2011 Buick Regal
Buick's desire to continue to infiltrate and eventually dominate the premium car market is no secret, but in order to maintain its strong positive sales growth the domestic automaker will most likely have to diversify its lineup past the three sedans and one full-size SUV that it currently offers. One possibility that has surfaced through a leaked document from GM Europe indicates that Buick could soon gain a new two-door coupe to complement its current offerings.
Autoexpress has published a story indicating that the European market will gain a two-door edition of the Opel Insignia sedan by 2013. This is significant for American Buick fans, because the current Buick Regal sedan shares its platform with the Opel Insignia, which makes it that much easier for the Opel model to leap across the Atlantic wearing a Buick badge.
What would a small, two-door coupe mean for Buick in the big picture? Given that the car company has aimed its sights directly at Japanese luxury brands Lexus and Acura - neither of which currently produce a traditional premium compact coupe - a Buick Regal coupe could offer an important competitive advantage for the car company and allow it to make headway in what is essentially a wide-open market. If the Buick Regal coupe adopted a top tier trim level that borrows the all-wheel drive drivetrain and turbocharged V-6 engine currently found in the sports-oriented Opel Insignia OPC, then the brand would additionally gain a performance option that is also currently missing from its lineup. This would make up for the watered-down Regal GS trim that eventually made its way to American showrooms.
Car and Driver is reporting that Buick might also be the beneficiary of an even smaller compact two-door hatchback in approximately the same timeframe. The Opel Astra GTC, which has yet to be publicly introduced, is intended to satisfy the performance hatch niche in Europe, and once again through the magic of platform sharing, the vehicle could be rebranded as a Buick in the United States.
The vehicle, which may be offered with a turbocharged four-cylinder that produces even more power than the Insignia OPC, would allow Buick to enter the premium hatchback market as well as spawn a possible convertible variant that would give the domestic car company its first drop top in decades. Even if Buick elects to simply use the less hearty drivetrains that have been tapped for the upcoming Buick Verano compact sedan, an Astra-based hatch is a step in the right direction for a company dead set on attracting young car buyers and shedding its previously dowdy image.