The Riviera is a two-door coupe that had survived for eight generations. Is there a chance for a 2024 Buick Riviera to come and resurrect the nameplate?
The early generations of Riviera were built as GM’s response to the Ford Thunderbird. This model took the market of the personal luxury car by storm between 1963 and 1970. During its first seven years, the sales number rise steadily. Unfortunately, the drastic design adjustments made for the 1971 model years and onwards caused the sales to plunge. Even though it never recovered its height of popularity, the model has sold over 1.1 million units in the US. Given the number, how big of an opportunity for the nameplate to be reborn and arrive as the 2024 Buick Riviera?
A Short Insight into the Buick Riviera
The Buick Riviera made a debut in 1962 as a 1963 model year. Unlike other products under General Motors, it didn’t share a body shell with any other model. The frame that it sat on is quite similar to the standard frame of Buick vehicles but narrower and shorter. Offering the same amount of power as larger models of Buick but with less weight, the Riviera shines as a great performing, all-around model during its heyday.
The production of the Riviera ceased in late 1998 and the 1990 model year was the last of its kind. This last model year was based on the 1995-launched Oldsmobile Aurora.
Two Concept Cars that Use the Riviera Nameplate
While there is no signal that a 2024 Buick Riviera will indeed come, the nameplate is used by Buick for two concept cars after its 1999 discontinuation.
The first Riviera concept car was showcased for the first time at the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show. The stunning-looking concept coupe design was developed in China by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is an engineering and design joint venture between Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and GM.
The design direction of this 2013 Riviera concept was inspired by a lot of iconic Buick elements, including the 1938 original Y-Job Concept, the 1960s LeSabre, the 1960s Electra 225, and the 1970s Riviera coupe itself. Other signature design parts were taken from the early generation Riviera, while some new components were displayed as well such as the brand’s tri-shied logo and waterfall grille.
The next Riviera concept car was introduced in China and during Shanghai Auto Show as well but in 2013. Following the 2007 concept car, this time the new Riviera boasted an extensive and attractive 2-door coupe body style. Similarly, it was also designed by the PATAC in Shanghai. According to the company officials, the concept was made to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Buick and to showcase its future styling cues.
The 2007 Riviera concept car was claimed to bring a plug-in hybrid power system. The details regarding its supporting engine weren’t shared much.
Exterior-wise, the newer concept car showed a tighter and modest front fascia design compared to its predecessor. It no longer had headlamps that extend to the front fenders. Instead, they were slender and short, as well as accented by the L-shaped LEDs. It still brought the brand’s recognizable waterfall grille but this time it hardly sneaked into the beefy, creased hood.
The Chance of a 2024 Buick Riviera to Be Released
If it indeed will be released, the 2024 Buick Riviera will mark the first time this nameplate to revive after its discontinuation in 1999. Despite the ending, its future-oriented design language, especially on the exterior part, is what maintained the nameplate to have prominence in the mind of General Motors enthusiasts over time. After decades after its debut, the model has transformed into a vintage darling by offering a solid retro presence—the very same reason it was largely ignored back then.
That being said, the chance of seeing a 2024 Buick Riva be truly launched is highly unlikely. At the moment, Buick’s lineups only consist of crossover SUVs. Still, given that it has used the nameplate for its concept cars not once, but twice, creates some slight hopes of the fashionable 2-door revival.