Buick is Back: 2012 Regal GS
The Regal GS boldly announces its arrival with signature front and rear styling—and raises expectations with the ECOTEC 2.0L high output turbocharged engine offering more torque than Acura TSX V-6 and Audi A4 Sport. Tuned to deliver 270-hp and 295 lb.-ft of torque, Regal GS blurs the lines with an estimated 0-60 mph performance of 6.7 seconds.
What it is:
A higher-performance version of the recently introduced 2011 Regal. A handsome body kit, 20-inch wheels, and larger brakes increase the GS’s sportiness quotient.
Why it matters:
GM needs to continue to revitalize Buick, which has been the General’s grandpa division. With Pontiac out of the picture, Buick has the freedom to build sportier cars to compete with import-luxury brands.
It rides on the latest version of the Epsilon front-drive hardware. The Regal is a barely disguised Opel Insignia.
While Europeans will get an Insignia OPC with a 325-hp, turbocharged V-6, the GS gets a higher-output version of the 2.0-liter turbo four found in the Regal. In this case, it’s rated at 255 horsepower, up from 220. All-wheel drive will be standard. Look for either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Acura TSX, Audi A4, BMW 328i, Infiniti G37, Lincoln MKZ.
What might go wrong:
Buick may struggle to get import buyers into its showrooms. Abandoned Pontiac loyalists may not feel inclined to switch their devotion to another GM brand.
Estimated arrival and price:
Sporty GS launches in 2011. We predict a base price near $36,000