|Manufacturer||Buick (General Motors)|
|Also called||Opel Insignia (Europe, 2008–present)|
Vauxhall Insignia (United Kingdom, 2008–present)
Holden Commodore (ZB) (Australia and New Zealand, 2018–2020)
|Model years||North America|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size car (D) (1973–1987, 2009–present)|
Mid-size luxury car (E) (1988–2004)
|Layout||FR layout (1973–1987)|
FF layout (1988–present)
F4 layout (2008–2020)
|Predecessor||Buick Skylark (1972)|
|Successor||Buick LaCrosse (for Regal, 1988–2004)|
The Buick Regal is an upscale mid-sized car that was first introduced by Buick for the 1973 model year. The model was originally positioned as a personal luxury car, and typically offered in both coupe and sedan forms until 1997, when the Regal became sedan-only due to the decline of the personal luxury coupe market. For certain model years between 1973 and 2004, the Regal shared bodies and powertrains with the similar Buick Century, although the Regal was positioned as a more upmarket vehicle.
The Regal was discontinued in the North American market in 2004, being succeeded by the Buick LaCrosse. In 2008, a new version of the Regal was introduced for the Chinese market, which is a badge engineered version of the Opel Insignia. The new Regal was introduced to the North American market in 2011, positioned as a mid-size vehicle. A new model was introduced for 2018, which is offered in a liftback sedan and a "TourX" station wagon version. GM discontinued the Regal in the North American market after the 2020 model year, making Buick exclusively a CUV marque there.
First generation (1973)
|Also called||Buick Century Regal|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
Buick had been the first GM division to bring a personal luxury car to market with its 1963 Riviera, but was otherwise slow to react to the developing lower-priced mid-size personal luxury market, which Pontiac created with the 1969 Grand Prix and Chevrolet with the Monte Carlo the following year, 1970. At the same time, Oldsmobile added a formal notchback coupé to its intermediate line, the Cutlass Supreme, in 1970 and that model soon became Olds' best-selling intermediate. Buick did not get its own personal luxury coupe until the GM intermediates were redesigned in 1973, the so-called "Colonnade" cars that eliminated hardtop models completely. In a curious name swap, the Skylark name was dropped from Buick's intermediate line and instead the Century nameplate, last used in the 1950s, was revived for them.
A highly trimmed, two-door coupe, the first Regal, officially marketed as the "Century Regal Colonnade Hardtop coupe", shared its front and rear styling with its Century parent with distinctions amounting to differing grilles and taillight lenses. The Regal shared the same "Colonnade" pillared hardtop roofline (a hardtop with B-pillars (center pillars) but frameless doors unlike a sedan body) and greenhouse (window area) with the Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, and Cutlass Supreme as well as the lower-priced Buick Century Luxus coupe. Like its corporate cousins, the Regal (and Luxus) featured the newly fashionable opera windows, which were small fixed rear-side windows surrounded by sheetmetal, instead of the traditional roll-down windows.
For the first model year in 1973, the Regal nameplate was only used for Buick's version of the GM intermediate personal luxury coupe, but the following year gained a sedan companion (there was no Regal station wagon).
Regal interiors were generally more luxurious than lesser Century models with woodgrain trim on dashboard and door panels, along with door-pull straps and bench seats with center armrests with cloth, velour, or vinyl upholstery. Optionally available throughout the run was a 60/40 split-bench seat with armrest. For 1976 and 1977, the Regal coupe was available with the S/R option that included reclining bucket seats with corduroy upholstery.
The model lasted five years with minimal changes, although there was a fairly substantial facelift in coupes for 1976 (sedans retained their original 1973 sheetmetal through 1977), which incorporated the recently-legalized rectangular headlights (horizontally mounted on coupes, and vertically on sedans—much like the mid-1960s Pontiacs). The Regal coupe sold reasonably well, although it lagged behind the Monte Carlo and Cutlass Supreme which had become the best-selling cars in America by 1976.
The Regal was most commonly powered by Buick's 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8, which was standard equipment on all models for 1973 and 1974, and optional on coupes but standard on sedans from 1975 to 1977, and the larger 455 cu in (7.5 L) V8 was optional for 1973 and 1974 models only. Starting in 1975, Regal coupes came standard with Buick's resurrected 231 cu in (3.8 L) V6 engine previously offered on the 1964–1967 Skylark; the engine's tooling had been sold to Kaiser Motors for use in Jeep models (Kaiser was purchased by American Motors in 1970 and Jeep became an AMC division) and sold back to GM by AMC in 1974. For 1975 and 1976, the Century and Regal were the only mid-sized cars in America to offer V6 engines. The bolt pattern for this vehicle is 5×4+3⁄4 inches (120.7 mm).
The Century nameplate was quietly removed from the Regal for 1975.
