By on March 16, 2017

Opel Insignia Grand Sport

Newly published emissions certification documents on the California Air Resources Board website now confirm the existence of the Buick Regal TourX wagon — and much, much more.

The CARB documents show GM’s 250+ horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powering both front- and all-wheel-drive Regal hatchbacks, plus the anticipated all-wheel-drive-only TourX wagon.

But how AWD Regals get their power to the wheels diverges from the script.

The documents show how many gears the Regal will use to get power to the ground. GM’s new 9T50 nine-speed transmission jointly developed with Ford looks to be the only choice on front-wheel-drive Regals equipped with the four-pot, while all-wheel-drive models will see an Aisin AF50 eight-speed automatic — for now.

The made-in-Mexico Hydra-Matic 9T50 will evidently be shipped from GM’s San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico across to Opel’s manufacturing facility in Rüsselsheim, Germany, for install in North American-spec Regals.

GM had said switching to a house-made transmission would save the company money instead of sourcing the AF50 from Aisin, making this initial overlap odd, especially considering GM ditched the eight-speed in favor of the 9T50 in 2.0T-equipped Malibus. Buick is likely to replace the Aisin-built slusher across the model range at some point.

Well placed internal sources revealed the Regal will gain a V6 engine to keep it in line with competitors, while a diesel is also under consideration for later in the Regal’s lifecycle — but the CARB documents make no mention of either motor.

GM plans to use the 9T50 in at least 10 models before the end of ’17, but has only confirmed the Chevrolet Cruze with the 1.6-liter diesel, Chevrolet Equinox with the 2.0T, and new GMC Terrain sporting a 1.5T. Neither GM or Ford has announced an application linking the 9T50 with a V6 engine.

If the Regal does end up with an oil-burner, don’t be surprised if it’s the same Opel developed 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel paired with the nine-speed.

The Regal makes its debut on April 4th in Michigan, followed by a public debut at the New York International Auto Show later that month.

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38 Comments on “2018 Buick Regal All-Wheel-Drive Models Getting Two Automatics?...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Oh thank goodness, I thought you were going to say that one of the transmissions was going to either be a CVT or a dual clutch automatic monstrosity.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    9-speed automatics have gotten a bad image thanks to the ZF-made abomination used in Jeeps and Acuras. Hope this one is better sorted.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The made-in-Mexico Hydra-Matic 9T50 will evidently be shipped from GM’s San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico across to Opel’s manufacturing facility in Rüsselsheim, Germany, for install in North American-spec Regals.”

    Globalizzzation workz so wellz.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    How does the whole Opel-as-Buick thing play out now that GM sold Opel??

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    My personal experience with 4 cyls and automatics can be summed up by this phrase

    CVTs rule, the other ATs drool!

    Let the flaming begin.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yes, but turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      How many miles did it rule for?
      I think CVT durability is an issue over and above the drivability.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      SCE to AUX
      Fair point. I only have 20K miles on my 14 Accord with the CVT although I haven’t heard about any issues yet. Honda has gone all in on CVTs and a rash of premature (before 200k miles) on their CVTs would be a PR disaster for them.
      IMHO once you go beyond six gears in an AT, you might as well use a CVT, torque permitting.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        Its not fair to lump Honda CVTs with the likes of Nissan and others. Honda manages to make theirs unobtrusive, others not so much.

        Its like comparing a Miata stick shift to a Festiva stick shift. Technically they’re both manuals, but in the real world, they couldn’t be farther apart.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I recently had a current gen Maxima and I actually loved the CVT. Can’t speak to its longevity, but the available horsepower combined with the calibration of the throttle and shifting were brilliant. It felt alert and eager in “Normal” mode… much more so than the equally fast but conventional auto equipped F30 328i and Genesis 3.8 I also drove recently. At ~75% or so throttle, it gave “fake” shifts that made the engine sound great without killing progress, and just tooling around the ECU always seemed to be in the right ratio and RPM.

      I’m guessing higher cost vehicles enable more money to be spent on CVT longevity. I do think programming can go a long way though. The CVT in the Accord and even the Fit I drove recently were pretty good as well… the Fit was just hamstrung by its hamster sized engine. I would definitely not write off a CVT at all; I think I may prefer a good one to even the best automatics.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I’ll defend the 2.4l 5 speed auto in my TSX wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      To my tastes, the Accord I4/CVT drove the best of the 4 cyl mid sized sedans that I cross shopped. Here are the cars I considered

      Nissan Altima 4cyl/CVT – definitely an improvement over the earlier versions, but not equal to the Accord. Plus for the huge pile of cash on the hood. THe best price of all.
      Malibu 4 cyl/six speed AT – never test drove it due to the too small back seat as well as a moronic salesman.
      Mazda 6 – runner up, but no cash on the hood therefore no deal.
      Ford Fusion – both turbo and NA 4 cyls. THe NA was an absolute dog, while the turbo had too much low end torque for stop and go driving.
      Chrysler 200 six/AT. Great engine, but again the back seat was too small and cramped. The AT was weird to say the least.

      I had no intention of buying either a CVT or a Honda, but ended up with both.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I wonder what, if any, sales targets they expect from the new Regal, once it’s no longer a classic sedan.

    For comparison’s sake, more Equinoxes were sold in the first two MONTHS of 2017 (40,038) than Regals were sold in the last two YEARS (39,337).

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Interesting stats.
      One of those Feb Equinox’s is mine.
      Chev dealers are making great deals on the closeout 2017s.
      As long as gas is well below 2 bucks a gallon, the 7 mpg less vs the Cruze is trivial.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    My first car was a three-speed. Then four, five, and finally six gears. Six is enough. Has anyone with six gears thought they didn’t have enough?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve had the same as you, and now own a 5-spd auto and a 6-spd auto. As you say, six seems to be enough.

      I’ll add that here in the hills of western PA, I don’t want a transmission that is constantly hunting around for the right gear.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      Same here. My truck has six cogs in a box of slush and my car has six cogs at the end of a lever. Perfect and not another gear more, please.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      My first car had a 2 speed Ford-o-Matic, aka slush box. On a 6-speed manual I tended to skip 5th and go right into 6, if I was going for economy and smoothness.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Made in Mexico?

    Oh the good ol days, GM’s Strasburg best slusher on the planet.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Had to look elsewhere for the pix, but that TourX AWD wagon will get me to visit one of those nice Buick dealerships. Cost, ride, comfort and performance matter, but it’s got looks covered and should have utility. If they market it like Fiat markets a compliance electric the need to shift one off the lot should arise soon enough.

  • avatar
    stuki

    I read the headline, and thought you were referring to an FF/Lusso style dual transmission, one for the front and one for the rear…… And was wondering, what the heck is GM thinking????

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Why not used the transmission in the Opel Insignia?

    Why does GM have to have it own transmission in the Regal? And the V6 is going be which one? I hoping for over 300 hp and 290 ft-lb. torque one!


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