By on February 6, 2017

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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41 Comments on “Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Previews the Next Buick Regal Wagon, Minus the Cladding...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    quote-“The model will likely wear a TourX badge and some measure of exterior body cladding.”
    Nooooo! No cladding. No weight increasing, rust causing, visually offensive cladding.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    I like it! Keep the price in the high 20’s to low 30’s and I think they’ll move some. Price it like the 3’er wagon and its DOA.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The 3 wagon starts more than the Buick Enclave, I think it is safe to assume this will be much cheaper. I’m guessing starting MSRP around $30k for this (slotting between the Encore and Envision, which are separated by $10k).

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      The current Regal starts at $31,000 (more or less) and goes up to $40,000 and it’s only the top trim that gets AWD. I’d add $5000 for a wagon version. Really I’d expect it to be marketed just less than the Volvo V60.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Knowing GM they will hamstring it with 4 cylinder powerplants and make the V6 way overpriced. I’m predicting mid 30’s for the 4 bangers and 40 plus for the V6 variants.

    If the exterior cladding is done properly it will be fine. A little contrasting paint scheme and bolder wheel openings are okay. Hopefully they don’t go crazy and stick plastic aero kitting all over the rockers and wheel openings though.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    This is one hot wagon. Will it have a third row? A V70 owner asks.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    That’s a beautiful car. Go easy on the suspension lift and stupid body cladding, or it won’t be anymore.

  • avatar
    davewg

    I planning a trip to NYAIS. Sure hoping this is there as I really am considering this (and some similar models) for the next vehicle. Looks really nice…in my book.

    I could do with a standard AWD no lifted version, but bet we won’t see that. I’d still take an allroad-ified version of this over an SUV/CUV…

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    The car isn’t bad looking, quite the opposite in fact, to me anyway.

    It would look amazing in the above style (non CUV) as a two door wagon. Its beautiful elegant styling would lend itself towards that IMO.

    I’m trying to like wagons, guys, help me out here. I do not want a Buick Outback.

    At least I know I’ll like the Regal sedan. A coupe is too much to hope for lol.

    Maybe Opel could produce the two door wagon and a notchback coupe as concepts to gauge reception.

    A Regal PLC again? Yes!

    • 0 avatar
      Von

      It is good looking, serious looking but chiseled and elegant. I’d consider it if I were in the market and the price wasn’t ridiculous.

      I considered the TSX wagon at one point too, but it was so underpowered, or more accurately, under torqued. As smooth and nice sounding as the engine was, I do not enjoy pushing to 5+k RPM on a regular basis for typical highway merging and passing.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        That’s my Honda!

        S2000 will be smoked by a Mercury Topaz 4 cyl 5 spd if the Honda driver is forced to shift at the same RPM the Topaz driver does. Unless he winds it up and BLOWS IT out, its an early Insight that looks the opposite of an Insight.

        Kinda like the Prius getting worse mileage than a crazy powerful (by comparison) 3 series when it goes balls-to-the-wall and the Bimmer follows at the same pace, as shown on Top Gear.

        You gotta use it like it was meant to be used. Hondas are amazing if you “get” them.

        I haven’t owned a TSX or any similar car, so my experience is based on a Honda Accord and other vehicles I’ve owned/driven. They’re similar enough to make the point.

        My car has low end torque, but when I drove a 1995 Accord LX for a long time, I had to work for it and when pushed, it wasn’t stellar on fuel economy. I hated it on a trip in summer, through mountain passes. It. Was. Slow. (When loaded, I had lots of stuff in it).

        I imagine my results would’ve been quite different if I had an EX I-4 with a manual, I would’ve loved instead of liked the car (especially a coupe and not a sedan!).

        But when new, my Accord LX and my current same-year Taurus were direct equivalents in the time before 9/11 when ignorance/peaceful bliss ruled the land of the free.

        Both very similarly equipped down to the wheel covers, both base engine and automatic.

        Around town, low end punch (torque) from the Taurus’ old school OHV V-6 would’ve made me choose it over the Accord’s better MPG in everyday (not “spirited”) driving.