Second generation (1978)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupé|
5-door station wagon
|Wheelbase||108.1 in (2,745.7 mm)|
|Length||200.6 in (5,095.2 mm)|
|Width||71.6 in (1,818.6 mm)|
|Height||54.5 in (1,384.3 mm)|
A downsized Regal appeared for the 1978 model year with Buick's new 196 cu in (3.2 L) V6 engine as standard equipment and a revised version of the venerable 231 cu in (3.8 L) V6 as an option (which became standard for 1980). Initially, a three-speed manual transmission was standard but this was later replaced by an automatic. At the time of introduction, Regals were available exclusively as coupés with the Century nameplate applied to bread-and-butter sedans and station wagons. In January 1982 the Century was replaced by an all-new car on the front-wheel drive A platform, which meant that the Regal gained a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon - essentially facelifted and rebadged versions of the previous year's rear-wheel drive Century. It was the first time the name appeared on a full model lineup. The wagon was discontinued after 1983, and the sedan dropped from the lineup the next year. This generation Regal lasted ten years. The base model was equipped with softer-riding luxury suspension, and did not offer a manual transmission in later years.
The 1978 Regal could be equipped with a 3,791 cc (3.8 L; 231.3 cu in) Turbocharged V6 engine with automatic transmission, and was known as a Regal Sport Coupe. Turbo versions were offered with either a two- or a four-barrel carburetor. The Buick LeSabre was also available with the turbocharged engine. The only other turbocharged cars available in the U.S. market in 1978 were imports from Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Saab. The Regal Sport Coupe also included a firm handling suspension with larger tires and sport wheels. Bucket seats and a center console with a T-shifter were also available.
A major facelift for 1981 gave the Regal a much more aerodynamic profile, helping make it possible for the car to compete on the NASCAR racing circuit. The sloping hood and nose of the car made it the favorite of several NASCAR teams. Richard Petty drove one to victory in the 1981 Daytona 500, and the car won a majority of the 1981 and 1982 seasons races and won the NASCAR manufacturers title in 1981 and 1982.
V8s for street use were still available, but had shrunk to 265 cu in (4.3 L) (1980 and 1981 only, Pontiac built), and the V6 was rapidly gaining popularity. From 1986 to 1987, the 307 cu in (5.0 L) V8 was available as an option. The 3,791 cc (3.8 L; 231.3 cu in) 2-bbl V6 was standard. The 200-4R overdrive transmission was an option with either engine.
For 1980, the Regal was offered in a special Somerset Limited Edition trim which featured unique tan and dark blue designer exterior paint, wire wheel covers, sport mirrors, and chrome Somerset badging. The interior had tan and blue plush velour upholstery, brushed chrome trim, and additional Somerset badging. A Somerset Limited Edition model was also offered on the restyled 1981 Regal. It had unique dark sandstone and camel exterior paint, sport mirrors, and turbine wheels. The interior plush velour upholstery was camel with dark brown piping.
Grand National, Turbo-T and T-Type
In February 1982, the Grand National debuted, which was named for the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Series (the "Grand National" term was part of the Cup series nomenclature until 1986). Buick had won the Manufacturers Cup in 1981 and 1982, and wanted to capitalize on its success: "What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday". These 1982 cars were not painted black, which may confuse those not familiar with them. All started out as charcoal gray Regals that were shipped off to a subcontractor for finishing.
Originally intended for a run of 100 units, Cars and Concepts of Brighton, Michigan, retrofitted 215 Regals with the GN package. Most obvious was the light silver-gray firemist paint added to each side. Red pinstripes and billboard shadow lettering proclaiming "Buick" were applied. The wheel opening moldings and rocker panel moldings were blacked out using black vinyl tape. Finally, a front air dam and rear spoiler were installed. On the inside, special "Lear-Siegler" seats were installed. These seats are fully adjustable and were covered with silver brandon cloth with black vinyl inserts. The front seat had Buick's "6" emblem embroidered onto them. Also, a special clock delete plate was added to the instrument panel which contained the yellow and orange "6" logo and the words "Grand National Buick Motor Division".)
The 1982 GN came with a naturally aspirated 252 cu in (4.1 L) V6 engine with 125 hp (127 PS; 93 kW) at 4000 rpm and 205 lb⋅ft (278 N⋅m) of torque at 2000 rpm. Of the 215 Grand Nationals produced in 1982, at least 35 were based on the Buick Regal Sport coupe package with the turbocharged 3,791 cc (3.8 L; 231.3 cu in) V6 engine with 175 hp (177 PS; 130 kW) at 4000 rpm and 275 lb⋅ft (373 N⋅m) of torque at 2600 rpm. There were only 2022 Sport coupes produced in 1982, and the number of cars with both the GN and Sport coupe packages is estimated to be fewer than 50.
