While the European market has the Opel Insignia, we here in the U.S. have the Buick Regal. And just like they have the in house high performance version known as the OPC, we will be seeing something very similar with the Buick Regal GS concept that will debut next week at the Detroit Auto Show. The last Regal worth noting was the Regal T type, a toned down version of the Grand National with a turbocharged six cylinder under the hood. The lat time that Buick built a GS it was powered by a 3.8 Liter supercharged V6 in the late ’90s.
However the times they are a changing and consumers are asking for fuel economy along with their performance. The Regal GS Concept is powered by a 2.0 Liter Ecotec turbo four with direct injection technology delivering a total of 255 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque, quite a bit more then before, mated to a six speed manual transmission sending power to an adaptive all wheel drive system. This means that the Regal GS is a sport sedan that can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in under 6 seconds. All capped off with a set of exotic Brembo brake calipers. All together the Buick Regal GS is a perfect example of the American automaker’s commitment to high performance.
Updated 12/01/10: Two new video added: Detroit unveiling and Buick GS presentation video. Check them out!
With a gathering of automotive media from all over the world hanging on every word they were saying, Buick took advantage of the opportunity to tease the gathered media a teaser sketch of what is expected to be their latest vehicle – a luxury compact sedan – to be added to their already robust fleet of cars. Apart from showing the sketch, Buick’s product marketing director Craig Bierly withheld any more information, but those in-the-know of the supposed new vehicle have said that the car will be based on the new Opel Astra.
Ironically, Bierly showed the teaser sketch at the same time the 2011 Regal saloon – a car that was based on the Opel Insignia - was unveiled. As far as the new compact sedan is concerned, rumors are already burning up that the car will most likely come with the Astra’s 1.6 Liter 180 HP turbocharged unit.
We’re pretty sure that this won’t be the last time we’re going to hear about this new compact sedan in the near future and knowing how Buick likes to give teasers in small doses, we wouldn’t be surprised if a new one pops up anytime soon.
We recently received one of General Motors other premium brand’s full size vehicles into the Top Speed test fleet, the 2010 Buick Lacrosse CXS. At first our fully loaded Quicksilver Metallic appeared to be the typical American made land yacht, but after climbing inside we were pleasantly surprised by the Buick’s eye pleasing interior and spacious cabin. It looks like after many years of Japanese automakers reverse engineering American and German automobiles, GM is trying to be more like Lexus by offering a well priced and well appointed luxury sedan without any of the traditional cheap American drawbacks.
Everything about the Lacrosse’s exterior is big, from the sculpted lines and oversized 19 inch nine spoke rims to the wide grill that almost wraps around the entire front end of the Buick, making it a genuine full sized sedan. We can thank Buick for starting the trend of gluing faux vents to the sides of their cars, however in this car’s case the American automaker saw fit to include the classic Buick ventiports on the hood. Like almost every other GM vehicle our Lacrosse had a sort of shark fin antennae at the back of the roof that only reaffirmed our car’s nautical theme. We also managed to find a few design cues that could have been lifted from other full size luxury sedans, like a set of BMW 5 Series inspired taillights and doorframes that look like they could have come straight off of a Lexus LS.
The Dark Titanium/Light Titanium interior of our Buick Lacrosse is just as high class as any other premium vehicle, made up of high quality materials that are pleasing to the eye and soft to the touch. The seats and center armrest are wrapped in plush leather and the dash and door panels are covered with a soft material that is worlds ahead of lesser car’s hard plastic units. The instrumentation is eye catching and the controls are well laid out. We are a bit partial to the Buick’s in dash nav system that also functions as the AM/FM/XM/CD entertainment unit with built in back up camera. The Lacrosse features green accent lighting similar to that found in the Camaro with a long thin strip stretching across the top of the dash, an illuminated horseshoe around the controls and even more accent lighting throughout. I also features one of the most spacious back seats on the market. The car’s sunroof opens up the interior, making the back seat seem even more spacious then it already is, combine this with the retractable rear sunshade and the Buick Lacrosse becomes the perfect car for long road trips.
While Cadillac may be at the top of the heap as far as General Motors domestic sales are concerned, the Buick brand is surprisingly popular in a few far off markets. Keeping their other customers happy the other upscale arm of GM has just unveiled the all new Excelle XT at the Guangzhou Auto Show. The XT is an interesting vehicle due to its coupe like profile despite being a five door wagon. The new car is slated to go on sale in China in 2010 and is basically an Asian iteration of the European Opel Astra.
