear-drive American cars. For those with money, a new Dodge Charger or a classic muscle car is the must have ride. But not everyone can afford a new car, and so ordinary folk turn to cars like the Chevrolet Caprice, Mercury Grand Marquis or 1980′s G-Body General Motors cars and customize them with cartoonish 24inch rims and custom lift kits.
As with any fashion-driven culture, huge chrome rims are now out of style, and the new trend is “swangas“, the street term of wire wheels from a 1983 or 1984 Cadillac. Since the wheels were made for a rear-drive offset, they tend to poke out on many of the front-drive vehicles that are affordable to young people, like Oldsmobile 98s, Cadillac Devilles or Buick Park Avenues. While automotive purists may scoff, the “poke” aesthetic is a signature look of the “swanga” movement.
Houston rap group “Block Boyz Click” released a video, imaginatively titled “Ridin Swangas”, and the song is a decent, if amateurish attempt to capture the slowed-down, soulful styles of fellow Houstonians UGK, the video is chock full of truly ghetto American iron that should have been consigned to the junkyard long ago. Aside from the aforementioned cars, sharp eyes will also spot a Chrysler LHS, Buick LeSabre and Pontiac Bonneville.
The artistic merits of the song may be a matter of opinion, but we happened to enjoy the use of some under-appreciated Rick Wagoner-era General Motors machinery, rather than having the (rented) supercar du jour being driven at a snails pace, with a blinged-out hand gripping the wheel at 12 o’clock. Long live the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Dirty South. Keep swangin on ‘em, H-Town. Check out the official video after the jump.
[Source: Cardomain blog]