For 1983, there was no Grand National. The Sport coupe model was renamed the T-Type; 3,732 were produced (190 hp (193 PS; 142 kW) at 1600 rpm and 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) of torque at 2400 rpm). The T-Type had been used on other Buicks, starting with the Riviera in 1981 (in 1979 and 1980, it was the S Type). The 1983 Regal T-Type featured tube headers, Hydro-Boost II brakes, 200-4R 4-speed overdrive trans and 3.42 rear axle (7.5").
For 1984, the Grand National returned, now in all black paint. The turbocharged 3,791 cc (3.8 L; 231.3 cu in) became standard and was refined with sequential fuel injection, distributor-less computer-controlled ignition, and boasted 200 hp (203 PS; 149 kW) at 4400 rpm and 300 lb⋅ft (407 N⋅m) of torque at 2400 rpm. Only 5,204 turbo Regals were produced that year, only 2,000 of which were Grand Nationals. Because this was the first year of production of the computer-controlled sequential fuel injection and distributor-less ignition, this is often considered the year and model that started the development of the legendary intercooled Grand Nationals. The performance of this package was well ahead of its time and the "little V6" easily kept up with the bigger V8s. 1⁄4 mile (402 m) performance was listed at 15.9 seconds at stock boost levels of 10 psi (0.69 bar), while for the same year, the Chevrolet Camaro V6 was listed at 17.0 and the Chevrolet Corvette at 15.2 seconds. Soon, performance enthusiasts determined the modifications that worked and the Grand Nationals easily broke into the 13-second territory. All Grand Nationals had the Lear Siegler-made cloth/leather interior which was only available for this year. An estimated 200 of the 1984 Grand Nationals were produced with the T-Top option which makes these the rarest of the Grand Nationals.
For 1986, a modified engine design with air-air intercooling boosted the performance even further to a specified 235 hp (238 PS; 175 kW) at 4000 rpm and 330 lb⋅ft (447 N⋅m) of torque at 2400 rpm. The Grand Nationals (quantity 5,512) and T-Types (quantity 2,384) were both produced in 1986. For 1987, performance reached 245 hp (248 PS; 183 kW) and 355 lb⋅ft (481 N⋅m) of torque. Buick dropped the T-Type package for Regal for 1987 models and opted for a "T" sport package instead. There were only 7,896 turbo Regals produced in 1986. In 1987, when turbo Regals reached their peak in popularity, a total of 27,590 turbo Regals were produced through December, with those models produced between September and December of that year window stickered as "1987½ Buick Grand National" vehicles.
For 1987, a lightweight WE4 (turbo T) option was offered. Only 1,547 of this variant were produced. The differences between a WE4 and the Grand National were the interior trim package, wheels, exterior badging, aluminum bumper supports, and aluminum rear drum brakes as opposed to the Grand National's cast iron, making the WE4 a lighter and faster car. The rear spoiler was only available as a dealer-installed option. 1987 was the only year that the LC2 turbo option was available on any Regal, making it possible to even see a Limited with a vinyl landau roof and a power bulge turbo hood. Turbo Regal Limiteds were one of the rarest models of turbo Regals produced second only to the GNX at 1,035 turbo Limiteds. Turbo Regal Limiteds could be ordered with many options with most having chrome external trim but for $35 could have been built with the full black-out trim WO2 option making them extremely rare (similarly, a base Regal could also be ordered with the Turbo 6, and, the WO2 blackout trim was also available; all rare). Limiteds were treated to a very luxurious interior with plush carpeting and optional bench pillow seats and a column shift. It was also possible to order the 1987 Regal T with the 5.0/307 V8 instead of the turbo 3.8/231 V6. The 1987 model would be the end of the manufacture of the RWD "G-Body" Regal, but GM had to extend the build of the Grand National to meet customer demand into December.
