Killed six years ago after a 30 year run and now one of the most popular vehicles amongst retirees (second only to the Cadillac Seville and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme), the Buick Regal has now been charged with the unexpected responsibility of carrying the brand on its geriatric shoulders. Oddly enough, this is not corporate suicide but rather a very deliberate move intended to further Buick’s plan for a total image overhaul. Positioned beneath the full-size Lacrosse, the Regal will serve as Buick’s mid-size sports sedan and attempt to compete with the likes of the Lincoln LS.
Perhaps anticipating the puzzled looks from those familiar with the Regal of old, Buick GMC General Manager and LaNeve’s appointed successor, Susan Docherty explained that the new Regal will be as drastic a departure from the Buick of old as the current model offerings are. “The transformation of Buick began with our luxury crossover, the Buick Enclave and continued this year with the launch of the 2010 LaCrosse premium sedan,” said Docherty. “We’re thrilled to announce that the Regal will be the next member of the Buick family.”
Bottom line: we’re not terribly enthused now, but we’ll reserve our final judgment until we can take a crack at it on the track.