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Buick Reatta Red Coupe.JPG
Buick Reatta
aka Type aka here, not up there
Production 1988-1991
21,751 units
Class Sporty Luxury Car
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
2-Door Convertible
Length 181.3 in (4605 mm)
Width 71.7 in (1821 mm)
Height 51.2 in (1295 mm)
Wheelbase 98.5 in (2502 mm)
Weight 3392 lb (1539 kg) Coupe
3593 lb (1630 kg) Convertible
Transmission 4-speed 4T60 Automatic ('88-90)
4-speed 4T60-E Automatic (1991)
Engine 3.8 litre (3800cc) V6
Power 165 hp (123 kW) @ 4800 rpm
210 lb-ft of torque @ 2000 rpm

170 hp (127 kW) @ 4800 rpm
220 lb-ft of torque @ 3200 rpm
Similar Cadillac Allante
Buick Riviera
Designer Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)

The Buick Reatta was a "hand-made" luxurious sports coupe produced at the Reatta Craft Centre in Lansing, Michigan from early 1988 through 1991. Like the Cadillac Allante, It was based on a shortened and heavily modified version of the "E-body" used by the Cadillac Seville, Cadillac Eldorado, Oldsmobile Toronado and most particularly the Buick Riviera with which it shared its advanced electronics and interior furnishings.

The Reatta sported its own unique body style and was crafted with an attention to detail and quality and finish uncommon for a mass-produced automobile. Initially offered as a coupe, a convertible version was added for 1990. It used GM's ubiquitous 3800 V6 and sported a fully independent suspension and front wheel drive.

During the first two years of contruction the Reatta, like its Riviera stablemate, featured a touch screen computer interface called the Electronic Control Center, or ECC. The touch screen controlled the radio and climate control functions, provided diagnostic access to the vehicle's various electronic systems and sensors. It also featured a date reminder, a trip computer, and a user configurable overspeed alarm.

The Reatta was conceived during a period in the early to mid-1980s when the Buick division was marketing high performance editions of its vehicles (such as the Buick Grand National). However, midway through the development of the Reatta, GM decided to refocus the brand on a more traditional and mature image that was thought to be more in keeping with its core older buyer demographics. The resulting vehicle had a shape that carried performance car styling cues but provided little in the way of actual high performance. Additionally, the Reatta's extremely high level of electronics was a somewhat of turn-off for those "mature" potential buyers that the division was actively trying to court.

The Reatta was intended as a technological flagship-halo car for Buick, but sales, originally planned to be around 20,000 units a year, were extremely disappointing and GM announced the end of Reatta production in early 1991.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Buick Reatta Review.

Recent Changes/News

The Buick Reatta ceased production in 1991. See Yearly Changes below.

Styles and Major Options

The Reatta was marketed as a "fully loaded" automobile and came with almost every conceivable amenity for the time as standard. The only options at the time of release were a "16-way" electrically adjusted drivers' seat and a late-availability sunroof. In 1990, a CD player was added to the options list. For all years body-colored beltline mouldings were available as a no-cost option.


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1988 Coupe 1989 Coupe 1990 Coupe 1990 Convertible 1991 Coupe 1991 Convertible
$ 25,000 $ 26,700 $28,335 $34,995 $ 29,300 $ 35,965
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3 $Price4 $Price3 $Price4

Gas Mileage

As seen on the website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

1988 1989 1990 1991
17/26 17/26 16/25 16/25

Engine and Transmission

Specifications, details, graphs, pictures and other information regarding the powertrain is placed in this section.


Please make sure to write information of the vehicle's performance in a third-person point of view. This section should include information about the car's acceleration figures, handling, braking, etc.

If using information gathered from Road Test articles from a reputable automotive source, then please make sure to cite the quote.


The Reatta, despite dire predictions in the automotive press of the time, turned out to be fairly reliable and inexpensive to maintain. The '88-89 models' touchscreen controls rarely fail and in the end are inexpensive to repair. The drivetrain is standard-issue GM 3800 which is among the most reliable and long-lasting engines ever produced by GM. One area of concern is the Teves anti-lock braking system which utilized an electric motor and pressurized accumulator rather than a conventional vacuum-driven master cylinder; if not properly maintained sudden loss of braking power can result. This is a failure mode common to all similar ABS systems of that era, but has caught many an uneducated owner unaware.