For the final year, 1987, Buick introduced the limited production GNX, for "Grand National Experimental", at $29,900. Made in partnership with McLaren Performance Technologies/ASC, Buick produced only 547 GNs with the interior trim package, that were then sent off to McLaren and upgraded into the Buick GNX. Buick underrated the GNX at 276 hp (280 PS; 206 kW) at 4400 rpm and a very substantial 360 lb⋅ft (488 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm of torque, although actual output is 300 bhp (304 PS; 224 kW) and 420 lb⋅ft (569 N⋅m). This was created to be the "Grand National to end all Grand Nationals." Changes made included a special Garrett AiResearch T-3 turbocharger with a ceramic-impeller blowing through a more efficient and significantly larger capacity intercooler with a "Cermatel (ceramic-aluminum) coated" pipe connecting the intercooler to the engine. A GNX specific EEPROM, low-restriction exhaust with dual mufflers, reprogrammed turbo Hydramatic 200-4R transmission with a custom torque converter and transmission cooler, and unique differential cover/Panhard bar included more of the performance modifications. Exterior styling changes include vents located on each front fender, 16 inch black mesh style wheels with VR-speed rated tires, and deletion of the hood and fender emblems. The interior changes of the GNX included a serial number on the dash plaque and a revised instrument cluster providing Stewart-Warner analog gauges, including an analog turbo boost gauge. Performance was measured faster than the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 930 with a 1⁄4 mile (402 m) time of 12.7 seconds at 113.1 mph (182 km/h) (0.3 and 0.8 seconds quicker, 2.9 and 13.3 mph (21 km/h) faster) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.6 seconds (0.4 and 0.3 seconds quicker, respectively). GNX #001 is the 1986 prototype currently owned by Buick and sometimes makes appearances at car shows around the US. The GNX used a unique torque arm that was mounted to a special, GNX only, rear differential cover, for increased traction. The torque arm rear suspension alters the suspension geometry, making the body lift while planting the rear tires down, resulting in increased traction.
The stealthy appearance of the all-black GNX and Grand National (and the resemblance of its grill to his helmet's mouthpiece), coupled with the fact that the Grand National was initially released during the popularity of Star Wars movies, earned it the title "Darth Vader's Car". Car and Driver covered the GNX model's introduction with the headline "Lord Vader, your car is ready." Due to the turbocharged six-cylinder engine, the Buick make, and the black paint Grand Nationals were sometimes referred to as the "Dark Side". The "Dark Side" contrasted with the more common V8 Mustangs and Camaros that were popular at the time.
Third generation (1988)
|Assembly||Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (GM Canada)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Pontiac Grand Prix
|Engine||2.8 L X V6|
3.1 L X V6
3.8 L Buick V6
|Wheelbase||107.5 in (2,730 mm)|
|Length||1988–89 2dr: 192.2 in (4,882 mm)|
1990–91 2dr: 191.6 in (4,867 mm)
1992–94 2dr: 193.6 in (4,917 mm)
1995–96 2dr: 193.9 in (4,925 mm)
1990–91 4dr: 194.6 in (4,943 mm)
1992–94 Custom & GS 4dr: 194.8 in (4,948 mm)
1992–94 Limited 4dr: 196 in (4,978 mm)
1995 4dr: 193.7 in (4,920 mm)
1996 4dr: 194.1 in (4,930 mm)
|Width||72.5 in (1,842 mm)|
|Height||Sedan: 54.5 in (1,384 mm)|
Coupe: 53 in (1,346 mm)
A new Regal appeared in October 1987 on the GM W platform as the first vehicle on that platform; this generation ran with few changes for nine years. Though the new Regal returned to Buick's original concept in being offered only as a coupe and in being aimed once again squarely at the personal luxury buyer, it departed from tradition in being the first front-wheel-drive model, and in having no serious performance option or edition. Neither a V8 engine nor a turbocharged V6 was offered; the only engine available for 1988 was the Chevrolet 2.8 L V6, producing 125 hp (93 kW).
From 1990, owing to the declining personal luxury car market, the Regal was again offered as a four-door sedan (as were the Cutlass Supreme and Grand Prix the same year, the latter offered as a sedan for the first time).
The Regal was initially offered in base Custom and upscale Limited trim lines. For 1989, the Gran Sport trim line was added, featuring aluminum wheels, body side cladding and a console-mounted shifter attached to the 4-speed automatic. For 1990, the Regal gained the option of the Buick 3.8 L V6. The 3800 V6 was unique to the Regal, differentiating it from the mechanically similar Chevrolet Lumina, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and Pontiac Grand Prix. Anti-lock brakes were made standard on all but the base Custom cars from 1992, and the grille was redesigned again for 1993. Along with the new look came an electronically controlled automatic transmission and LeSabre-like rear lights and bumper. For 1993, a driver's side airbag was added, along with standard ABS on all models, standard power windows, and 20 hp (15 kW) more in the base engine due to a revised intake manifold and cylinder head. The Limited coupe was deleted; only the Custom and Gran Sport (GS) coupes remained. Dual airbags were new for 1995 along with a new interior.
For 1996, the larger 3.8 L; 231.3 cu in (3,791 cc) V6 engine became the 3800 Series II and gained 35 hp (26 kW).This generation saw the installation of Dynaride, which was an air compressor that would pressurize the rear Chapman Struts to maintain a level overall ride height. A badge was installed on the dashboard to the left of the steering column on all vehicles equipped. It was not available on vehicles equipped with Gran Touring Suspension.
