2018 Buick Regal Concept – Bye-bye, Buick Regal sedan. For the year 2018, Buick had fun with the body style in offering Regal Sportback midsize hatchbacks with a coupel style and Regal TourX, which by officials referred to as crossovers but we excitedly called the carts.
TourX is not a sports cart as offered in Europe that we avoid, but this is a wagon: 3.4 inches longer than the hatchback and with an extra inch of overall height.
The new vehicle was unveiled at GM’s Warren Technical Center in Detroit metro ahead of the New York auto show, where Buick will show the new Enclave crossover. Regal will go on sale in the fourth quarter. Prices are yet to be announced, but the competition, especially for the wagon, is mostly limited to Volvo V60 Cross Country, Audi A4 Allroad, BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon and Subaru Outback, which shows prices in the range of $ 32,500 (Sportback) to $ 40,000. Sportback will be offered in four trim levels; TourX will be offered in three.
The two Regal variants are based on the Opel Insignia shown last month at the Geneva auto show: the hatchback of Sport Insignia and Insignia Sport Tourer. And although General Motors has agreed to sell the Opel brand to the PSA, the Russelsheim plant in Germany will produce Regal and import it into the US. When asked about potential import tax borders, Mark Reuss, head of GM’s global product development, says all companies can do is plan unknown contingencies in order to adapt quickly if necessary.
Canada gets hit. Current Regal Production in Oshawa, Ontario, will be removed in the next few months, and Canadians can only buy Sportback-no TourX trains for them. Mexico did not get both, but Regal was never popular in the south of the border. We will get more details about the tweaks to the Sportback for the Chinese market later this month at the Shanghai auto show. Chinese buyers love the bigger rear seat above the rear cargo space.
Powering the Regal is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with a front-drive Sportback. Speed eight with a standard all-wheel drive on TourX, and the system is equipped with an active twin-clutch rear differential for better control in all conditions. The engine generates about 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque on the front Sportback, and the torque rises to 295 lb-ft with an all-wheel drive. Start-stop technology is standard.
Reuss has drove a new Regal and says he is impressed with his dynamic travel and handling.
Buick expects most buyers to choose Sportback, but Reuss says it’s hard to gauge how many will choose the wagon – though he calls it a crossover. He called the move as a smart risk and the decision that Buick, as a smaller brand within a large company, was able to do so.
This is the sixth version of the Regal and the second generation since the car back to the market in 2011. It has a vertical slick grille of Buick-style slider style. The cart has a cladding body, a standard roof rail, and a hands-free liftgate. The cockpit is designed to be driver-centric. Drivers are well connected with OnStar 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, 7.0-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and many apps.
The Sportback has a 31.5 cubic feet cargo space, and the second row seats are split into two or three segments to make the room more flexible. With the seat folded down, there is 60.7 cubic feet behind the first row. TourX has 32.7 cubic feet with seats at the top and 73.5 cubic feet with them down.
There is the usual safety features, but the first Buick is an active pedestrian safety system that uses fireworks to lift the back of the hood about 4 inches to reduce the impact and potential injury.
Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC, said Buick launched four new vehicles last year with more coming with Regal and Enclave. Buick now has the youngest ranks among U.S. brands, with everything not later than 21 months. Buick is preparing to add a Velite plug-in hybrid in China, but Reuss has not launched plans for the Electric Buick in the U.S. not yet.
Given how strong Buick is in China, the brand has seen seven years of international growth, Aldred said.