Earlier this week news broke that General Motors has filed for trademarks for the “Buick Regal Tourx,” fueling speculation that the Buick brand may be gaining a wagon version of the Regal sedan for the next generation. While the Tourx name is speculation at best, as far as we can tell, there are a host of other clues suggesting that the addition of a five-door Regal is becoming increasingly likely.
The theory of a Regal wagon is not new given the car’s roots. Based on the Opel Insignia, five-door and wagon versions of the Regal are running around all over Europe today with the Opel badge. Suffice to say, it would not be overly challenging for GM to federalize the wagon for North American sale at Buick, it’s just a matter of justifying the (minor) investment into bringing it over here, which is likely going to become an easy decision for several reasons.
AutoVerdict has obtained supplier documents that suggest the next-generation Buick Regal will be produced in Rüsselsheim, Germany by Opel. The transition to German production is not entirely surprising given the Insignia is built there, the plant is currently underutilized in terms of capacity and the Buick Regal was originally produced there when the car first came to the U.S. market in 2011. European production of the Regal would also follow a trend set by the upcoming Cascada convertible, which will also be imported from Europe to North American Buick dealers.
The documents also indicate annual production numbers of the new Regal to hover around 30,000 units a year, which is perhaps optimistic from today’s 20,000 annual sales. The increase could very well indicate an additional variant of the car other than just a sedan, such as a wagon like the trademark filing suggests. It will also be significantly easier for GM to produce both a sedan and wagon version of the car alongside the Opel version given the relatively nominal sales volume of the Regal. According to the supplier, production of both the 2017 Insignia and Regal are slated to begin in March 2017.
Based on GM’s global E2XX architecture, the new Insignia and Regal will share a common structure with the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. This means the car will be slightly larger than today’s Insignia/Regal, but expect an overall weight reduction. Expect the design theme to follow closely to Buick and Opel’s recent concept cars; insiders have claimed the new car is “stunning” and speculation has suggested a shooting brake like exterior. It’s worth noting that speculation regarding a shooting brake design for a future Buick product surfaced several years ago within insider communities.
There’s some other factors at play that make a Regal wagon more probable. Buick marketing executive Duncan Aldred is the former managing director of Vauxhall in Europe, so he’s a little more familiar with wagons than his U.S. colleagues that previously ran Buick. Additionally, GM executives publicly declared back in 2013 that the next phase of Buick’s revival was going to be “something fun.” Tangible results of their public comments have been noted with the arrival of the Cascada convertible, however a wagon would also be “fun” from a brand full of a sedans and crossovers.
So GM’s recent trademark filing is another strong hint in a long line of hints that Buick may finally get a wagon. We have one request: if it does happen, we’re going to need a GS version with the Insignia OPC’s rumored 400 horsepower twin-turbo V-6. And a manual transmission. And brown paint.