2013 New York Auto Show: Buick unveils pair of updated sedans


Looking to capitalize on a wave of strong sales in the last year, Buick on Tuesday unveiled a pair of updated sedans at the N.Y. Auto Show.

The refreshed midsize Regal and the larger LaCrosse each are hoped to increase the automaker’s momentum. Buick has been on a bit of tear lately, with 10 consecutive months of increasing sales and 2012 ranking as the best sales year since 2006.

The changes to each front-wheel-drive car are moderate, but important. The 2014 Regal, which is sold in Europe as the Opel Insignia, gets minor exterior updates including LED daytime lamps and LED taillights.

Photos: Buick at the 2013 N.Y. Auto Show

The interior gets a more thorough change, the highlight of which is a new 4.2-inch color display in the instrument panel, and a revised center console with fewer buttons and less clutter, Buick says.


Photos: Highlights of the 2013 N.Y. Auto Show

The Regal’s base drivetrain remains Regal eAssist, a mild hybrid system. It uses a direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Total horsepower is 182, with 172 pound-feet of torque.

While the more upmarket Regal Turbo and Regal GS previously had different power outputs, the two will now share engine capabilities. This means they’ll use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s essentially the same unit found in Cadillac’s compact ATS sedan. In both of these new Regals, it makes 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

The more performance-oriented GS will now differentiate itself with features like an optional six-speed manual transmission, Brembo front brakes, larger wheels and tires, several driver-selectable handling modes, and additional interior and exterior amenities.

While all Regals are front-wheel drive, the Turbo and GS models will now be available with an optional all-wheel-drive system. Buick says the system is completely automatic and pushes as much as 90% of the car’s torque to the rear wheels if necessary.

Buick also introduced a refreshed version of the large LaCrosse on Tuesday, a front-wheel-drive sedan that shares a platform with the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala and the Cadillac XTS. It, too, gets a mild upgrade to the exterior, but a thorough makeover inside aims to keep up with rivals like the Lexus ES 350 and even the Lincoln MKZ.

The powertrain options remain largely unchanged and both will continue to be available for the same money. The LaCrosse eAssist uses the same mild hybrid system that’s in the Regal, while a 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. Both cars will come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Buick’s contribution to the N.Y. auto show is just part of a strong showing from parent company General Motors. Cadillac on Tuesday night will unveil the all-new midsize CTS sedan, while Chevrolet will use a Wednesday press conference to debut a refreshed Camaro, as well as the SS performance sedan, and 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertible. Stay tuned to Highway 1 for complete coverage of the auto show.


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