- 1988–1989 2.8 L (170 in³) Chevrolet LB6 MFI V6, 125 hp (93 kW) and 160 lb⋅ft (217 N⋅m)
- 1989–1993 3.1 L (191 in³) Chevrolet LH0 MFI V6, 140 hp (104 kW) and 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
- 1994–1996 3.1 L (191 in³) Chevrolet L82 SFI V6, 160 hp (119 kW) and 185 lb⋅ft (251 N⋅m)
- 1990–1995 3.8 L (231 in³) Buick L27 V6, 170 hp (127 kW) and 220 lb⋅ft (298 N⋅m)
- 1996 3.8 L (231 in³) Buick L36 V6, 200 hp (149 kW) and 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)
Fourth generation (1997)
|Also called||Chevrolet Lumina (Philippines)|
Wayne Kady (1993)
James C. Shyr (2003; exterior)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||W-body 2nd Gen|
|Engine||2.0 L L34 I4 (China)|
2.5 L LB8 V6 (China)
3.0 L LW9 V6 (China)
3.8 L 3800 Series II V6
|Transmission||5-speed manual (China, 2.0 L only) |
4-speed 4T60-E automatic
4-speed 4T65-E automatic
4-speed 4T65-E HD automatic
|Wheelbase||109.0 in (2,769 mm)|
|Length||196.2 in (4,983 mm)|
|Width||72.7 in (1,847 mm)|
|Height||56.6 in (1,438 mm)|
For the 1997 model year, the Century and Regal once again rode upon the same platform; the revised W platform that was shared with the Oldsmobile Intrigue, the Pontiac Grand Prix, the Chevrolet Lumina and Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The Regal coupe was discontinued.
Differences between the Regal and Century were mostly cosmetic. As the upmarket version, the Regal offered larger engines and fancier trim, and once again boasted a newer version of the 3.8 L V6. While the Century was mainly a reliable, economy-minded car based upon the W-body, the Regal was fitted with many amenities, including heated leather seats (optional on the Century), a Monsoon 8-speaker surround sound system, dual climate control, and expansive interior space. Few changes occurred during this version's seven-year run. It offered 5-passenger seating on all trim levels like the Pontiac Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Intrigue (formerly Cutlass Supreme), unlike their predecessors that had optional 6-passenger seating and the Buick Century (formerly built on the A platform) which had standard 6-passenger seating.
This period held the fastest Buick since the days of the 1987 GNX: the Buick Regal GS. This car was now supercharged instead of turbocharged, and produced 240 hp (179 kW) and 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) of torque. When introduced in January 1997, Buick advertised the Regal GS as "The official car of the supercharged family". Buick also released two other model types, the LSE and the GSE. The LSE stayed with the 200 hp (149 kW) engine with upgrades and the GSE stayed with the 240 hp (179 kW) supercharged engine with upgrades. Also, in 2000 Buick came out with a concept GSX that had an intercooled 3.8 L, but was supercharged rather than turbocharged. It had 295.24 hp (220.16 kW)
Regal LS and GS performance
The Regal LS from the factory had a 1/4 mile (≈400 m) elapsed time (ET) of 15.8 seconds and could do 0-60 mph in under 8 seconds. The supercharged Regal GS had a 1/4 mile ET of 14.9 seconds, and acceleration to 60 mph (97 km/h) took 6.7 seconds. The Regal GS, equipped with the supercharged 3.8 liter V6 engine (L67) produced 240 hp (179 kW) & 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) of torque. The Regal GS's PCM has programming that activates torque management to reduce wheel spin at launch. The Regal LS was EPA rated at 19/30 MPG city/freeway while the supercharged Regal GS was EPA rated at 18/27 MPG city/freeway.
Regal LSX and GSX (SLP Performance)
In the 2003 and 2004 model years, Buick, in collaboration with SLP Performance, came out with the Buick Regal GSX. They offered dealer-installed options and dealer-supplied accessories for both LS and GS models. Like the GS Buicks that came before it, the SLP GSX came in three power train packages, referred to as stages. The Stage 1 package added 10 horsepower with the addition of a dual stainless steel cat-back exhaust system and free-flowing cold air induction system. If you opted for the Stage 2 package, a Hypertech Power Programmer with an SLP custom calibration tune was included with the Stage 1 components — good for an extra 20 horsepower. The range-topping Stage 3 package added a 3.5-inch smaller diameter supercharger pulley to crank up the boost. With an advertised 30 more horsepower than stock, the Stage 3 GSX was conservatively rated at 270 hp (201 kW) and 312 lb⋅ft (423 N⋅m) of torque. Since the parts were available from SLP over the counter for many years, there have been quite a few Regal GS sedans that have been cloned into a GSX for both appearance and performance purposes. Though the model didn’t officially debut until 2003, a licensed SLP dealer could perform the transformation on any Regal GS from 1997 to 2004. A true GSX can be verified from an SLP door jamb label with the correct part number for the kit.
