Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Previews the Next Buick Regal Wagon, Minus the Cladding

opel insignia sports tourer previews the next buick regal wagon minus the cladding

Longer, sleeker, and lighter than before. That’s the gist of General Motors’ next-generation Opel Insignia, the Euro midsizer that provides the template for Buick’s upcoming Regal.

Long in the tooth and a little cramped, the Regal is poised to shed its cloak of invisibility by adopting the Insignia’s E2XX platform and most of its styling cues for the 2018 model year. Expect greater interior volume, up to 440 pounds of weight loss, and an available V6 powerplant.

Oh, and expect a wagon, according to a TTAC source. And not just any wagon — a faux crossover that GM, crossing its fingers, hopes can lure buyers away from the overstocked buffet of lifted utility options.

The Insignia Sports Tourer, revealed today, adds an extra 3.5 cubic feet to its cargo hold, for a total of 57.9 cubic feet of hauling potential. While Europe might not have the same level of passion for SUVs and crossovers as the U.S., the Sports Tourer nonetheless offers all-wheel drive to boost its appeal. That’s great news for Buick, as a wagon is already a hard sell on these shores.

While GM has remained tight-lipped about the upcoming model, the Sports Tourer provides us with the overall shape of things to come. Small exterior changes aimed at Buick-ifying the foreign visitor are a given, but the automaker doesn’t intend to stop there. The model will likely wear a TourX badge and some measure of exterior body cladding.

Opel claims the new Insignia offers a lowered seating position, which, coupled with a bevy of technological enhancements, should translate into a more involved driving experience.

It’s not known if GM engineers will endow the Regal wagon with a minor suspension lift, but such a tweak is the norm for the growing crop of soft-roaders. Take a model, add all-wheel drive (if possible), and jack that sucker up six-tenths of an inch. Of course, time will tell if the public embraces or rejects the concept. For some time now, American consumers have proven quite averse to buying wagons with anything other than “Outback” stamped somewhere on the body.

The Sports Tourer’s German-built American cousin should premiere in the second quarter of this year, likely at the New York International Auto Show.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Paragon Paragon on Feb 06, 2017

    The top photo is an image that seems to evoke our memory of the rather nice Mazda 6 wagon. Which at the time seemed to be about the sportiest wagon ever. I'm sure there were others like me at the time who would have given the 6 wagon more serious consideration if only their financial situation were just a bit better. This looks just right for those of us who are unlikely to give serious consideration to an SUV, crossover or other tall vehicle.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Feb 07, 2017

    Step 1. Change nothing about this car. Step 2. Take my money. Step 3: ??? Step 4: Profit.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.