GM’s Buick unveils new Regal crossover, fastback – USA TODAY
General Motors introduced two new versions Tuesday of its Buick Regal, both aimed at riding the crest of trends sweeping the auto industry.
The Regal Sportback is a sedan that has been given the slope-back looks of a coupe. It has a fastback-style appearance in which the roof tapers rearward almost to the trunk. The styling was popularized nearly a decade ago by Jaguar’s XJ and Audi’s A7 and has been emulated now in many midsize and large cars, including several from GM.
The other new vehicle is a wagon version of the Regal, the TourX, which arrives at a time when auto buyers are craving crossovers and SUVs of just about any sort.
TourX is likely to play more on the softer side of the crossover world, competing against models like Audi A4 Allroad and BMW 3-Series Sport Wagon. It will allow GM to offer what it is calling a crossover – even though it is derived from a sedan. Banish the thought of referring to TourX as a station wagon.
“Regal TourX is a crossover in the truest sense of the word,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president in charge of GMC and Buick, in a statement. He said it “has the drive dynamics of a car and the versatility of an SUV.”
Buick, a brand that sandwiches between the mass-market Chevrolet and luxury Cadillac in the GM pantheon, is hoping the two vehicles are viewed as hip enough to attract younger buyers. Executives believe that Regal, as the 2018 Regal Sportback, will be seen as a roomier alternative to a standard sedan.
With 31.5 cubic feet, Sportback has nearly twice as much interior room as today’s Regal. Prospective customers “have an SUV in the garage and are looking to complement it with a sports sedan, but have an appreciation for the usefulness of a versatile cargo space,” Aldred said.
GM’s Buick, like other brands, is trying to figure out how to add more crossovers, trucks and other variants to its production lines at a time when midsize and small car sales are flagging. Buick Regal sales were down 40.3% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year, Autodata reports. By contrast, sale of the brand’s three crossovers — Encore, Enclave and Envision — were up 27.4% combined in the first quarter.
Both Sportback and TourX will be equipped with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower. It will be coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Both are expected to go on sale near the end of the year, Buick says.