DETROIT – The addition of the Regal nameplate to the Buick family goes back 40 years, but even today, the Regal’s heritage as a sporty, mid-size luxury vehicle is strong as ever.
Introduced in 1973, the Century Regal, as it was originally called, served as an upmarket model in the Century line and one of GM's first “personal luxury” cars. Designed with sporty suspension characteristics and luxuries aimed primarily at the driver, the ‘73 Regal coupe sold 91,557 units helping Buick surpass its 1955 all-time sales record.
Launched with a standard 350 cu. in. V-8 engine, the Regal would soon carve a niche as a powertrain innovator. Among one of the first to react to the initial Arab oil embargo, the 1975 Buick Regal was the only mid-size vehicle in the United States to forego a standard V-8 engine in favor of a V-6.
“The Buick team was on the leading edge and reacted to the need of more fuel-efficient engines,” said General Motors Heritage Center manager Greg Wallace. “Engineers worked around the clock to get the V-6 program up and running in a fraction of the time it typically took, while making sure to retain Buick’s reputation for reliability.”
Just a few years later, beginning with the 1978 Regal, Buick would lead a vanguard on turbocharging for better fuel economy. This expertise would later be used in creating Regals that would be recognized as some of the most powerful and significant cars of the 1980s.
Throughout four decades, and now in its fifth generation, the Regal carries on its sweeping design, dynamic driving experience and powertrain leadership. Today’s Regal is equipped with its most-powerful standard engine, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder producing 259 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of toque. To help make the most of traction in all driving conditions, it is also available with advanced all-wheel-drive system that incorporates an electronic limited-slip differential and HiPer Strut front suspension.
A 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology is also available, delivering EPA-estimated ratings of 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
With today’s focus on all-passenger comfort, safety and technology, the latest Regal comes standard with an eight-inch color touch display featuring IntelliLink in-vehicle connectivity. Leather-appointed seating surfaces, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control are all standard. A host of new radar- and camera-based safety features are available, including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Collision Mitigation Braking.
Generation 1 – 1973-1977
Large swooping body lines and opera windows were among Regal’s fashion cues at the start of the personal luxury era. The 1975 Regal was the only mid-size car in the United States to come standard with an efficient V-6 engine while maintaining comparable V-8 performance.
Generation 2 – 1978-1987
Downsized from the previous generation, the 1978 Regal offered a 3.8-liter turbocharged V-6, making Buick the first mainstream brand to offer a turbocharged engine. This ingenuity would pave the way for iconic Buick’s of the 80s including the highly desired Grand National and legendary GNX.
Generation 3 – 1988-1996
Continuing the trend of scaled down cars in the U.S., the Regal’s third generation was again smaller and would usher in front wheel drive. Power would come from an all six-cylinder engine lineup including the award-winning 3800 V-6 engine.
Generation 4 – 1997-2004
Back to its roots, the 1997 Regal again became an upmarket version of the Buick Century. The ‘97 Buick Regal GS debuted with the brand’s first supercharged V-6, rated at 240 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.
Generation 5 – 2009-2014
After a brief hiatus, the Regal would first return to the Chinese market for 2009, following a year later in the U.S. A high-output, dynamically optimized GS model would return for 2012. Introduced in 2013, the 2014 model is the first Regal to offer all-wheel-drive. Combining sport sedan handling with some of the most power-dense and technically advanced engines in the brand’s history, the Regal is helping to attract younger, new buyers to Buick.