Joseph Abboud Edition
From 2001 to 2004 Buick offered a Joseph Abboud appearance package on both the GS and LS models. This package included either a solid taupe or two-tone taupe/chestnut leather seats, two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather shifter handle and boot, 16" aluminum wheels; and Joseph Abboud signature emblems on the front doors, floor mats, front-seat headrests, and taillights.
General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) established a joint venture in 1997 called Shanghai GM, and had begun assembling the Buick Regal in Shanghai, China in April 1999.
The Regal has sold well in the Chinese market as a large, relatively luxurious model, despite its high price, costing more than the North American version. The Chinese market Regal has different front- and rear-end styling compared to the North American version and different engines, including the 2.0 L L34, the 2.5 L LB8 V6 and the 3.0 L LW9 V6. Gearbox choices were a 4-speed automatic for V6 models, while four-cylinder variants are paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. V6 models had a set of black dashboard gauges, while the four-cylinder models had white dashboard gauges. These models also had slightly different names: the entry-level model was the New Century, with more upscale models carrying the GL and GLX names. Later, G and GS models were added. Production for this generation ended in November 2008 in China being replaced by the Opel Insignia-based Regal.
The Chinese-built Regal was also sold in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 as the Chevrolet Lumina, where it replaced the Opel Vectra. The 2.5 V6 was the only engine option. The Chevrolet Lumina was discontinued from the Filipino market in 2006, leaving GM again without a mid-size sedan until the introduction of the eighth generation Chevrolet Malibu in 2013.
Fifth generation (2008)
|Also called||Opel Insignia|
|Model years||China: 2009–2017|
North America: 2011–2017
|Assembly||China: November 2008–2017 (Shanghai General Motors) |
Germany: 2009–February 2011 (Opel Rüsselsheim Assembly)
Canada: Oshawa, Ontario February 2011–2017 (General Motors Canada)
|Designer||Mark Adams (2006) |
Malcolm Ward (2006)
James C. Shyr
(2009, 2010; exterior)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Layout||FF layout / F4 layout|
|Platform||GM Epsilon II SWB|
|Related||Buick LaCrosse |
|Wheelbase||107.8 in (2,738 mm)|
|Length||190.2 in (4,831 mm)|
|Width||73.1 in (1,857 mm)|
|Height||58.4 in (1,483 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,600 lb (1,600 kg) (2011 CXL) |
3,671 lb (1,665 kg) (2011 CXL Turbo)
The fifth-generation Buick Regal is a four-door, five-passenger, midsized sedan with a front engine, front-wheel drive layout. According to GM published information, more than 41% of Regal buyers in the US are coming from non-General Motors brands, and more than 60% of CXL Turbo buyers are under the age of 55.
The fifth generation Buick Regal rides on GM's Epsilon II platform and is mostly identical to the Opel Insignia. It first went into production in Rüsselsheim, Germany, in 2008. The Shanghai GM twin of the Insignia was introduced in China as Buick Regal in December, 2008 for the 2009 model year.
GM originally planned to sell a modified version of the Opel Insignia in North America as the second generation Saturn Aura, but changed strategy after deciding to discontinue the Saturn brand. The Regal utilizes unibody construction with galvanized steel front fenders, hood, roof and door panels and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) bumper covers. The North American Regal weighs about 13 lb (6 kg) more than an equivalent Opel Insignia due to increased structural support in the B-pillar necessary to meet U.S. rollover standards.
Buick's product manager director Roger McCormack stated in a 2010 consumer webchat that a coupé version was under heavy consideration, as well as the possibility for further body styles such as a convertible. An Buick-badged Insignia Sports Tourer was also spied, but the following year a Buick spokesperson declared that there were no plans to sell a Regal wagon.
GM revealed the fifth-generation Regal to North American dealers on October 14, 2009, and introduced the Regal to the public in November 2009 at the LA Auto Show. Sales of the Regal began in February 2010. In North America, the Regal is positioned below the larger, more expensive LaCrosse and above the Verano compact sedan which debuted late in calendar year 2011.
Production of the Shanghai GM variant of the Regal began in November 2008 and ended in July 2017. North American production at General Motors of Canada's Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant was confirmed on November 25, 2009, and production began at Oshawa Car Assembly in February 2011. The initial production for the North American market was done together with its Opel twin the Opel Insignia in the Adam Opel AG's Rüsselsheim, Germany assembly plant from March 1, 2010 to March 25, 2011 (33,669 cars in 2010 and 12,637 in 2011).
The Regal debuted in North America with a 2.4L DOHC I4 engine rated at 182 hp (136 kW) and 172 lb⋅ft (233 N⋅m) of torque — using a Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed
The 2011 Regal manufactured in North America was offered in a single trim level, marketed as CXL, offered with two engine choices and seven option packages. Buick had planned to offer a lower-level trim called CX with cloth seats and a higher level trim called CXS, but those trim levels were not offered.
