Common wisdom decrees that Buicks have an interior that’s silent as a tomb, with handling most often associated with ocean-going vessels.
Common wisdom, then, wouldn’t apply to the new Buick Regal, which is the first Buick in recent history to add a dose of sport to its ample amounts of comfort. We’d stop short of calling the Opel-Insignia-based Regal or Regal Turbo “sport sedans,” but they definitely fall into the “sporty” category. If only the Regal Turbo had a bit more horsepower, that could possibly push the car over the edge, into sport sedan territory.
Thanks to a just-announced bump in horsepower, the 2012 Buick Regal GS looks to be a solid contender for sport sedan status. Like the current Buick Regal Turbo, the Regal GS gets its power from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline-four-cylinder engine. Unlike the Regal Turbo, which puts out just 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the Regal GS will now make 270 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque from its 2.0-liter engine. GM tells us that the Regal GS will go from zero to sixty in 6.7 seconds, which would make the GS nearly two seconds quicker to sixty than the Regal Turbo.
At 135 horsepower per liter, the Ecotec 2.0-liter in the Regal GS gets the distinction of being the most power-dense engine ever certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers. “The most horsepower per liter of displacement” is not typically a phrase we associate with Buick, so we can’t wait to sample a production version of the Regal GS.
Buick’s addressed the handling of the Regal GS as well, using GM’s High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) design to minimize torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering (which maximizes contact between tire and road). Like its Regal Turbo sibling, the Regal GS will utilize GM’s Interactive Drive Control System, which optimizes ride and handling based on the mode selected by the driver. In the Regal Turbo, drivers can select between “Standard” or “Sport” modes, but in the Regal GS, drivers get an additional “GS” mode to further refine handling. Ensuring that the GS looks the part as well, the car gets a drop in ride height and comes standard with 19-inch, five spoke wheels.
Looking for pricing and package details to be announced closer to the car’s launch this fall.
[General Motors, via Motor Authority]