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The Incredible Way The Buick Grand National Beat Lamborghini
By ALEX HEVESY
American performance cars had a renaissance in the mid-to-late 1980s and the king of 1980s American performance was the Buick GNX – yes, from the same automaker that made your grandmother's station wagon. Kings often don't come about overnight, and the GNX (Grand National eXperimental) was the final iteration of an entire product line of killer Buicks.
The Grand National was introduced as a trim level for Buicks to spice up the look, but in 1984 it became an entirely separate vehicle, painted a deep black. In 1987, the wizards at GM took the evil-looking car and created the downright diabolical GNX, with a 3.8L V6 that made 276 horsepower. In 2022, 276 horsepower isn't that much, but it was pretty impressive 35 years ago.
Thirty-five years ago the butterfly-winged Lamborghini Countach was a style icon and had such a loyal following that Lamborghini released a new Countach in early 2022 that sold out immediately. Beyond style, the car was fast – especially by 1987 standards – covered in aerodynamic surfaces and boasting a rear-mounted V12, but the legendary Lamborghini was no match for the GNX.
On the track, the GNX hit zero-to-60 in only 4.7 seconds, just a hair faster than the Countach's absolute best. With a time of 4.7 seconds, other supercars were practically standing still compared to the GNX, and for the first time, the blacked-out Buick made Ferruccio Lamborghini's prized creation think twice.