While much of the news centers on plans for the Buick Envision crossover and its arrival in North America in 2016, the brand also plans to realign its sedan lineup in order to be more competitive and attractive to potential buyers.
For instance, the Tri Shield brand sees a big opportunity with the midsize Regal, which has lost some sales sizzle since the arrival of the Verano in 2011. Luckily, an all-new Regal should appear in 2017, delivering an evolution of Buick’s appealing and welcoming design language. Though that’s a good thing, but not vital given that the Regal and Opel-Vauxhall Insignia on which it is based, has always been an attractive vehicle. What’s perhaps more important is that the 2017 Buick Regal will grow increase in size to create more breathing room between it and the smaller Verano.
The current-generation Buick Regal rides on GM’s short-wheelbase Epsilon II platform and boasts an overall length of 190.2 inches, six inches longer than the 183.9 inches on the Delta II-platformed Verano. Despite the being longer, the two vehicles have a very similar wheelbase: the Regal’s is 107.8 inches while the Verano’s measures in at 105.7 inches. As such, there is obvious space to grow the next-generation Regal in length and — more importantly — wheelbase.
The growth will be furnished by GM’s new global E2XX platform shared with the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, making us believe that the 2017 Regal will have similar dimensions as its Chevy-badged platform mate. To note, the 2016 Malibu measures in at 193.8 inches in length from a wheelbase of 111.4 inches.
Just as important as growing the Regal in size is decreasing its curb weight. The E2XX architecture is key to achieving this goal. We expect the 2017 Buick Regal to be 300-500 pounds lighter than the outgoing Epsilon II-based model. The lighter curb weight should not only help with improving fuel economy, but also making the vehicle more agile and dynamic.
The new Regal will also get a new standard engine, likely the 1.5L I4 turbo introduced in the 2015 Malibu; the 2.0L I4 LTG turbo will remain the more potent, up-level engine. Currently, the standard engine in the Regal is the turbo-charged 2.0L I4 LTG; the mild-hybrid 2.4L I4 LUK is available on the Premium I equipment group and the 2.4L I4 LEA is standard on the fleet-only Regal. Fans of the Regal GS will be happy to know that the range-topping trim will live on for the next-gen Buick Regal, though which motor will provide motivation for the sporty model is still unclear. Also ambiguous is the much-rumored, yet unconfirmed Regal Grand National and Regal GNX models.
Inside, the 2017 Regal will have the latest in-vehicle technology as well as active safety/driver assistance features.
We expect the 2017 Buick Regal to be unveiled and go on sale some time during the 2016 calendar year. Its trans-Atlantic cousin, the Opel-Vauxhall Insignia, should land right around the same time.