Those contemplating Reatta ownership today should be aware that all mechanical parts remain readily and inexpensively available due their widespread use through out GM's product line-up. Due to the extremely low production numbers, Reatta-specific parts can be more difficult to source, but are often obtainable at a reasonable cost through the well-organized network of Reatta aficionados available online (see links below). Nonetheless, there are some items that have become so rare and thus expensive that damage to them can result in a car that is de-facto "totaled"; Notably the windshield which is for the most part unavailable new, and if located can cost from $ 1,500.00 to $ 2,500.00.


The Reatta benefitted from an extremely stable highly-engineered independent suspension system that was designed to accommodate a much more powerful drivetrain than what ended up being provided. Its wide track relative to its length makes it extremely stable and nimble. The Reatta was equipped standard with anti-lock brakes which when properly maintained provide confident and stable stopping power. The Reatta coupe's bubbletop canopy provides an exceptional view of the drivers surroundings with little to no blind spots.


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  • Arctic White (all years)
  • Bright Red (all years)
  • Black (all years)
  • Sapphire Blue Firemist Metallic (all years)
  • Sterling Silver Metallic (all years)
  • Claret Red Metallic (all years)
  • Pewter Gray Metallic ('88-89)
  • Gunmetal Gray Metallic ('90-91)
  • Light Driftwood Metallic (1990)
  • Maui Blue Metallic (90-91)
  • Polo Green Metallic (1991)

Main Competitors

Buick marketed the vehicle as a sports car without the compromises and "uncomfortability" of a sports car. Buick believed that the Reatta was a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz SL, the Nissan 300ZX, Chrysler's TC by Maserati the Chevrolet Corvette and of course GM's own Cadillac Allante. Whether the Reatta was a credible competitor for all of these disparate offerings or was often "cross-shopped" by the buyers of the time is debatable.

Unique Attributes

Arguably, the Reatta's primary attraction is its styling, which is unique and was almost universally praised at the time of its production. From the coupe's bubbletop roofline, "floating" sideview mirrors, retractable headlamps, full width taillamp array and wrap-around parking lamp assemblies the vehicle was clearly styled to attract attention. The convertible featured all of the coupe's styling cues with the additional appeal of a folding top that disappeared under a flush-closing hard tonneau cover for a smooth, sleek look. The Reatta's interior is extremely roomy for a two-seater and its nimble independent suspension, pleasant ride and high-geared transmission make for an extremely capable and comfortable long-distance high speed cruiser. Acceleration is brisk though not by any means neck-snapping and it handles curves with aplomb. Front wheel drive, anti-lock braking and a wide stance makes for exceptionally stable handling and control in wet or snowy conditions. Full digital instrumentation (with touch-screen controls in years '88-89) was a technological marvel at the time of the vehicles production and though often criticized on aesthetic grounds by many, has some dedicated admirers to this day.


The Reatta debuted with almost every luxury and convenience feature as standard; dual 6-way power seats, power windows, power locks, heated power side-view mirrors, automatic climate control, 8 speaker stereo radio with cassette player, illuminated entry, dual illuminated visor mirrors, low-pile velour-like carpeting, remote releases for the trunk, fuel filler door and glovebox and of course, the controversial GCC touchscreen interface that provided control for the interior climate and stereo as well as a trip computer, gauges, programmable reminders and onboard diagnostics.

A major interior revision for the 1990 model year replaced the squared-off instrument panel with a sweeping curved unit with a conventional stereo radio with a cassette player and a standard automatic climate control interface along with digital instrumentation providing vacuum-fluorescent readouts of a full compliment of gauges.

An additional benefit of Reatta's unique manufacturing process was an exceedingly high level of fit and finish. It also offered a very spacious interior given it's roots in GM's substantial E-body platform and featured locking storage compartments recessed into the rear deck behind the seats as well as a large pass-through door between the passenger compartment and its large trunk, making it unusually practical for a two-seater.

This section should include information on the interior's design, build quality, ergonomics, space (head and legroom, front and rear), features, stowage compartments and overall comfortability and livability. Add pictures wherever applicable and keep information in a third-person point of view.

Resale Values

Values are approximate and updated 10/08.

