One of the most tired cliches in all of autojournodom is "Darth Vader's Ride." You've read it one million times, I've used the phrase several
hundred dozen times and we think of it every time a pitch-black Corvette Z06 passes by. It's old, it's worn and until further notice, the Maybach Excelero owns that appellation forever. Nonetheless, we're old enough to remember the first time an all-black coupe was mentioned in the same sentence as the Dark Lord of the Sith. Twenty years ago, it was good old Car & Driver that (as we recall) created the trope when they subtitled a piece on the special-edition Buick GNX, "Darth Vader, Your Car Is Ready." For a 12-year-old car nut with Empire Strikes Back bedsheets and two or three shoe boxes filled with Star Wars trading cards, that was enough to peg the GNX as the coolest car ever. Even better, my father's childhood friend Joe Silverman showed up to my Bar Mitzvah in a pitch-black GNX and took me on a joyride. Obviously, that was the highlight of my passage into manhood. Two decades later, very little has changed.
The first thing you need to understand about the two-door GNX — dubbed the "fastest production sedan in the world" (more on that later) — is that it's not just a hopped up G-body. Of course it is exactly that, but it is also a last gasp, a closing argument, a punch before dying. The GNX is Ali rope-a-doping Foreman in the jungle. No, check that – the last great Buick was the equivalent of George Foreman beating Michael Moorer to regain the heavyweight championship at the age of 45, two decades years after he lost the title to Ali. The GNX is the legitimate heir to the legendary GSX. You see, GM's RWD G platform was set to be replaced by the FWD A-body chassis in 1981. But due to high sales (hint, hint) the General decided to keep the Gs around for a few more years. The GNX then, was the final chance for Buick's engineers to show the world their unholy yet good stuff. And boy did they.