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Turbo Riviera

This page mainly address the car model that featured the Buick Turbo V6. For a more complete listing of power ratings and mechanical changes made to the Turbo V6 engine each year, please see the "Evolution of the Buick Turbo V6" page. For a semi-complete production figures listing, see the "Turbo V6 Production Figures" page.

1979 Riviera/Riviera S TYPE

The Riviera was newly redesigned for 1979. Along with the new design came front wheel drive (FWD) and a new version of the Turbo V6. While similar in design, most components are not interchangeable with the RWD Turbo V6. The turbocharger is mounted to the back of the intake (not top) and hangs off the back of the engine (not above). The Riviera was also equipped with four-wheel independent suspension, with torsion bars up front and coil spring in the back.

Also new was the Riviera S Type, a sport package for the Riviera (RPO Y57). It came with the 3.8 Turbo V6, firmer suspension, special interior and exterior trim. While the S Type's standard engine was the Turbo V6, the 350 V8 could be substituted for a price credit. Likewise, the base Riviera came standard with a 350 V8, but could be optioned with the Turbo V6. The Riviera S Type received the "Car of the Year" award from Motor Trend Magazine.

1980 Riviera/Riviera S TYPE

After the success of the '79 Riviera, not much changed for 1980. Newly styled, integrated outside mirrors were the biggest visual change. Standard and available engine choices remained the same.

1981 Riviera/Riviera T TYPE

The sport version of the Riviera received a name change. The standard engine the T Type was still the Turbo V6. The new 4.1 litre V6 and the 307 V8 were also available. The Turbo V6 could again be ordered on the standard Riviera as well. Again, most changes were superficial; a new grille, amber turn signal lights, and gray bumper impact strips.

1982 Riviera T TYPE

In the beginning of the 1982 model year, the T Type was not available. According to the sales brochure, it was to be released after January, 1982. It is not clear why there was a delay. New to the T Type was four wheel disc brakes.

1983 Riviera T TYPE

1983 Buick Riviera Indy Pace Car

In 1983, Buick was again chosen to pace the Indy 500. This time a Riviera Convertible would do the job. To motivate the large car, a highly modified Turbo V6 was used. The engine however was the 4.1 and not the 3.8 litre. Also, this powerplant did not use a carburetor, but instead used Fuel-Injection. There were 502 replicas made, but they did not feature a turbocharged V6. Note: Some sources claim that the 502 figure includes the two actual Indy Pace cars.

The T Type returned for 1983. The 3.8 Turbo V6 was the only engine available and was an option on base Rivieras.

Turbo Rivieras after 1983

The Riviera continued this body style for two more years. The Turbo 3.8 was still the standard engine of the T Type, but like the Regal's Turbo motor, the carburetor was gone in favor of Sequential Fuel Injection. In 1986, the Riviera was downsized further and the Turbo V6 was gone. The T Type package was still available and eventually a new supercharged version of the 3.8 was released.

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