Here we have a very fine Buick New Century, parked straight in the middle of a sidewalk in south-western Beijing. The Buick New Century was the first car from the Shanghai-GM joint venture, it was made in China from late 1998 until early 2000 when it was replaced by the Buick Regal. The New Century was based on the American sixth-gen Buick Century. ‘New’ was added to the name to prevent any confusion with the Asia-only Toyota Century.
Since the Century and Regal were basically the same car it can be hard to see the difference, especially in China. There was no Century-badge, the New Century only had a ‘Shanghai GM’ badge on the back, and a small ‘3.0’ badge for the engine. The Shanghai GM badge disappeared on the Regal and was replaced by a ‘Regal’ badge, later on again that was replaced by a ‘上海通用’ badge (Shanghai-GM in Chinese).
Not many New Century’s were made in its short production run, it is therefore a rather rare car to see on the streets today. The Regal however became a huge success and continued all the way until 2008 when it was replaced by the current Buick Regal based on the Opel Insignia.
It has the body of the American Regal with the rims of the Century. Its true, they were the same car at the time but the Regal was to sportier/thicker bumper one with more power and luxury while the lower trim Century was competition for the Camry. It sold well but its a grandma car…
The US Regal RS (with the supercharged Series II 3800 V6)was actually a very sporty car, and fits the “sleeper” profile perfectly. Looks like a grandma’s car, but easily kept up with a 3-series BMW on the highway. Didn’t handle as well as the BMW, but since most US driving is highway, it worked fine.
I’d like to see the interior. There have been a few of those in my family, and I think these had some radio controls in the back and dugouts in the seatbacks for more room in the rear.