1988-1996 Buick Regal Gran Sport
A New Era
The new Regal showed up in 1988 on the new GM W-Body platform, this was the first generation W-Body Regal that had very few changes in its 8 year run on this platform. This was the first time the regal was mas produced in a front wheel drive layout, however the 1988-1989 did not offer any performance options, only offering the chevy 2.8 LB6 with 125 hp and 160 lb-ft and the 3.1 LH0 with 140 hp and 180 lb-ft in 1989-1993.
In 1990 the Regal had 2 engine options, the 3.1 LH0 and the new 3.8 L27 with 170 hp and 220 lb-ft. The LH0 was offered from 1989-1993 being replaced by the new 3100 L82 with 160 hp and 185 lb-ft in 1994-1996, the 3.8 L27 was offered from 1990-1995 being replaced by the 3800 Series II L36 with 200 hp and 225 lb-ft in 1996 also introducing OBD II for the first time.
The Regal was initially offered in base Custom and upscale Limited trim lines. In 1989, the Gran Sport trim line was introduced, featuring aluminum wheels, body side cladding and a console mounted shifter attached to a 4-speed automatic. In 1992 ABS was made standard in all except the base custom models.
There were 2 transmissions in this generation Regal, the 4T60 and the 4T60-E. The 4T60 (440-T4) was offered from 1988-1992 being replaced by the 4T60-E in 1993-1996. Both were 4 speed automatic, the 4T60-E featured a 245mm torque converter with varying stall speed and gear ratios.
In 1993 the Regal was given a newly redesigned grille and LeSabre-like rear lights and bumper. In 1994 it was given a driver’s side airbag along with ABS and power windows standard on all trim lines. The Limited coupe was deleted; only the Custom and Gran Sport (GS) coupes remained. Dual airbags were new for 1995 along with a new interior
Although 1996 was the last year of this model, production of the 1996 model continued into 1997 as the replacement model was late.