By on December 7, 2016


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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56 Comments on “Here’s Your 2018 Buick Regal, Minus the Badge...”

  • avatar


    Hello only FWD car I’ll be shopping.

  • avatar

    Looks like the ‘more wheel-less tire” trend continues unabated.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The VW CC isn’t dead after all. I like it.

  • avatar

    God that thing needs a hatch more badly than the current Malibu does.

    So now the question is “which V6”?

    I’m not as up to date on the current GM engine lineup as I was in say 1994 when I was an automotive obsessed teenager.

    Is GM currently building any V6 smaller than 3.6 ltrs for the North American market?

    • 0 avatar

      “Is GM currently building any V6 smaller than 3.6 ltrs for the North American market?”

      Well, they have the 3.0T in the CT6. That won’t go in the Regal though.

      In my dreams this will launch the 3800 Series IV that GM has been secretly developing.

      In reality, I’ll be fine with some variation of the 3.6L.

      • 0 avatar

        @ajla, I’m doubtful that it will be the 3.6, that’s just too huge a jump in displacement from a 2.0 turbo to a 3.6 V6. This isn’t the 1980s Camaro where you could go from 2.5 mighty ltrs of Iron Duke all the way up to 5.0 (later 5.7) in the same chassis.

        I fear that it will be a V6 of a sub 3 ltr design, though those of the church know that such an abomination is an evil that we dare not speak of.

      • 0 avatar

        “In my dreams this will launch the 3800 Series IV that GM has been secretly developing.” I like the way you think.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The Commodore/ Insignia will come with an upgraded 3.6, delivering 230kw and 370Nm.

      We will have all the EU engines available.

      The EU Opel and Vauxhall Insignia’s will have a 1.5 and 2.0 litre turbo and diesel.

      I do think a sub 3.0 V6 in the EU will not be viable considering the 2.0 turbo is available.

      I’d bet my balls the Buick variant will come with the 3.6 due to the wide spread use of the engine in the US.

  • avatar

    Is that a YUGE slab of DLO fail?

  • avatar

    Who’s kicking-in the sides of all these new cars? It’s like an epidemic.

  • avatar

    It’s much less offensive looking than the station wagon, which manages to look like someone cut out a bunch of photos of other cars’ body panels and then glued them into a collage inside the silhouette of an ’89 Camry wagon.

  • avatar

    I see mixes of BMW, VW and Audi there. But dang…that butt! “Abrupt” is a serious understatement. It would almost need to be a hatch in order to make any use out of the rear for storage.

  • avatar

    Looking forward to the wagon, hopefully they have it with AWD and over 300hp.

  • avatar

    Sadly, this also appears to be the 2018 Holden Commodore. As a current Commodore (read: SS) owner, this makes me sad.

    RIP RWD V8 manual

  • avatar

    “Lower, longer and wider”

    There ya go! A Buick sedan that’s even harder for coots & biddies to contort into and that won’t allow them to load groceries in the back.

    Maybe the nice bag boy will come out and help.

  • avatar

    Wow. How utterly generic.

    • 0 avatar

      I was going to say the same thing. This looks like something that would appear on a commercial for a fly-by-night tech school at 2 a.m. – “Have you ever dreamed of working in the automotive business?”

      I’m sure it will go over gangbusters in China.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s an Opel, they have basically no design language and they are so generic and has so little brand value that their advertising focuses solely on trying to convince consumers that they’re from Germany.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Very pretty car and they got the front end right, but since the rear isn’t a liftback that trunk opening is going to be useless for anything squarer or harder than a bag of packing peanuts.

    If you liked the silhouette and greenhouse of the dead Chrysler 200, but aren’t planning on picking one up, GM has the answer for you.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure about your Buick version but the European Insignia will only be sold in 5-door (saloon) and Wagon flavors. No sedan for this iteration. So maybe you’ll get a Buick Hatchback…

  • avatar

    It took not quite 40 years to return to the Aeroback sedan:

    Everything old is new again.

  • avatar

    You guys on the anti-SUV jihad… why don’t you take out your anger on the OEMs who are doing everything possible to make sedans unlivable?

    Barricade their headquarters. Crash their servers. Million Bro marches.

    Wear headbands and Army jackets. Bring your Dads or Grandads. They’ll bring the weed.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    Saturn is alive and well, but has changed its name to Buick.

    • 0 avatar

      Ha. Buick has stolen the Saturn plan of rebadging Opels, and stolen at least the concept for the Oldsmobile tagline of “It’s not your father’s…” with their new ads all targeted at millennials.

  • avatar

    It’s nothing to write home about, really. Lincoln is way more compelling both inside and out, for old and new alike.

  • avatar

    Looking good! Perhaps that character line on the lower part of the doors is a bit much, but hardly a deal breaker. This will be a great Buick.

  • avatar

    There’s a definite A8 look to its overall shape.

  • avatar

    That can’t be right, it looks like I can see out of it.

  • avatar

    Destined for failure if the extra length does not go to back seat legroom.

  • avatar

    I would totally drive one of these as an Opel (sorry Buick, my impression of you has been permanently shaped by the frumpy-as-all-hell ’95 LeSabre my elderly neighbors drove when I was growing up- whitewall stripes, wire wheels, and all). For the most part, it looks great. Couple of observations, though:

    -That huge crease in the side looks ridiculous.
    -I echo the sentiment that it could use a liftback for the trunk, otherwise it’ll have the same problem as my mother’s Pontiac G6. The trunk on that car is enormous, but the opening is too goddamn small to really make it useful.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    “The grand American tradition”?

    Last week an article came out on the next Holden Insignia …. I mean Commodore and this is the vehicle. I thought it’s in the Aussie tradition (this is what GM is telling us), except the Commodore traditioalist say otherwise, no V8 and it’s a FWD.

  • avatar

    That’s quite lovely to my eye. Assuming that the back is a liftgate/hatch instead of a mail-slot trunk. If so, that’s got a reasonable chance of winding up on the short list of my Saab replacement.

  • avatar

    I will for sure be looking over the wagon variant. That is unless GM gets stupid and chickens out offering it in the states.

  • avatar

    Wow, EPIC DLO fail! Still, if they play their cards right, this could easily put a real hurt on the thoroughly mediocre Acura TLX and ye olde Volvo S60. The German trio are too far out in front (and really in a different class that the ATS is supposed to compete with) but the Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50 are probably reachable.

  • avatar

    Someone PLEASE give one of these to Honda, STAT!
    Hopefully Hertz buys some of these.

  • avatar

    >>Hopefully Hertz buys some of these.

    You need not worry, Buick is rental class.

    “Buick” has no prestige – probably the opposite – so how well will this do against the much better-looking Malibu?

    ” the new model now has the exact same stretch between the axles as the Chevrolet Malibu—no coincidence given that the two sedans share Epsilon E2XX underpinnings. Indeed, we can see some Malibu in the overall proportions of the Opel, although the Insignia’s attractive side surfacing, tasteful chrome detailing, and sharp headlight and taillight treatments give it a style statement all its own.” C&D

    OK, the Buick gets available awd and better pleather. Plus made in Germany – not always a plus and certainly not the case w/ GM.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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