Share This Article


This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Nov 15, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2011 BUICK REGAL Words and pictures by John Grafman

Buick most likely isn't on many Americans' short list when it comes time to making a purchase, but that might be changing quickly. GM is pulling out all the stops in an effort to showcase the new 2011 Buick Regal. This reveal of the new Regal at the Hollywood Palladium fills the house. An unusual mix of media, dealers, and enthusiasts totaled over 1,000 in anticipation of what becomes the third product in the campaign to attract a new group of customers. With its stable mates, the Enclave and LaCrosse, the company should have a good shot at accomplishing its goals. If all goes as planned, the average age of buyers should provide a broader cross section of the car buying public than what Buick has traditionally been known for. Besides the guests, this brought out the talent from the offices of GM. Industry icon and General Motor's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, Vice President of Global Sales Susan Docherty, and Global Vice President of Design Ed Welburn provide the intro to the unveiling. This power trio is enough to rival any celebrity in tinsel town. Just to prove the point, Colbie Caillat provides an evening of music to entertain the masses. The real star of the evening is the Regal. The new design has a flavor that blends the styling of Infiniti, Acura, and BMW, but in spite of the noticeable flavor of other brands, the Buick cues are still evident - from the waterfall grill to the plan view and body surface detailing. This has some interesting body panel character that creates added emphasis on a sporty, rakish flow. This is a nice compromise, showing youthful appeal, but not promising Autobahn performance that it might not be able to deliver.

The interior also is reminiscent of the relatively new LaCrosse sedan. The materials and design speak to luxury, however at this point we are not allowed in, so we will reserve final judgment until we can have some seat time. In speaking with Ed Welburn, he reminds us of the primary destination for this product. Buick has made huge inroads to China, and it aims at keeping its place at the top of the totem pole. As such, this is truly a world car. Mr. Welburn mentions that while this is one car developed for the world, there are slight variations that will take into account different cultural variations which can either help or hinder the sale of any product. Given the potential for sales in China, and the fact that China has about a fifth of the global population within its boarders, it's very easy to see why there is a strong desire to get the product market correct for that corner of the world. In this case the US market is not the driving concern, but in no way is this any less suitable for North America from what one can see at this introduction. GM is not shy about its design capabilities, hence the participation of Bob Lutz and Ed Welburn this evening. With U.S. and international designers working in harmony in 11 state-of-the art design centers around the globe the new generation of cars will have the right stuff. Europe and Asia's studios are primarily responsible for the new look of this Buick, which really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone in the know considering this is already hitting the streets overseas. The Opel Insignia product that this is based on is now the most purchased mid-size sedan in Europe. The version for China is also proving to be popular and winning its fair share of awards. The 2011 Regal is in the market to go against the smaller, entry-level luxury cars with smaller engines, like the Acura TSX. Expect to see the Regal with a four-cylinder powerplant and an upcoming four with a turbo, to satisfy those with a need for speed. This comes off as a nice starting point for serious car buyers too. Perhaps with a little extra love from the aftermarket we could see some really hot, tarted up cars. At that point when the question comes down wouldn't your really rather have a Buick, the answer from a new generation will simply be a nod and a broad smile.

Bob Lutz, Susan Docherty and Ed Welburn For more information about Buick products, go to

You Might Also Like These Articles:

hand filling a car with gas

Urban Fuel Hacks

a blue Genesis G70

2024 Genesis G70 AWD 2.5T Sport Prestige

image of man working in car engine

What to Do If You Bought a Defective Vehicle

a packed suitcase

48 Road Trip Essentials

White Vehicle Parked on Road Between Trees in Beverly Hills

Academized Tutor Mary Watson on Driving Tips for Students New to Los Angeles