The 2011 Buick Regal has been something else, really.
It's been a tremendously impressive car all around.
I never thought I'd live to say it: I dig a Buick. Here's the scarier bit, I like the non-sport versions! And when I saw the GS making its way to production, it really caught my eye. That's because I envisioned my own Regal GS with a few simple mods and it would be awesome; however, there were some caveats:
1) Would Buick bring it over to the States with power like the Opel OPC? No.
2) Would it feature all-wheel drive? No.
3) Would it feature those badass Recaro seats? Still not confirmed one way or the other.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement. At least Buick has made it up somewhat by slotting in MORE power under the hood.
Now, Regal GS' will come with 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is the same amount of torque as a BMW M3. I am a little concerned how that will sort itself out since it's all going to the front wheels though.
Even though, in the bottom of my heart, I feel this is a compromised car I still have to give props to Buick for taking a walk on the wild side.
More importantly, what say you, Spies?
Buick's press release follows:
The 2012 Buick Regal GS, which arrives at dealerships this fall, has been SAE-certified to deliver 270 horsepower (201kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400Nm) for an estimated 0-60 mph performance of 6.7 seconds.
Regal GS's exclusive Ecotec 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers more torque than Acura TSX V-6, Audi A4 Sport, Lexus IS 250 and Volvo S60 T5. Torque is the twisting force that gets a vehicle moving and what the driver feels when accelerating.
"The Regal GS 2.0L turbo delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has ever offered, and at 135 hp per liter is the most power dense engine ever certified by SAE," said Mike Anderson, Ecotec global chief engineer and program manager. "We've been combining direct injection and variable valve timing with boosted engines since 2006, and there's no question the Regal GS turbo has the responsiveness and acceleration of some V-6s, while delivering the fuel economy you'd expect of a four-cylinder."
Ecotec 2.0L turbo highlights include direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, forged steel crankshaft, twin scroll design turbocharger and an efficient intercooler system. The peak torque of 295 lb-ft is achieved at a relatively low 2400 rpm. There is 95 percent of peak torque available between 2300 and 4900 rpm.
The GS's engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, and gets an estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic transmission will be available later. The entire GS powertrain is covered by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Further reinforcing Regal GS's performance appeal is its Interactive Drive Control System chassis technology, which delivers enhanced vehicle stability. The driver selects among three operating modes that change the suspension settings, and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system. "GS" mode optimizes the car for dynamic driving, tightening the suspension and steering response. "Standard," or the default mode, is the setting for all-around use. "Sport" mode provides a level of performance between standard and GS modes.
Regal GS also features a four-wheel-independent suspension, with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension design. The HiPerStrut system helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering to keep the all-important tire contact patch on the pavement. The driver experiences improved grip and increased cornering power, along with crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.
The four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing vehicle stability and tire grip. Both front and rear dampers incorporate active Computer Damping Control, continuously changing damper characteristics in real time to maintain optimal vehicle ride comfort over varying road surfaces and profiles. More aggressive, performance-oriented damping characteristics can also be selected by the driver when choosing "Sport" or "GS" mode.
Braking power comes from a large diameter four-wheel disc brake system featuring big, four-piston Brembo front calipers for optimal feel and modulation. A standard, four-channel anti-lock brake system is tuned to reduce stopping distances over varied road surfaces and conditions. The Regal GS also features standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with integrated, full-speed traction control.
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).
"The 2012 Regal GS is well balanced with dynamic ride and handling, powerful brakes, great acceleration and excellent fuel economy," said Robert Casparian, Regal product marketing manager. "And the fact that one can get such great performance in a gorgeous sport sedan makes it even more attractive."
[Source: General Motors]
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