The CXL Turbo comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L direct-injected Ecotec DOHC I4 rated at 220 hp (164 kW) and 258 lb⋅ft (350 N⋅m) of torque, mated to either an Aisin AF40 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission, making the Regal Turbo the first Buick model to be offered with a manual transmission since the Buick Skyhawk ended production in 1989. The 2.0L turbo is the first direct-injected turbocharged production car capable of running on any blend of gasoline or E85 ethanol.
At the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM showed a concept GS version of the Regal based on the Opel Insignia OPC and the Vauxhall Insignia VXR. The concept featured a 2.0L, 270 hp (201 kW), 295 lb⋅ft (400 N⋅m) high-output DOHC I4 turbocharged Ecotec engine, a 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive.
The production GS leaves most of the concept specifications intact, but is front-wheel drive. The GS features Buick's Interactive Drive Control System with GS mode, a choice of an FGP Germany F40-6 six-speed manual or Aisin AF-40 (G2) six-speed automatic transmission, high performance brakes with Brembo front calipers and high performance strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension. 19 inch wheels will be standard and 20 inch forged aluminum wheels will be available. The GS is expected to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 7 seconds. The production version is equipped with GS-only high-output version of the Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine with 270 hp (201 kW) and 295 lb⋅ft (400 N⋅m) of torque. The GM LHU engine used in the GS trim makes 135 hp per liter - Buick’s highest specific output ever. The GS went on sale in fall 2011 as a 2012 model.
The Shanghai GM variant of Regal GS went on sale in China on September 15, 2011. This car has been localized. The output of the 2.0L Turbo SIDI engine is 162 kW (217 hp), which is about 40 kW (54 hp) less than the production US-model. The torque is 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft). and the top speed is claimed as 232 km/h (144 mph). The car is only offered in this case as a front-wheel-drive. There exist also some interior and exterior differences between the American and Chinese models.
Sport Touring Edition
For 2016, the Regal added a new Sport Touring Edition which included unique 18" aluminum black pocket wheels and a rear lip spoiler.
Beginning in 2011, Buick began offering the eAssist system in the Regal, The 2012 model year Regal is the second GM vehicle to offer eAssist after the 2012 Buick LaCrosse. The eAssist system is standard in the LaCrosse 2.5 L I4, but the eAssist powertrain is optional in the Regal.
The eAssist system adds a lithium-ion battery housed in the trunk, along with regenerative braking, engine stop/start, fuel cut-off, grille louvres that close at speed, underbody panels and low-rolling resistance tires. The eAssist system adds up to 15 hp (11 kW) to the standard 2.4L Ecotec engine during acceleration. Fuel economy for the Regal with eAssist is estimated at 26 mpg‑US (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg‑imp) city, 37 mpg‑US (6.4 L/100 km; 44 mpg‑imp) highway.
GM revealed an updated 2014 Regal at the 2013 New York Auto Show. Changes include a revised interior and exterior, a boost in performance for the CXL Turbo up to 258 hp (192 kW) and 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) of torque, and an available all-wheel drive option offered for the 2.0L engine/6-speed automatic transmission equipped vehicles. Changes for the GS include revised interior and exterior, a drop in power to match that of the CXL Turbo, and available an all-wheel-drive option offered for the 2.0L / six-speed automatic transmission equipped vehicles. The six-speed manual transmission is still offered, but only in the front-wheel-drive variant. Buick's VentiPorts have reappeared starting with 2014 models, a styling feature unique to Buick that dates back to 1949.
Several new safety features were added for the 2014 year, which include forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a following-distance indicator. The foregoing are all part of a Driver Confidence package, while collision preparation, which pre-loads the brake system ahead of an imminent collision, and adaptive cruise control are available separately.
