As the world tries to shake its image of Buick as the brand of doddering codgers and those that prefer the feel of a motorized sofa to actual handling and performance, the company itself is doing its best to push out products that shatter that mold. The LaCrosse was a strong start, and the new Regal is following up nicely, though even the GS isn't hitting the buttons we wish it would. But that could be where the Regal Coupe comes in.
The news comes courtesy of a webchat held yesterday. During the chat, Roger McCormack, Buick's product marketing director, told consumers that the Regal Coupe is under "very strong consideration." We brought you news that a coupe was possibly in the works back in May, noting that the car wouldn't be likely until 2013 or 2014 at the earliest.
Nonetheless, a coupe version of the Regal would undoubtedly be a niche vehicle, built to raise profile and offer a status option within the brand--and that formula is the perfect foot-in-the-door to more performance, too. As we wait to learn the final details of the Regal GS, due sometime before the 2010 Los Angleles Auto Show, we can make educated guesses as to what a Regal Coupe might look like.
Because the Regal is essentially an Opel Insignia in a Buick dress, the root of the Regal Coupe question lies in Opel's hands. Good news: they're already reported to be working on a coupe based on the Gran Turismo Coupe concept from 2007. As we previewed yesterday, the Regal Coupe could deliver just the right proportions, and packed with the all-wheel-drive 255-horsepower drivetrain from the Regal GS, it could deliver some serious fun, too. It's a strange thought, but get used to it.
There's also the possibility of a convertible model. If that car gets the go-ahead, it too will likely be based on the Opel underpinnings. For a vague idea of what the car might look like--plus a gander at the rumors of just such a car from way back in 2007, check out our previous coverage here.
We're not yet sold on the idea of the convertible--extra weight, less stiffness, and the complexity and expense of adding a requisite folding hardtop to compete in the entry-luxury segment--but the Coupe sure sounds like something we'd be interested in. Even if we would spend as much time explaining the "new Buick" to our friends as we would driving it.