Here’s 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?

Opel-Insignia-Grand-Sport-304397

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.

Opel-Insignia-Grand-Sport-304403

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.

Opel-Insignia-Grand-Sport-304395

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.

Comments