Automotive

Buick boosts the Regal with 310 hp, all-wheel drive GS

Buick boosts the Regal with 31...
The Buick GS shares much of its hardware with the Opel Insignia, but the two cars have different engines
The Buick GS shares much of its hardware with the Opel Insignia, but the two cars have different engines
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The Buick Regal GS has a clever GKN rear differential 
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The Buick Regal GS has a clever GKN rear differential 
The V6 engine in the GS makes more than 300 hp
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The V6 engine in the GS makes more than 300 hp
The GS has a V6, where European cars get a four-cylinder turbo 
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The GS has a V6, where European cars get a four-cylinder turbo 
The Buick Regal GS has a clever four-wheel drive system
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The Buick Regal GS has a clever four-wheel drive system
The GS is another step in Buick's revival
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The GS is another step in Buick's revival
The Buick GS shares much of its hardware with the Opel Insignia, but the two cars have different engines
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The Buick GS shares much of its hardware with the Opel Insignia, but the two cars have different engines
The exterior of the Regal GS is relatively refined 
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The exterior of the Regal GS is relatively refined 
The GS joins a high-riding wagon in the Regal range 
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The GS joins a high-riding wagon in the Regal range 
Just in case you weren't sure, the GS has a special badge on the back 
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Just in case you weren't sure, the GS has a special badge on the back 
Unique alloy wheels on the Buick Regal GS 
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Unique alloy wheels on the Buick Regal GS 
Behind the wheel of the Buick Regal GS
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Behind the wheel of the Buick Regal GS
Aggressive buckets in the Buick Regal GS 
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Aggressive buckets in the Buick Regal GS 
The analog-digital hybrid instrument cluster in the Buick Regal GS
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The analog-digital hybrid instrument cluster in the Buick Regal GS
A nine-speed auto is standard in the Regal GS
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A nine-speed auto is standard in the Regal GS
In Europe, the Regal GS will be sold as the Opel Insignia GSI 
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In Europe, the Regal GS will be sold as the Opel Insignia GSI 
The Opel Insignia GSI looks almost identical to the Regal GS
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The Opel Insignia GSI looks almost identical to the Regal GS
The gaping air intakes on the Insignia GSI are a giveaway as to its performance potential 
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The gaping air intakes on the Insignia GSI are a giveaway as to its performance potential 
The Insignia GSI and Regal GS look identical from the outside 
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The Insignia GSI and Regal GS look identical from the outside 
The Holden Commodore VXR
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The Holden Commodore VXR
The new Holden Commodore VXR 
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The new Holden Commodore VXR 
The range-topping Holden Commodore 
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The range-topping Holden Commodore 
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Buick is in the midst of a mini-revival at the moment, led by the latest mid-sized Insignia from Opel. Having announced the high-riding Insignia Country Tourer would be headed stateside wearing a Regal TourX badge, the team at Buick has whipped the covers off the range-topping Regal GS. With a punchy six-cylinder engine and torque vectoring, it certainly looks good on paper.

Before we get to the numbers, we need to study a bit of geography. The Buick Regal GS you pictured here was developed by Opel, which sells it to the European market as the Insignia GSI. It'll wear a Vauxhall badge in Great Britain, while the Insignia will be marketed as the Commodore VXR in Australia.

Both the Vauxhall and Opel versions are powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 257 hp (192 kW) of power, while the Buick and Holden models get a 3.6-liter V6 with 310 hp (231 kW) and 382 Nm of torque on tap. Those aren't earth-shattering numbers, and they won't give BMW or Mercedes any headaches, but the Buick is competing at a very different price point. The company hasn't released acceleration figures for the GS, but expect it to take around 5.5 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph).

The V6 engine in the GS makes more than 300 hp
The V6 engine in the GS makes more than 300 hp

That grunt is put to the road through a clever all-wheel drive system, with proper torque vectoring on the rear axle courtesy of a GKN differential. The Ford Focus RS uses a GKN system as well, but where Ford has a clever torque vectoring differential on the front wheels, the engineers at GM use a less sophisticated electronic diff up front to quell understeer. In other words, the Buick won't be as sophisticated as the Ford, but it should still be able to hold its own in the twisties.

Along with the modern all-wheel drive system, the Regal GS will be only be available with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. There are also paddles behind the steering wheel when the driver wants to take control, but purists are likely to complain about the lack of a manual variant. The GS rides on adaptive dampers capable of adjusting themselves 500 times a second, while drivers can manually flick it into Sport and GS modes for a sportier ride.

Aggressive buckets in the Buick Regal GS 
Aggressive buckets in the Buick Regal GS 

Inside, there aren't a huge number of changes to set the GS apart from the regular Regal. There are unique seats, pedals and a flat-bottomed steering wheel, but the rest of the cabin is the same attractive (slightly boring) design previewed earlier this year. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, and a full color heads-up display is available. Cars specced with the optional Driver Confidence package get auto-emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control as well.

The Regal will sell for US$39,990 when it arrives in showrooms. There's no official release date yet, but we expect to see it break cover towards the end of the year.

Source: Buick

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2 comments
eMacPaul
At that price point, it does compete against the BMW 330i.
Michael Wilson
I really like the direction the new Buicks are going. I'll be in the market pretty soon for one. The styling is nice, the power is good and it sets itself apart nicely from the me-too Bavarian haulers.