Opel Insignia-based Chinese-market Buick Regal
The 2010 Buick LaCrosse has been widely hailed as a strong entry into the mid-level luxury segment, besting even Lexus' ES 350 in many respects. But a single car does not make a brand, and so Buick has announced its next vehicle will be the widely-rumored Regal.
The announcement of the rebirth of the Regal nameplate at Buick came during a Buick-GMC dealer business meeting, though no details of the upcoming car's features or design were released. We've been tracking the potential of a Regal for the U.S. for many months now, however, so we can offer some insight into what may be coming.
With the exeunt of Saturn and its models from the national brand stage, Buick is expected to get a re-designed Opel Insignia-based sedan--the car that will be branded the Regal. A version of that car, already branded as the Buick Regal, is currently on sale in China. Like the LaCrosse, the Regal will be based on the Epsilon II front-wheel-drive platform, though the Regal will save costs and position itself just below the LaCrosse by forgoing some of the more premium elements, such as acoustic laminated glass, sound insulation in the underbody and the perimeter engine bay sound seal.
The Regal is also expected to come in about four inches shorter in wheelbase than the LaCrosse, and about seven inches shorter in overall length. Powertrain offerings will likely stick to the 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder due to be added to the LaCrosse later this year, with a possible upgrade option in the form of the 3.0-liter V-6 also found in the LaCrosse, leaving the LaCrosse with a further step above the Regal in the form of the 3.6-liter V-6.
For more on the strengths and weaknesses of the Epsilon II platform, as well as Buick's new take on luxury, style and materials, check out our first drive review of the 2010 Buick LaCrosse.