The Excelle XT will be offered with a choice of three engines. The top of the line model will be powered by a 1.6 Liter turbocharged four cylinder gasoline engine cranking out 180 HP. Aside from the boosted offering, there will also be a naturally aspirated version with the same displacement making 116 HP and a slightly larger 1.8 Liter DOHC inline four with lots of high tech working parts to manipulate the cam profiles and produce an impressive and at the same time efficient 138 HP. No matter which internal combustion option you choose, all engines will be mated to a fuel efficient six speed automatic transmission, putting the driver at ease when they are behind the wheel.
More than any other industry in the world, the automotive business has the capacity to remind us just what the future may look like. It may not smell of grandeur like other scientific fields, but the auto industry can give us sneak peeks of what may be in store for all of us somewhere down the road.
Take General Motors for example. After launching its new Lab website, GM has given us a slew of cars that could one day – all things considered, of course – end up roaming the streets in the future. The brand’s latest offering is the Buick Avant, which, in addition to being innovative in every sense of the word, could also become the standard bearer of scaled-down models among high-end car brands.
If futuristic cars become topics of discussion, the Buick Avant should be right in the thick of the conversation. It’s got a cargo space that automatically brings the luggage to the passenger, it’s got doors that seemingly swings and slides every which way, and what GM is calling a pergola roof, which turns translucently depending on what the driver wants.
It’s innovation at its finest, and you can check out the video to learn more about the car.
It seems like a PGA calendar isn’t complete without a Buick-sponsored event being mixed somewhere in there. But after everything that’s happened in the auto industry, the fifty-year partnership between Buick and the PGA has now reached the final hole.
For the longest time, Buick has been an institution in the US pro golf circuit, having sponsored a plethora of golf tournaments – including two big PGA events, the Buick Open and the Buick Invitational – over the years. The car brand’s latest tournament – and apparently, last one too – occurred barely a week ago when Tiger Woods bagged his fourth Buick Open title.
Details regarding the amicable split have been kept under wraps but if you’re one to read between the lines, it seems that GM’s current restricting may have had something to do with it.
GM’s restructuring has long been an open secret, especially considering that the company was dangerously close to being shelved altogether. Now that their slowly getting back on their feet, GM is hard at work in re-establishing their brands to once again become the major players they once were.
General Motors announced it will reveal a new Buick crossover vehicle in 2011 that will feature plug-in hybrid technology. Buick announced no name for their crossover, but they announced it will first be launched in 2010 powered by direct-injected gasoline engines, followed in 2011 by the plug-in hybrid model.
The new crossover will be built on the Buick Enclave platform and will be powered by an Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6, and is expected to deliver 30 mpg.
The Buick plug-in hybrid will use the same manganese-spinel based chemistry and polymer battery cells as the Volt. The 8 kwh battery - containing half the energy of the Volt battery pack - will be packaged in a rectangular-shaped box under the cargo floor.
The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in four to five hours by simply connecting the vehicle to any standard 110V household electrical outlet. By recharging rather than refueling, the Buick plug-in hybrid significantly improves fuel economy and reduces petroleum use. In early testing, the plug-in hybrid is capable of electric-only propulsion for more than 10 miles at low speeds.
General Motors may be a long ways from getting back on its feet in the US, but in another country, the Detroit-based manufacturer is standing tall.
Despite a tenuous hold on the US auto market, GM can take comfort in the fact that they’re Chinese consumer base has more than picked up the slack, accounting for a whopping 814,442 vehicles in sales in the first six months of 2009.
It doesn’t come as the least bit surprising to us to see China establish themselves as the world’s leading auto market. After all, the country still comprises about 1/6th of the entire world’s population so naturally, that many people would entail a lot of customers too. GM also benefited through a number of stimulus policies the Chinese government has implemented, allowing foreign brands to import their products easier.
Buick added a new engine to the LaCrosse line-up: a new fuel-efficient, direct injected Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder engine that delivers 182 hp and a peak torque of 172 lb-ft. The engine has a fuel economy of 30 mpg highway and 20 mpg city.
Every engine in the LaCrosse lineup is direct injected and matched with a fuel-saving six speed automatic transmission. Along with the Ecotec 2.4L, a new, direct injected 3.0L V-6 is offered and a larger-displacement, more powerful 3.6L V-6 is standard on the LaCrosse CXS model.
China is the most important market to Buick. It not only sells more cars in the Orient than here, but the unloved by the U.S. Terraza minivan was also a real hit over there. So at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show it revealed a special car with Chinese influence called the Buick Business Concept.
So why is a MPV shown as a business car? Unlike in the U.S. where minivans are the shame of the soccer field, their size is seen as something of prestige in China. As far as design goes, this is a relatively good looking for a minivan. The flowing lines are reminiscent of the Mazda Biante.
For all those minivan fans out there, this may be as close as most of you will get to this Buick. Although production plans and distribution areas have not yet been announced, it’s likely that this will not be a world car for GM.
More pics and info in the press release after the jump