General Motors hopes to recharge slumping sales of the Buick Regal with a new 2-liter turbocharged engine, freshened grille and updated headlights and taillights, shown Tuesday at the New York Auto Show.
The mid-size Regal, which posted a 39% sales decline in 2012, has suffered since Buick introduced the Verano compact sedan in late 2011.
GM described the 2014 Regal as "sportier and smarter" than the current version.
"The new 2014 Regal is more expressive, more connected and more technologically advanced," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick marketing, in a statement.
The new Regal's introduction comes as Buick is expanding its lineup for small vehicle buyers. February marked the first full month of sales for the all-new Buick Encore, a subcompact crossover that GM is backing with a national advertising campaign during the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The Regal has helped Buick move its customer base to an average age of 57, up from 64 about a decade ago. But the compact Verano is also attracting more buyers who previously have never owned a GM vehicle.
Designers tweaked the Regal's grille and gave the front and rear new light-emitting diode lamps to form a "distinctive wing profile" above the headlamps.
The vehicle will be offered in several powertrain configurations. Buick is introducing a new 2-liter turbocharged engine that boosts horsepower for the Regal Turbo and Regal GS by 18% to 259 horsepower.
GM will also offer the Regal with a 2.4-liter engine and Buick's eAssist technology, a mild-hybrid system that delivers regenerative braking capability to improve fuel economy.
Buyers also will have the option of an all-wheel-drive system on the Regal for the first time.
GM won't reveal pricing or EPA-certified fuel economy numbers until the car reaches showrooms this fall.
On the interior, designers upgraded the instrument cluster and rearranged controls on the center-stack. Buick is offering a new two-tone leather interior package.
The vehicle will also carry the new version of Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system, which is debuting in the 2014 Buick LaCrosse, which was introduced Monday. The new version has better voice recognition capability, wireless connectivity and usability, GM said.
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