We can't decide what's the bigger news, that a Buick wagon is here or that Buicks look good again.
Chances are that the name Opel doesn’t mean a lick to most Americans, but the name Buick is engrained in our brains as the car that Grandpa drove when he met Grandma and the brand they subsequently stuck to years later. Buick has a long history, as does Opel, its European equivalent. And thanks to our crafty scheming spy photographers, we’ve just caught a hint at how the next generation of Buick Regal and Opel Insignia Grand Sport will look like.
The most shocking part (or maybe not so shocking if you’re up to date on the rumors) is that a wagon variant was spotted as well. The yield is the result of a hunt that took place at a photoshoot for the Insignia Grand Sport in the US. Unfortunately for GM, its paid photographers weren’t the only ones doing the shooting. As such, we can see what the final production version looks like practically undisguised. The most obvious changes to the car are, well, just about everything. The previous Regal looked sleek but more classical while this Insignia Grand Sport manages to chisel away some fat and retain a more focused and athletic personality.
Its outer dimensions look nothing like what Buick has done before save for the Avista concept, a welcome sign that the brand’s styling will adopt a more modern look that should help salvage some of its US sales (even though China already seems to be pretty happy with Buick as it is). The accompanying Insignia Grand Sport Tourer is also a looker and will fulfill its duty both in Europe, where wagons sell like hotcakes, and in the US where it will reintroduce the Buick wagon in hopes of quelling the SUV epidemic. Both cars are spec'd out in Opel's OPC package, which comes with large 20-inch rims, a spoiler, and Brembo brakes, so don't expect standard production specs to look this good.
Thanks to some revisions made to the platform, which is shared with the Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Impala, and Chevy Malibu, the Insignia will shed over 385 pounds despite being larger than its predecessor. New engine and transmission options will keep fuel economy high while plug-in hybrid variants will be kept on tap for the diehard fuel savers. General Motors will likely debut the Insignia before it rolls out the Buick Regal, so if you want a distilled version of the Avista’s styling, keep an eye out. With the unofficial early reveal of the Buick Regal now being over with, let’s hope that GM takes cues from its other pretty concept, the Cadillac Escala, to build the next generation of Caddies.