Thursday, December 24, 2009
Official: Opel Insignia Heading to the USA as the Buick Regal
General Motors officially announced today that the name of Buick's next mid-size sport sedan will be the Regal. Even though the Detroit automaker did not hand out any photos other than a cropped image of the sedan, chances are that the US-spec model will be identical to the Chinese market Buick Regal which in turn is based on the European Opel Insignia. These two models differ only in some details such as the styling of the front grille, the shape of the front fog lights and the exterior mirrors.
"The transformation of Buick began with our luxury crossover, the Buick Enclave and continued this year with the launch of the 2010 LaCrosse premium sedan," said Susan Docherty, Buick GMC General Manager. "We're thrilled to announce that the Regal will be the next member of the Buick family."
GM said that even though the Regal name has been out of the market for the past six years it continues to be one of the top Buick nameplates recalled by consumers.
Before entering bankruptcy and the decision to either sell or close its Saturn business (GM recently announced the death of the brand after negotiations broke down with Penske Automotive), the Detroit automaker had planned to replace the Aura with the Insignia.
General Motors did not say when the Regal will go on sale in the States, but buyers should expect to see the sleek sedan arriving at dealerships sometime towards the end of 2010 or early 2011. Engine options will most likely include 4-cylinder turbocharged units as well as a V6.
And what's that we hear you say about a Buick Regal GNX? Well, your guess is as good as ours, but the recent introduction of the European Opel Insignia OPC that packs an all-wheel drive system and a 325HP 2.8-liter turbocharged V6 means that a sporty GNX model is completely feasible.
The Opel Insignia is also offered in Europe as a five-door liftback and a sleek-looking station wagon called Sports Tourer, but we wouldn't hold our breath for an American release for neither model.