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2018 Regal Sportback Expands Design Diversity of Buick Brand

Photo Credit: General Motors Canada
When General Motors maintained six divisions or more vehicle brands, Buick often seemed to have an identity crisis. An upscale brand aspiring to attract a driving public above Chevrolet or Pontiac, Buick also seemed hindered to explore true luxury in concerns for upstaging Cadillac. Before 2004, Buick’s attempt to individualize itself was also being diffused by Oldsmobile’s similar persona. Dropping the iconic Riviera ahead of the 2000 model year also meant Buick went through a decade in North America with a somewhat lacking character. Buick's popularity in China was ultimately sustained the brand when General Motors went into restructuring in 2009.


Photo Credit: General Motors Canada

Under the new GM, a new Buick has been taking shape using greater international flavour. Increased European influence including the Cascada convertible, the segment-creating Encore premium small crossover and the Envision being one of the first Chinese-built vehicles sold in North America by a major auto company defines transformative products of a new mid-level luxury brand. For what will become Buick's 115th anniversary in 2018, another dose of European design will be found with a tri-shield badge.

The 2018 Regal Sportback intensifies the globe-trotting luxury lineup found at Buick dealerships. Based on the platform being used by the new Opel Insignia, this five-door vehicle variant is the first opportunity to see the latest generation Buick Regal as something that is not a traditional sedan. Although displaying enough sedan-like details to lure mid-sized four-door car buyers, the Regal Sportback’s slippery design incorporates strong notes of a coupe. Athlete stance and the fastback roof profile give the car a desirably sportier look.

Coming a year later the Buick LaCrosse, engineers and designers transferred a number of the larger sedan’s traits to the 2018 Regal. The adoption of Buick’s new design language symbolized by its grille featuring a winged Buick badge displayed first with the LaCrosse and Cascada. Another aspect Buick engineers were able to replicate from their larger car was weight reduction over the previous generation model. Compared to the 2017 Buick Regal sedan, the 2018 Regal Sportback is roughly 91 kilograms (200 pounds) lighter despite possessing a longer wheelbase.

Thanks to an additional 3 inches (more than 76 millimeters) of wheelbase length, passenger space receives greater optimization inside the 2018 Buick Regal. Buick’s trademarked QuietTuning technology delivers a cabin environment where a minimal amount of road noise will interfere with the occupant’s ride. A standard 7-inch infotainment unit is standard on the 2018 Regal Sportback while an 8-inch with navigation system is available. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included with the infotainment units of the new Buick provides a few of many electronic connection solutions. OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot comes installed on every 2018 Buick Regal Sportback along with a complimentary five-year OnStar Basic Plan. Ten airbags, push-button start and heated side mirrors will also be standard equipment. Another major feature being incorporated on the upcoming vehicle is an active hood pedestrian safety system. Sensing a likely collision with a person, Buick’s standard active hood pedestrian safety system lifts the back of the hood in order to reduce potential injury to the pedestrian. A wide array of other active safety features such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert is also obtainable on the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback.


Photo Credit: General Motors Canada

With the long rear window, one of the benefits of the Sportback style is added cargo space. Adding up to more than twice the space of the current Regal sedan, the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback features 892 liters of cargo capacity while still accommodating rear seat passengers. When the split-rear seat bench is folded down, up to 1,719 liters of cargo room can be exploited. Buick touts the storage area as greater than the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Gran Coupe.

Powertrain options for the new Regal Sportback is based around 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine equipped with standard start/stop technology. A front -wheel drive or all-wheel drive choice with the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback provides some differing attributes beyond just the wheels being propelled. Influenced by 260 pound-feet of torque, the front-wheel drive Regal Sportback is fitted with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Operating through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, torque production is increased to 295 pound-feet with all-wheel drive versions of the 2018 Regal Sportback. Standard active noise cancellation is combined by Buick with the all-wheel drive models.      

The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback will go on-sale in the fourth quarter of 2017 with pricing details to be announced between now and the model’s release date. While there will no longer be a conventional sedan version of the Regal for the 2018 model year, a wagon-like TourX will join the Sportback in the United States market. Canadians will only receive the Buick Regal Sportback for 2018.

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