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4 Tech Tidbits About the 2018 Buick Regal

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/5/2017 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Buick-Regal-TourX-side.jpg 4 Tech Tidbits About the 2018 Buick Regal

The debut of the 2018 Buick Regal brought new body styles and fresh styling to the nameplate that helped lead the Buick brand's renaissance earlier this decade. The new Regal also brings with it some trick German engineering. Here are four tech tidbits from the 2018 Buick Regal debut.

Read more about the 2018 Regal here: 2018 Buick Regal Sportback and TourX First Look


Like all new vehicles, this one weighs in about a test-weight class lighter than its predecessor, despite the extra gusseting required to fortify a hatchback lacking the structural bulkhead and fixed back window of a sedan. Most of it came from smarter steel use, considerably lighter seats, and more intelligent "quiet tuning" that nips more noises in the bud, so that they don't require as much mastic and sound deadener. A prime example: the Continental tires feature a big ring of foam glued to the inner tread surface to absorb and attenuate road noise at the source.

2018 Buick Regal tire foam© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Buick Regal tire foam


Unlike most new cars sold in the U.S., this one features an active hood for pedestrian protection. Achieving the low, wide look brought the hood down closer to the engine-compartment hard points, and while it's not strictly speaking required for the U.S., it's going in all the Opel Insignias (which share the Regal's Russelsheim Germany assembly line), so we get it too. There's a pressure-sensitive strip in the foam just under the outer bumper fascia skin that is tuned to differentiate a human pedestrian from animals and other obstacles. Upon identifying the pedestrian, with 40 milliseconds, it fires two pyrotechnic charges that elevate the rear edge of the hood. It can be temporarily reset to be safely driven home, but must be reset at the dealer.

2018-Buick-Regal-Sportback-hood.jpg© Motor Trend Staff 2018-Buick-Regal-Sportback-hood.jpg


Intelligent AWD is similar to that featured on most Buicks: A GKN Twinster system that disconnects the propshaft and rear differential ring gear using two clutches on the half-shafts and one in the transfer case up front.

2018-Buick-Regal-TourX-front-and-back-axle.jpg© Motor Trend Staff 2018-Buick-Regal-TourX-front-and-back-axle.jpg

Not HiPer

The new suspension pushes the wheels farther to the corners with a 3.4-inch wheelbase stretch and track widths widened by 0.4 inch in front; 0.5 inch in back. But the torque-steer-reducing HiPer struts from the outgoing GS model did not make the cut. They were deemed unnecessary, especially with the high expected AWD penetration. We have to wonder, though: Might the front-drive Regal have been able to tolerate the AWD model's 295 lb-ft torque rating with the fancier suspenders? It is instead downrated to 260 lb-ft.

2018-Buick-Regal-TourX-front-three-quarter.jpg© Motor Trend Staff 2018-Buick-Regal-TourX-front-three-quarter.jpg

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