        Yes the Accord handles better. But, it rides worse and felt much more compact inside than my Taurus (which has a Honda-like buckets/floor-console shift). Adequate, but not roomy by comparison.

        Why does the Accord not suck when it has no low end torque and feels more like a Tempo-size car room wise? Because if you use it the way Honda intended, its an amazing example of mid size sedan. More of a fun, canyon carver, less of a boring librarian’s 1995 Camry, for example. Keep the timing belt serviced, plan for CV axles, and monitor the oil level, its a 200k mile car with no sweat.

        And it feels nicer and tighter than the Taurus at 200k. Its light and tossable, puts a smile on your face so long as you keep the RPMs up and the wheel in motion.

        The both have merits, is my point. You just gotta know where to look. For you, get the V-6 Regal. We’ll enjoy our side of fun.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          I’ve been driving sport cars for awhile so I like to rev them up to get on the cam. On the other hand as I approach retirement I’m slowing down, so my TSX wagon is fast enough.

        • 0 avatar
          Von

          Don’t get me wrong, I liked the TSX enough to buy the 2007 sedan new, and I quite enjoyed the car overall. I lived way out in the mountain country back then and flinging it around on unpopulated roads was the highlight of my ownership experience. The low torque and so so city mileage were my only real complains. But since the wagon was heavier, I imagine it would make both of those issues even worse. But since 99% of my mileage was not in those curvy mountain roads, I kept wishing for more low end torque.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “Educated” and “wagon” are two words that have become obscene mockeries of what they once represented.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    Will there be a Chevrolet Malibu version?

  • avatar
    StuckInWI

    Someone tell Mazda – Buick has designed a Mazda 6 wagon for them!

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “GM, crossing its fingers, hopes can lure buyers away from the overstocked buffet of lifted utility options”…

    …that GM itself is selling like heroin and fervently updating in order to sell even more.. o_O

    This “wagon” is at best a runty niche experiment that should have “IS” tacked onto whatever name it may receive, for Internet Special.

    Oh, and who the f*ck treats a cello like that?

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Damn them for giving us a Terrain alternative!

      They shouldn’t be building what sells well, idiots! They should make nothing because GM!

      And this publicity photo meant to be charmingly showing increased utility using beautiful items with the beautiful car is confusing and I’m tired! It should be dog food and Depends!

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    You would be surprised at the enthusiasm that Europe has for crossovers and SUVs. Just like the US, the midsize sedan is on death watch as people flock to buy SUV or SUV-alikes.

    The current Insignia (aka Regal) has a variation sold as a Country Tourer – http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/vauxhall/vauxhall-insignia-country-tourer-20-cdti-4×4-2014-review/

    Goes up against similar cladded wagons from Volvo and Skoda (Octavia Scout is popular with some fleets like first response paramedics for car-like performance and handling – based on VW’s MQB platform -, huge space, some off-road ability).

  • avatar
    319583076

    Does the cello come with the car? Do I have to provide my own tie downs or straps to keep my new cello from getting all dinged up sliding around the back end?

  • avatar
    NeilM

    “The model will likely wear a TourX badge and some measure of exterior body cladding.”

    That should do the job to drive away any of us who might have hoped for a reasonably priced Euro wagon.

    Thanks GM! /s

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Love how the brightwork at the crown of the DLOs falls into, and is terminated in the taillights.

    Shame such a pretty shape needs to have wheelarch add-ons and a lift.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    DO WANT, AS IS. Just stick some ventiports on it and a red, white, and blue tri-shield.

    If you squint it kinda looks like a BMW 3 series wagon with FWD proportions.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Beautiful car as is, but I’m sure they’ll do something terrible to Americanize it. Looking forward to the NYAS reveal. Since VW doesn’t feel the need to sell a Passat wagon, this could take its place.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Odd, the next Commodore wagon pictures were just released.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    You’ve posted the wrong photo! Surely that’s a Mazda.

  • avatar
    FalcoDog

    WOW I Like That! Too bad GM will likely destroy the looks for the USA market, because Buick.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    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.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

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

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