Ever since the all-new Opel Insignia made its debut at the Geneva auto show, Americans have been chomping at the bit to see the car in U.S.-spec Buick Regal trim. We must be getting very close, as spy shooters just caught a prototype for a Regal wagon testing in Michigan – yes, GM is finally giving us a D-pillared variant of the Regal.
Though the Opel version was already revealed earlier this year, this mule was caught driving on public streets in full camouflage. The front grille retains the horizontal wings of the Opel version, but we can see Buick’s trademark waterfall vertical slats behind it. The badge is also larger than it appears on the Insignia, and we can just barely make out the impression of the tri-shield logo through the camo. We can see a lot of fake bodywork to disguise the profile from the B-pillar back, but there’s no mistaking the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer’s raked rear glass.
As we’ve reported previously, the Buick Regal is expected to be offered in five-door and wagon variants just like the Euro-market Insignia. GM will end Regal production at its Ontario, Canada, plant this year, which means the Regal is likely to be produced exclusively in Germany at Opel’s Rüsselsheim plant alongside the Insignia. Given the recent sale of Opel to French automaker PSA, it’s unclear how long Buick will have access to Opel’s models. The Insignia offers both gas and diesel options in Europe, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the drivetrain lineup may be different for the U.S. A torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system is also available in Europe.
Expect the 2018 Buick Regal to make its debut soon, possibly at the New York auto show in April.