'Is that a Buick?' GM brand unveils Regal hatchback and wagon models

And even though General Motors has agreed to sell the Opel brand to PSA, the Russelsheim plant in Germany will produce the Regals and import them to the U.S. Asked about a potential border tax on imports, Reuss said all companies can do is plan for unknown contingencies to be able to adapt quickly if necessary.

The new Regal looks great, but it also puts versatility front and center.

Sure enough, when Duncan Aldred, vice-president of Global Buick and GMC, called for the Regal to be driven out on stage and parked in the spotlight on Tuesday, no one gasped.

Instead, the Regal is now available in two body styles, at least for the USA - the Regal Sportback, a sedan-styled five-door hatchback, and the Regal TourX, a very pretty lifted wagon with crossover bodywork. This "coupe-like design" provides four-door access with ample cargo space. The other, the Regal Sportback, offered an unusual hatch opening created to give a auto that looks like a sporty coupe the functional utility of a sport utility vehicle. The TourX wagon is expected to offer more cargo space than a Volvo V60 Cross Country, Audi A4 Allroad, BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, and Subaru Outback. "Instead of trying to be all things to all people, [this decision] is more about making the choices where there are the biggest opportunities for growth". Those are likely to be the Regal TourX's chief competitors. But the version of the Regal that is coming to Canada later this year also looks like a victor.

Inside the luxurious cabin, the new Regal's interior design takes a tailored, driver-centric approach, featuring premium materials and host of modern technologies. The body structure is also 91 kilograms lighter, which should lead to improved handling qualities and efficiency over all.

One groundbreaking feature is this car's new active hood pedestrian safety system. The wheels are pushed right to the corners and the wheelbase is longer than in the outgoing model. Buick expects crossovers to account for more than 75% of the brand's retail deliveries this year, GM noted in its March sales report. All-wheel drive is standard and its body is some three inches longer than the Sportback's. With swoopy creased styling, the Regal Sportback offers a slightly different riff on the crowded sedan segment, which GM says still has three million annual retail sales.

All-wheel drive is option in the Regal Sportback and a standard feature in the TourX.

.

Motivating these Buicks is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The engine develops the same amount of power for both cars (250 horsepower), but the AWD version has been tuned to generate more torque.

Based on GM's new, front-wheel-drive Epsilon architecture which undergirds the new, roomy Chevy Malibu, the Regal is considerably larger than the last generation with a three-inch-longer wheelbase that translates into nearly that much more room in the rear seat. The available cargo space behind the rear seats amounts to 892 litres, double the trunk capacity of the 2017 Regal sedan. A Buick spokesperson told Edmunds that pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

  • Arturo Norris