When people think about Buicks, words like old, boring, and grandpa come to mind. Very rarely, if ever, does the word sporty get uttered as an accurate description, but get ready for all of that to change. In an effort to change the stigma attached to the brand, Buick is releasing an all new Buick Regal GS which will arrive at dealerships in the fall of 2011. This new vehicle will target models like the Audi A4 and the Acura TSX with its exclusive Ecotec 2.0L direct injected, turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 270 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque.
The last time a GS model was released by Buick, it was 2004. This model was powered by a 3.8 L L67 Series II supercharged V6 that produced 240 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque. Technology, and the constant need to improve fuel economy, has allowed Buick to pump out more horsepower out of a smaller engine, all while providing an estimated fuel economy of 33 MPG.
UPDATE 08/04/2011: Buick has announced that the Regal GS will be put on sale this fall at a starting price of $35,310, which includes a $860 destination charge. Standard features on the GS model include: push-button start; a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sport steering wheel with audio controls; metal sport pedals; and leather-appointed, heated and 12-way adjustable sport seating, a Harman Kardon premium 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix Surround Sound system with nine speakers.
UPDATE 05/22/2012: During a recent test drive at Nevada Open Road Challenge, the 270 Regal GS clocked in an impressive top speed of 162 mph - making it the fastest model Buick ever made. The car was piloted by Rietow and Townsend and the only modifications were limited to safety equipment such as a roll hoop and five-point harness seat belts, as well as data collection computers. Check out the new video to see the test drive!
Hit the jump for more details on the Buick Regal GS.
Exterior and Interior
The Regal GS exterior is defined by prominent, vertical air intake slots and specific grille treatment. The vertical elements of the vehicle are accented in a satin-metallic finish and feature a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets and an integrated rear spoiler.
The GS cuts a sportier stance, too, with a lower ride height than other Regal models and aggressive 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels and all-season tires (20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels with performance tires are optional).
Standard features on the GS model include: push-button start; a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sport steering wheel with audio controls; metal sport pedals; and leather-appointed, heated and 12-way adjustable sport seating, a Harman Kardon premium 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix Surround Sound system with nine speakers.
For the interior, Buick is offering a racing-inspired, flat-bottom sport steering wheel and metal sport pedals, along with leather-appointed 12-way power-adjustable sport driver and front passenger heated seats.
The 2012 Buick Regal GS has the privilege of being powered by Buick’s exclusive Ecotec 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder, boasting of direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, forged steel crankshaft, a twin scroll design turbocharger, and an efficient intercooler system. This whole package was SAE-certified to deliver 270 horsepower (201kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400Nm), up from the 255 HP originally predicted and much higher than the current Regal Turbo and its 220 HP. The peak torque is available at a low 2,400 rpm, but 95% of it is available between 2,300 and 4,900 rpm. The EcoTec engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed automatic will be available at a later date. This complete package allows the Regal GS to complete the 0-60 mph sprint in 6.7 seconds, nearly two seconds faster than the Regal Turbo.
If anyone thinks fuel economy will suffer because of the added horsepower, they would be absolutely wrong. The Buick Regal GS actually gets 33 MPG (7.1L/100km), which is about 1 MPG better than the standard Regal. This vehicle truly achieves the best of both worlds.
Handling and Braking Power
The Buick Regal GS features a four-wheel-independent suspension with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension design. The HiPerStrut system is a unique suspension system that is a vast improvement over the systems used previously. The added components enable the steering knuckle to rotate independently from the strut tower, creating a better separation between steering and shock absorption. This improves camber control and also maintains ideal suspension geometry. And now with the Buick Interactive Drive Control System, the driver can control the suspension stiffness through the "Sport" and "GS" buttons.
With HiPer Strut, the torque steer that was prevalent in the 2011 Regal is almost nonexistent now, and steering response and control are improved significantly. These enhancements allowed engineers to place a 270 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder in the Regal GS. This advanced 2.0L replaces the old 220 horsepower four-banger and has the highest horsepower-per-liter ratio General Motors has ever produced.
The Interactive Drive Control System chassis technology, which increases handling and stability, is also present in the Regal GS. This system comes with two options in the Regal Turbo, “Standard” for everyday use and “Sport” for a higher level of performance. However, unlike the Regal Turbo, the Regal GS also gets a “GS” mode which further tightens the suspension and steering response.
Braking power for the GS comes in the large diameter four-wheel disc brake system that features big, four-piston Brembo front calipers, as well as standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with integrated, full-speed traction control.
The Buick Regal GS will be in dealerships in the fall of 2011 with a starting price of $35,310, which includes a $860 destination charge.
The upgraded power found in the Buick Regal GS allows the sedan to compete against some impressive vehicles. The standout specs can be found in the torque and the fuel economy where the Regal GS stands out among the crowd.