Reatta model Year
1988 Coupe 1989 Coupe 1990 Coupe 1990 Convertible 1991 Coupe 1991 Convertible
Resale Value
$ 2500-7000 $ 2500-7000 $ 2500-7000 $ 4000-15000 $ 3000-9000 $ 5000-18000


Year 4EC97 Coupe 4EC67 Convertible Total
1988 4,708 0 4,708
1989 7,009 0 7,009
1990 6,383 2,132 8,515
1991 1,214 305 1,519
Total: 21,751


Please make sure to keep critiques in a third-person point of view. If using criticisms from a reputable automotive source, then please make sure to cite the quote.

Generations/Special Variants

Fill in as many as appropriate. Add more if necessary and pictures wherever applicable.

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First Generation/Origins (1988–1991)


  • All new model.
  • Mid-year running change from leather and suede seating to all-leather due to durability concerns.
  • Mid-year running change from silver/black 'R' logo horn button to color "sunburst" 'R' logo.
  • Mid-year, sunroof option becomes available.


  • Larger 'R' "sunburst" hood ornament.
  • Remote controlled glove box door replaced with a conventional locking door.
  • Remote trunk and gas door release buttons relocated to glovebox from center console.
  • Keyless entry added as standard.
  • Revised, hydraulic engine mounts.


  • Interior revised. Touchscreen eliminated and replace with a more conventional digital dash with GM standard-issue stereo radio-cassette player and HVAC controls housed within a new rounded dash enclosure.
  • Power window controls relocated from center console to door-mounted armrests.
  • Rear quarters' component speakers replaced with conventional 4X6 units.
  • Illuminated door lock keyways eliminated.
  • Steering wheel airbag added as standard.
  • Optional CD player offered as an add-on to the standard stereo radio with cassette player.
  • Convertible model debuts.


Select 60 Special Editions

Given as an reward (extra allocation) to the top 60 Buick dealers, the 1988 Select 60 edition Reatta was a black coupe with a tan interior with "16-way" power seats and a special "Select 60" hood ornament. Inexplicably, only 55 were built for 1988.

In 1990 the Reatta was again chosen as Buick's Select 60, this time it was the convertible model, finished in white with deleted pin-striping, and a white top, with white "16-way" leather seats, white door panels, with a flame red interior, CD player and two options that would not be available until 1991: white-painted 16" aluminum wheels and a cupholder.

Select 60 models can be identified by the code X22 the vehicles' service parts identification label, located within the Reatta's trunk.


If the vehicle is sold in other markets worldwide, then this is the section to mention that information. Also, mention if the <MODEL> goes by another name in these other markets.

Design quirks and oddities

Refer to any pop-culture tidbits about the vehicle in this section.


List out notable awards that the model has recieved while in production. Boldface the company or organization that gives out the award, and Italicize the name of the award.

See Also


General Motors Co.

Buick | Cadillac | Chevrolet | GMC | Holden | Opel | Vauxhall | Daewoo | Saab


Cars: LaCrosse/Allure · Lucerne · Regal · Verano

SUV/Crossover/Minivans: Enclave

Chinese-market: Park Avenue · Royaum · Excelle · GL8 · HRV · Regal


Apollo · Centurion · Century · Eight · Electra · Estate Wagon · G-Series · Gran Sport · GSX · Invicta · LeSabre · Limited · Luxus · Rainier · Reatta · Rendezvous · Riviera · Roadmaster · Sail · Skyhawk · Skylark · Somerset · Special · Sport Wagon · Super · Terraza · GNX · Grand National


Y-Job · LeSabre · XP-300 · Wildcat I · Landau Concept · Wildcat II · Wildcat III · Centurion · Lido Concept · Skylark II · XP-75 · Flamingo · La Salle · Century Cruiser · Riviera Silver Arrow I · Riviera Silver Arrow II Concept · Riviera Silver Arrow III · Questor · Wildcat · Lucerne · Park Avenue Essence · Bolero · Sceptre · XP2000 · Signia · Cielo · LaCrosse · Blackhawk · Bengal · Centieme · Velite · Riviera · Invicta Concept · Business Hybrid Concept · Avant Concept · Regal GS Concept


David Dunbar Buick Corporate website A brand of General Motors

External Links

Manufacturer's Sites

News and References

Enthusiast Sites and Discussion Forums