DETROIT -- With sedan sales in a tailspin, General Motors is taking the Buick Regal in a slightly different direction with its latest redesign.
The sixth-generation Regal will be available in the U.S. as a four-door hatchback and a wagon, with no traditional sedan, GM said Tuesday.
“We’re finding new ways to stand out,” said Buick brand chief Duncan Aldred. “More of the same won’t sell in this segment.”
The Regal Sportback and TourX, both scheduled to go on sale in the fourth quarter, will be assembled by Opel in Ruesselsheim, Germany, despite GM’s recently agreement to sell Opel to PSA Group of France. GM’s product development chief, Mark Reuss, said the sale will have “no impact” on Buick in the immediate future.
The Sportback, which is expected to account for a majority of Regal volume, will be sold in Canada and the U.S. It’s about 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing Regal.
The TourX, which is 3.4 inches longer, 1.1 inches taller and 500 pounds heavier than the Sportback, will be available only in the U.S., Reuss said. Occupants ride higher in the TourX, giving buyers one of the advantages that has helped draw U.S. consumers to crossovers.
“It’s something we’ve wanted for years, and now finally it is here,” Reuss said of the TourX.
Sullivan said the incremental cost of bringing the wagon to the U.S. in addition to the higher-volume hatchback is likely minimal. He noted that the few other wagons sold in the U.S., including the Subaru Outback and Mercedes E-class, tend to attract very desirable, affluent buyers.
“There’s definitely a very attractive customer that buys them,” Sullivan said. “It’s the kind of customer you’d love to have, but it’s a very, very small market.”
The Sportback is available either in front-wheel drive, with a nine-speed transmission, or all-wheel drive with an eight-speed. The TourX is available only in all-wheel drive. Both body styles are powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 250 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque with all-wheel drive.