Here's Your 2018 Buick Regal, Minus the Badge

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
heres your 2018 buick regal minus the badge

General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel has pulled the wraps off its next-generation Insignia flagship, giving us a damn good preview of the next Buick Regal.

Lower, longer and wider in the grand American tradition, the 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport should premier at the Geneva Motor Show in March, shortly before GM reveals its stateside twin — the 2018 Regal — in New York. That model, we’re told, should arrive with greater powertrain and body style choice than before.

Will the redesign breathe new life into Buick’s overlooked midsizer?

The new Insignia/Regal twins will likely adopt a version of the E2XX platform, ditching the old Epsilon II in favor of more interior room. While the Regal’s measurements could vary slightly from its European sibling, the Insignia Grand Sport sees a 3.6-inch wheelbase increase, a 1.1-inch lower roofline, and a 0.4-inch growth in track width (front and rear). GM pared back the overhangs to mimic a rear-drive model.

We’re not fooled, but that’s definitely an abrupt rear end.

According to Opel, the new Insignia Grand Sport sheds 386 pounds compared to its predecessor. Of that total, 132 pounds were shaved from the body in white. This is in keeping with a lightweighting strategy seen on recent GM offerings, and should allow for the use of a smaller base engine.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder found in the current entry-level Regal should go the way of the Dodo, replaced with either a 1.5-liter turbocharged four or a variant of GM’s 2.0-liter turbo. A source told TTAC in October that Buick will offer a V6 engine in uplevel trims.

Adjustable damping and a five-link rear suspension appears on the Insignia, while intelligent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring is available as an option. Expect those goodies to carry over to the U.S., as Buick has no plans to ditch the sporty GS model.

Rather than simply swap badges on a Euro-spec Insignia ( seen undisguised here), Buick plans to give the Regal version its own distinct styling. A brawnier, crossover-style variant is also on the way, and should take the TourX name, though a straight-up wagon for North America is as likely as election reform.

After debuting a new LaCrosse for 2017 and killing off the Verano, Buick could use some fresh blood in its car lineup. Regal sales stagnated soon after the current generation’s introduction for the 2011 model year.

For 2018, Regal production moves to Germany, vacating its former home in Oshawa, Ontario.

[Images: Opel]

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  • Johnster Johnster on Dec 08, 2016

    Well, I'm slightly disappointed that the roof-line is lower. It should be higher. More rear seat headroom, please. Let's hope the back seat has at least as much legroom as the cheaper Malibu. The station wagon body-style, the V-6, and even the all-wheel drive sound promising. It might provide some competition for the Subaru Outback and maybe even the Volvo V90 and Volvo V90 Cross Country.

  • Brettc Brettc on Dec 09, 2016

    That wagon is beautiful as-is, but I doubt we'll get it as-is. Nevertheless, I will be checking that thing out once it hits dealer lots as a potential Sportwagen replacement.

  • YellowDuck Thank goodness neither one had their feet up on the dash....
  • Zerofoo I learned a long time ago to never buy a heavily modified vehicle. Far too many people lack the necessary mechanical engineering skills to know when they've screwed something up.
  • Zerofoo I was part of this industry during my college years. We built many, many cars for "street pharmacists" that sounded like this.Excessive car audio systems are kind of like 800 HP engines. Completely unnecessary, but a hell of a lot of fun.
  • DedBull In it to win it!
  • Wolfwagen IIRC I remember reading somewhere that the Porsche Cayenne was supposed to have a small gasoline-powered block heater. There was a loop in the cooling system that ran to the heater and when the temperature got to a certain point (0°C)the vehicle's control unit would activate the heater. I dont know if this was a concept or if it ever made it into production.