You’ve got to love Buick for even trying to bring us a show car that could dazzle and distract us from all of the other great things going on at the 2010 NAIAS. But this is one car that really grabbed my attention; it’s the return of a performance model to Buick. No longer is Buick the car company for old people. Well, it still could be if GM didn’t produce this car.
Just for talking points, here’s what you’ll get if they do decide to make it: Ecotec 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making 255hp and 295lb-ft of torque (est). All this power is put through an all-wheel drive system and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Oh, and I almost forgot, an electronic limited-slip rear differential. Sounds like a sports sedan to me. Buick claims that you can suspect a sub 6-second 0-60 time. I’m thinking, maybe, 5.4-seconds. The whole car is actually based on the Opel Insignia offered in Europe. Hey, if we can’t have the G8, bring on the Regal GS, I say. Hell, give us both. GM will then have a real set of performance cars to choose from.
o 21st-century successor to Buick’s Gran Sport heritage
o Bold, sporty design with unique exterior details and an aggressive stance
o High-output Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission
o Adaptive all-wheel-drive system and electronic limited-slip rear differential
o 0-60 in less than 6.0 seconds
o Buick’s class-exclusive Interactive Drive Control System
DETROIT – With an estimated 255 turbocharged horsepower (190 kW), a six-speed manual transmission and an advanced, adaptive all-wheel-drive system, the Buick Regal GS show car is a high-tech, high-performance version of the brand’s newest sport sedan. It was introduced at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.
The mechanical elements were developed with the aim of delivering a driving experience that is sporting, confidence-inspiring and refined. It has a performance-oriented drivetrain, a lowered body and lower center of gravity. Exterior and interior cues include two additional vertical front air intakes; large, forged aluminum 20-inch wheels and performance tires; a racing-inspired sport steering wheel and metal pedals. Recaro high-performance front seats feature four-way lumbar support and cushion extensions.
“We designed the Regal GS to explore the appeal of a high-performance variant of the Regal,” said Craig Bierley, product marketing director for Buick. “Like the Regal, the Regal GS is based on the award-winning Opel Insignia, and we believe it will reinvigorate Buick’s storied Gran Sport legacy.”
The Regal GS exterior is distinguished by vertical air inlets in the front fascia, as well as unique rocker panels, an integrated rear spoiler, dual exhaust outlets, Olympic White paint and satin metallic accents.
“The idea behind the Regal GS was taking the production model in a more aggressive direction to appeal to performance enthusiasts,” said John Cafaro, Buick design director. “But along with its aggressive stance, there’s sophisticated style in the design that complements the driving experience.”
Inside, the Regal GS varies from the standard Regal by featuring a completely jet black interior, including the pillars and headliner, sport shifter for the six-speed manual transmission and a suede-covered, flat-bottom steering wheel reminiscent of those used in international racing series. The instrument panel glows ice blue when the driver engages the sport mode of the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS).
Turbocharged AWD performance
Power for the Regal GS comes from a high-output 2.0L Ecotec turbocharged engine with direct-injection technology. It is based on the engine that will be offered on Regal CXL models later this summer, but the engine and turbocharger are tuned to deliver greater boost pressure in the GS. The output is estimated at 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm).
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that directs torque to an adaptive all-wheel-drive system calibrated for performance driving. An electronic, limited-slip rear differential helps ensure the engine’s power is distributed effectively during cornering.
The high-performance drivetrain is expected to enable the Regal GS to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. That performance is complemented by a four-wheel-independent suspension, with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) design in front. The HiPerStrut system helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering. This improves ultimate grip levels in dry and wet conditions, as well as improves the direct feel of the road, while isolating undesirable feedback. Behind the wheel the driver experiences reduced torque steer, improved grip and increased cornering power, along with crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.
The Regal GS features a high-performance Brembo brake system with 14 x 1.2-inch (355 x 32 mm) cross-drilled rotors; four-piston, high-strength aluminum calipers, and high-performance pads.
The Regal GS is also equipped with Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology (also offered on Regal CXL models with the 2.0L turbo engine). It delivers enhanced vehicle stability and greater driving safety, while also adapting the driving characteristics of the car to the driver’s preferences. The driver selects among three operating modes – normal, sport and GS – that change the suspension settings, throttle response and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system.
Buick is in the midst of a transformation that started with the Enclave luxury crossover and continues with the completely redesigned LaCrosse luxury sedan and Regal sport sedan. Buick is emerging as a modern, premium brand with vehicles characterized by sculpted designs, personal technologies, luxurious interiors and responsive performance. Future new sedans and crossovers are planned and will continue to expand Buick’s portfolio both in North America and China. More information can be found at www.buick.com.
BUICK REGAL GS SHOW CAR SPECIFICATIONS
Buick Regal GS show car
Body style / driveline:
four-door, 5-passenger, front engine, transaxle. All-wheel-drive midsize vehicle
steel body-frame integral (unibody)
High-output 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbo
Displacement (cu in / cc):
122 / 1998
Bore and stroke (in / mm):
3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86
Cylinder head material:
overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing for intake and exhaust
direct injection with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control
Horsepower (hp / kW):
255 / 190 (est.)
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm):
295 / 400 (est.)
independent, HiPerStrut-type with dual-path mountings, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; continuous damping control (Interactive Drive Control System)
four-link independent rear; hollow stabilizer bar; continuous damping control
adaptive all-wheel drive; StabiliTrak electronic stability control
hydraulic, variable-effort rack-and-pinion power steering
four-wheel disc w/ABS (w/ESC)
Brake rotor diameter
(in / mm) caliper type (front and rear):
14 / 355, vented and cross drilled rotors; four-piston aluminum calipers
Wheel size and type:
Wheelbase (in / mm) :
107.8 / 2738
Overall length (in / mm):
190.2 / 4831
Overall width (in / mm):
73.1 / 1811
Overall height (in / mm):
58.4 / 1483
Front track (in / mm):
62.4 / 1585
Rear track (in / mm):
62.5 / 1587
Seating capacity (front / rear):
2 / 3
Headroom (in / mm):
38.8 / 985 (front)
36.8 / 935 (rear)
Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.