After spicing up its previously sedan-only line-up with the Rendezvous SUV, Buick is to put the Bengal convertible into production in either 2003 or 2004, Automotive News reported, citing industry sources.

The newspaper said that Buick marketing general manager Roger Adams recently told dealers in a video that "despite what you may have read about Buick's future products, Rendezvous is just the first of a whole new generation of Buicks that are heading your way."


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Automotive News said that, while images of the Bengal and LaCrosse appeared on-screen, Adams said "these new concepts are a part of Buick's future."

Buick and a number of other American car companies have recently shown off concept cars to selected journalists.

The Bengal concept is a four-passenger, front wheel drive convertible with a Saturn coupe-style third door on the driver's side. This allows access to the rear seat and easy removal of the standard golf bags.

The car has a transverse 3.4-litre V6 mounted behind its transmission which reduces the amount of metal ahead of the front wheels and allows better weight distribution.

Automotive News said that it was not yet known how much of the concept's detailing would actually make production.

It added that Buick was also likely to approve the LaCrosse concept for production as well.

This four-door model has a tailgate that slides out, while the rear window and rear roof panel slide forward, turning the car's trunk area into load bed similar to that of a pickup, Automotive News said.


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