RWD for Reatta

1989 Buick RWD Reatta TurboNow things are getting interesting. Yes, rear-wheel-drive, and a turbo 3.8-liter V-6. In this car, the engine put out 245 HP, like the high-boost FWD Reatta; however, it delivered 355-lb.ft. of torque. This iteration was capable of accelerating to 60 MPH in 7.0 seconds.

The RWD Reatta can be distinguished from the FWD testers by its wheels, rocker-panel extensions, squared outer air intakes on the front bumper, and a bulge centered in the hood.

RWD for Regal

1989 Buick RWD Regal TurboRegal wasn’t left out of the RWD fun. It is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 3.8-liter V-6 and produced approximately 230 HP and 240-lb.ft. of torque. Boost for this setup is 11 psi.

All 3,400 pounds were moved to 60 MPH in 6.5 seconds and cleared one quarter of a mile in 14.5 seconds. In the conversion, the car inherited Corvette-derived rear suspension. If you look closely, toward the back end of the hood there are louvers (that I would imagine are functional).

A V-6 for Gargantua

1989 Buick Electra Estate TurboThis mule may be the most surprising of all. If not for feasibility, then for achievement.

It seems, having started life as a normal Electra Estate wagon, this car had its 5.0-liter V-8 innards pulled after birth only to be replaced by a turbo 3.8-liter V-6 like the rest, only this one has even more kick. Try 330 HP and 410-lb.ft. of torque!

Transmitting that power to the ground are 255/60VR-16s. Reportedly delivering magnificently-enhanced handling, the Electra had front and rear antiroll bars installed, along with stiffer shocks and springs, and a quicker steering ratio.

1989 Buick Electra Estate Turbo enginePerhaps more impressive than the numbers suggest for a 4,300-pound car are its performance numbers. How about reaching 60 MPH in under 5.2 seconds? Maybe finishing the quarter mile in the upper 14-second range will impress?

Those that had the pleasure of testing the cars seemed to agree that the wagon was the coolest of the bunch. I’m not sure if that means it’s the one they’d buy or pick to drive on a daily basis, but it certainly qualifies as what’s referred to as a sleeper. (Even if it could only haul a family of four–it had four bucket seats.)

Eventual commercial availability of a humongous, RWD tire-smoking Buick came in the form of the 5.7-liter, LT1-equipped Roadmaster, in 1994. But that discussion is for another post.


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