|1.6T||I4||1,598 cc||179 PS (132 kW; 177 hp) at 5,800 rpm||220 N⋅m (162 lbf⋅ft) at 2,200–5,400 rpm||2008–2017|
|2.0||1,998 cc||147 PS (108 kW; 145 hp) at 6,200 rpm||190 N⋅m (140 lbf⋅ft) at 4,600 rpm|
|2.0T SIDI||1,998 cc||220 PS (162 kW; 218 hp) at 5,300 rpm||350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) at 2,000–4,000 rpm|
|2.4||2,384 cc||170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) at 6,400 rpm||225 N⋅m (166 lb⋅ft) at 4,800 rpm||2008–2010|
|2.4 SIDI||2,384 cc||186 PS (137 kW; 183 hp) at 6,200 rpm||240 N⋅m (177 lbf⋅ft) at 4,800 rpm||2011–2017|
Sixth generation (2018)
|Model years||2018–present (China)|
2018–2020 (North America)
China: Shanghai (SAIC-GM)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan (China)|
5-door fastback (sportback)
5-door wagon (TourX)
|Layout||FF layout / F4 layout|
|Transmission||AWF8F45 (8-speed) (I4 AWD)|
GM 9-speed Hydramatic 9T65
(I4 FWD, V6 AWD)
CVT (30H China only)
|Wheelbase||111.4 in (2,830 mm)|
|Length||192.7 in (4,890 mm)|
196.4 in (4,990 mm) (TourX)
|Width||73.3 in (1,860 mm)|
|Height||57.3 in (1,460 mm)|
58.4 in (1,480 mm) (TourX)
On April 4, 2017, an all-new sixth-generation Buick Regal was introduced at GM's Design Dome in Warren, Michigan as a 2018 model in both liftback and station wagon versions. Buick Regal began sales in China on July 21, 2017. Similar to the previous generation, it is related to the Opel and Vauxhall Insignia sold in Europe and Holden ZB Commodore in Australia & New Zealand, and like the previous generation, the vehicles were developed and are produced by Opel in Germany.
The fastback version of the Regal, now branded as Regal Sportback, is the replacement for the Regal sedan. While the roofline is similar to that of its predecessor, the new liftback configuration provides added utility. It has grown larger in size, and is around 300–500 lb (136–227 kg) lighter than the previous Regal. It carries two versions of the LTG 2.0 L turbocharged inline-4 engine. Front-wheel drive models produce 250 hp (186 kW) at 5400 rpm and 260 lb⋅ft (353 N⋅m) at 2000 rpm, while the all-wheel drive model produces 250 hp (186 kW) at 5500 and 295 lb⋅ft (400 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm, respectively.
The station wagon variant, named Regal TourX, was also introduced and went on sale at the same time as the hatchback, marking the first time since the demise of the Roadmaster in 1996 that Buick had a station wagon in its lineup. The TourX competes against the Volvo V60 Cross Country, Audi A4 Allroad, Subaru Outback, and BMW 3 Series wagon, and offers up to 73.5 cubic feet of storage space behind the front seats, but only comes in all-wheel drive, along with a LTG turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing an estimated 250 hp (186 kW) and 295 lb⋅ft (400 N⋅m) mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 2018 GS is the performance version of the sixth-generation Regal. This generation of GS is powered by a 3.6 liter LGX V6 engine producing 310 hp (231 kW) mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and featuring standard AWD.
In December 2019, General Motors announced that it would end production of the Buick Regal for North America following the 2020 model year, citing the popularity of the brand's sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which have contributed to declining sales of Buick's passenger cars, also ending 113 years of Buick car production. However, despite the discontinuation of the Regal in North America, Buick will continue to produce the Regal for the Chinese market, where the vehicle recently received a mid-cycle facelift.
|Calendar year||United States||China||Canada|
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Also in 1995, the company entered into a joint venture agreement with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in China, laying the foundation for unprecedented growth over the next few years. Four years later, the Buick Regal was being assembled in China for the Chinese market...
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The General Motors-SAIC joint venture plant in Shanghai began building Buick Regals for the Chinese market, marking the Buick brand’s proud return to China.
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Size Class Midsize Cars
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More than 60 percent of Regal Turbo customers alone are younger than 55, according to Power Information Network data. Since its launch last spring, 41 percent of Regal’s buyers have come from non-GM brands.
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...GM planned to make the Opel Insignia Saturn's second-generation Aura.
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The new Opel Insignia (badged as a Vauxhall in the UK) is now in China, badged as a Buick. The Insignia is wearing the Buick Regal badge...
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With Saturn's demise, Buick was selected to market a few rebadged Opel cars. For example, the current Insignia is marketed here as the Buick Regal, a key vehicle in the brand's turnaround.
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The 2.4 comes with a GM Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed automatic, while the turbo comes with an Aisin AF40 six-speed automatic.
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...more than 1,000 dealers this week will be the first to learn the name of Buick’s next mid-size sport sedan will be the Buick Regal.
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North American production of the all-new 2011 Buick Regal was today confirmed for the Oshawa Car Assembly plant beginning in Q1 2011.
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...Buick will add base, cloth-seat CX and high-zoot CXS trim levels.
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The 2011 Buick Regal Turbo is the first direct-injected turbocharged production car capable of running on any blend of gasoline or E85 ethanol...
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Body style/driveline: four-door, five-passenger, front-engine transaxle. Front-wheel drive midsize sedan
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While Europeans will get an Insignia OPC with a 325 hp (242 kW), turbocharged V-6, the GS gets a higher-output version of the 2.0-liter turbo four found in the Regal.
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Mated to Regal’s 2.4L Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission...
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