Buick Reatta

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Buick Reatta
1988 Buick Reatta, front left.jpg
Manufacturer Buick (General Motors)
Production 1988–1991
Assembly Lansing Craft Centre, Lansing Michigan
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Body style 1988–91: 2-door coupe
1990–91: 2-door convertible
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform E-body
Related Cadillac Allanté
Buick Riviera
Oldsmobile Toronado
Cadillac Seville
Cadillac Eldorado
Engine 1988–90: 3.8 L LN3 Buick V6
1991: 3.8 L L27 Buick V6
Transmission 1988–89: 4-sp 440T-4 automatic
1990: 4-sp 4T60 automatic
1991: 4-sp 4T60-E automatic
Wheelbase 98.5 in (2502 mm)
Length 183.7 in (4666 mm)
Width 73.0 in (1854 mm)
Height 1988–89: 51.2 in (1300 mm)
1990–91: 51.6 in (1,311 mm)
Curb weight 3593 lb (1630 kg)
3392 lb (1539 kg)

The Buick Reatta is a low-volume transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive, two-door, two-seater manufactured and marketed by Buick as a coupe (1988–1991) and convertible (1990-1991) — both featuring a 3.8 liter V6 engine and shortened version of the GM E platform.

As Buick's first two-seater since the 1940 Buick model 46 and its first convertible since the 1985 Riviera, the Reatta was manufactured in a highly specialized assembly program at the Reatta Craft Centre (later known as the Lansing Craft Centre) in Lansing, Michigan—achieving production of over 21,000 units in four years.[1]


Assembly at the Reatta Craft Centre was performed at a series of stations each with a specialized team of workers, rather than on a conventional assembly line. After a team had completed their portion of the assembly, the car would be moved by robots to the next station. Paintwork was performed on site under subcontract to PPG Industries.

The Reatta used GM's transverse "Buick 3800" V6 with 165–170 hp (123–127 kW) and 210–220 lb·ft (285–298 N·m) of torque with the highest output in the last year of production. The car sported a fully independent suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS, and front wheel drive. Top speed was electronically limited to 125 mph (201 km/h). The Reatta was rated at 18 mpg (13.1 L/100 km) in the city and 27 mpg (8.7 L/100 km) on the highway.

The Reatta was intended as a halo car for Buick with projected production of 20,000 units a year. GM announced the end of production in early 1991.[citation needed]


Rear view (coupe)

The Reatta featured twin bucket seats with a storage area behind the seats featuring two lockable bins[2] and a lockable access hatch to the rear trunk. At introduction, options included 16-way power seats in lieu of 6-way power seats, side moldings in either black or body color and pinstripe delete. A sunroof became optional in late 1988, and in 1989 keyless entry was added as a standard feature.[original research?]

Initially (1988-89), the Reatta featured a touchscreen computer interface, marketed as the Electronic Control Center (ECC), that included radio and climate control functions, date reminder, trip computer, user-configurable overspeed alarm as well as diagnostic access to the vehicle's electronic systems and sensors. Later models were equipped with conventional push button stereo and climate controls. The new system eliminated trip computer functionality and the climate control buttons could access diagnostic information, replacing diagnostic scanner capability formerly provided by the touchscreen.

In 1990, the interior was redesigned, adding a driver's airbag and an optional CD player. In 1991, the "L27" 3800 engine and 4T60-E transmission replaced the "LN3" and hydraulic 4T60 units and the Reatta received a new ABS system, new 16" wheels, automatic headlamps and a cup holder built into the armrest.[original research?]

Each Reatta included a leather book containing the owner's manual and pen. In 1990 and 1991, a zippered owners folio was included holding the owners manual, pen, flashlight, tire gauge as well as a "Craftsman's Log" with the signatures of the supervisors for the car's assembly.[original research?]

In 1988, approximately fifty five examples were designated "Select Sixties" and allocated to Buick's top sixty. The models, internally designated model X22, featured a black exterior, tan interior and unique special Select Sixty hood emblem.[original research?]

In 1990, the Select Sixty program was repeated, as sixty five white convertibles including special emblems, and a flame red interior with white bucket seats, white 16 inch wheels, and cup holder.


After a delayed introduction due to design difficulties,[2] Buick introduced the convertible Reatta in 1990 with a manually-operated top designed by ASC, available in vinyl or cloth with a glass rear window and electric defroster. When retracted, the top was protected by a rigid tonneau cover. The 1991 models featured power pull-down motors to assist in tightening the rear bow of the top to the tonneau cover.

1990 Buick Reatta convertible


Buick Reatta emblem

Production is said[who?] to have begun in January 1988 and ended on May 10, 1991. However, various accounts of much earlier and later cars exist, and the handbuilt nature of the car and long development cycle makes accurately dating production difficult.[original research?]

Year 4EC97 Coupe 4EC67 Convertible Total Notes
1988 4,708 0 4,708 First year. Early '88s had suede seat bolsters. Only year for remote glove box
1989 7,009 0 7,009 Larger hood ornament, keyless entry, sunroof option (mid-88 addition)
1990 6,383 2,132 8,515 First year of the convertible. Revised interior with new instrument panel, console, and steering wheel-mounted airbag. Select Sixty model gets 16 inch wheels.
1991 1,214 305 1,519 16 inch wheels, tuned-port "L-code" engine and electronically controlled transmission, and a new ABS system. Twilight Sentinel, and a cup holder
Total: 21,751


  1. ^ "G.M. Ends Reatta". The New York Times, May 16, 1991. 
  2. ^ a b "Buick Introduces Reatta Convertible". The New York Times, September 8, 1989. 

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