• Jan 11th 2010 at 11:41AM
  • 82
Buick Regal GS – Click above for high-res image gallery

Is the Buick Regal GS the most important "maybe" of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show? It's been more than two decades since performance enthusiasts cared about Buick in any meaningful way. The car at that time was the now legendary Buick GNX. Even if the proposed Regal GS makes production – a big if – it's not going to be a GNX replacement, at least not in the hearts and minds of power-mad Buick enthusiasts. However, at this chapter in Buick's story, every little performance bit counts.

That stated, here's what we might get: Power comes from a beefed-up version of the direct-injected 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder making 255 horsepower and a walloping 295 pound-feet or torque. Compare that to the regular 2.0-liter DI Ecotec that we know and love in cars like the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Chevrolet Cobalt SS: 260 hp, 260 lb-ft of twist. Five horsepower less, sure (your lawnmower makes five horsepower), but we'll gladly trade those ponies for the 35 extra torques. All that grunt gets routed through a six-speed manual before being kicked out to all four wheels. Speaking of wheels, the Regal GS rides on gorgeous 20-inch alloys that are hauled to a halt by big Brembos squeezing 14-inch cross-drilled and vented rotors.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Regal GS is its traction control system that Buick has dubbed "Interactive Drive Control." There's a Normal mode, a Sport mode and most enticing, a GS mode. That final setting changes the default torque split, routing most of the power to the rear wheels. Color us curious, excitedly so. The Regal GS also sits 10mm lower than the standard car and is further visually differentiated by twin intakes on the front clip and two through-fascia tailpipes. It's even got sporty Recaros and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Are they going to build it? Our gut says "yes," or something very close to it. As a brand, Buick needs a shot in the arm of something hot and bothered. Why not a hopped-up Regal? And will we eventually see an even more muscular version of the Regal GS, fitted with a 325-hp turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 from the Opel Insignia OPC, possibly called the Regal GSX? Maybe GNX fans will have something to look forward to after all. High-res shots below, official press release with full specs and video of the live reveal after the jump.

  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG012
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG015
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG013
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG014
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG016
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG017
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG018
  • Buick Regal GS show car. X11BU_RG019

[Source: Buick]

Show full PR text
Buick Unveils Regal GS Show Car
  • 21st-century successor to Buick's Gran Sport heritage
  • Bold, sporty design with unique exterior details and an aggressive stance
  • High-output Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission
  • Adaptive all-wheel-drive system and electronic limited-slip rear differential
  • 0-60 in less than 6.0 seconds
  • 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.

About Buick

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

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

Block material:

cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum


overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing for intake and exhaust

Ignition system:

individual coil-on-plug

Fuel delivery:

direct injection with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control

Compression ratio:


Horsepower (hp / kW):

255 / 190 (est.)

Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm):

295 / 400 (est.)


6-speed manual



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

Traction control:

adaptive all-wheel drive; StabiliTrak electronic stability control

Steering type:

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:

20-inch aluminum


Bridgestone 245/35ZR20


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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice; because it is an OPEL!!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        James May just drove the UK version on TG the other night. They call Opels it a Vauxhalls there. GM obviously loves re-branding. But calling this car a Buick Regal is a shame. It will have to fight all those horrid memories or riding in smelly, rattly old Regals from the 80's that your Grandpa pissed in on the way home from church. Come on...every body has ridden in THAT Buick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I could be wrong, but judging from some of your other quick and eloquent comments, you are one of those guys who has bought any American car simply because it is American, or because it was slapped together by the Auto Union. So actually you are partly responsible for the slow demise of the American Car industry by telling them year after year that they didn't need to compete with good products in the USA because Americans would keep buy American products even if they sucked and were too expensive.

        When they have offered the US market high quality good value cars year after year, people just might forget that old crappy Regal Grandpa pissed in. And I guess they think they can jump start this by importing the good stuff from Germany because they are years away from that product at home.
      • 5 Years Ago
      see absolutely no reason to get a VW passat/passat CC / Lexus ES / Acura TL anymore
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would buy the snot out of that.... But badge it a Pontiac. Oh wait yea that won't work ;-)

      It's gotta come in at like $30,000 - $35,000 to be successful in my opinion.

      It's the poor man's S4, and I'd gladly be a poor man with that drivetrain. It's just I'd be a 30yr. old guy driving a Buick.... hmmm i'm not crazy about the sound of that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      nice looking,but won't sell if it doesh't have between 300 and 400 hp
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a sh1t ugle car. Mazda like front (air intakes) and back (taillights) ends. Style lines like the last generation Maxima (fish bowl). Eww. Didn't GM fail because it made big, ugly cars that nobody wanted? I can not see this vehicle as anything but an extension of that same failed GM design aesthetic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How is this a concept? It's already in production in Europe. So gluing a Buick badge on an Opel/Vauxhall makes it new? Does GM really think Americans are that stupid?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe they aren't ignorant of it either. Does someone else having something mean it's less good when offered to you?

        When the Chrysler 300 debuted in the US then migrated in Europe, did Europeans complain they were being duped? I hope not. Especially after the Grand Cherokee came over late after debuting in the US first and they snapped it up by the cartload.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most Americans ARE that stupid, or more specifically, ignorant, of cars not sold in their country. Not everyone surfs car blog sites constantly like us. I think this car is great and if GM wants Buick to compete it needs great cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yes it does. Most Americans who aren't car nuts won't know that this is a Euro car.

        Having said that, FINALLY GM has figured out that it can save money and make sales by unifying its product line across markets and take advantage of economies of scale. I guess it took complete failure for them to learn business 101.

        I like most if not all Euro GMs and Fords and I am also looking forward to Fiats and Alfas from the "new" Chrysler. One of these years I just may buy "American".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Q: How much money does it take to develop intake vents on the front bumper that are hideously out of proportion in a Chinese type of design?

      A: 50 billion in tax payer corporate welfare.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can't believe it's taken this long for someone to notice those hideous 'fangs' - they look like blacked out plastic, and with that dark grey surround they are absolutely hideous.

        I FAR prefer the Opel treatment, which actually has vents that look like they belong, rather than a chop-job just for the sake of brand differentiation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally- a US-brand alternative to my Audi.

      • 5 Years Ago
      hey morons, REBADGE THIS!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everytime I see this car I just have to post. This this is HOT! Rebadge, reengineer, whatever! The car is hot no matter what the complainers say. The turbo 4 will be perfect for the car. You can always chip it or upgrade the turbo to get over the 300hp mark if you wanted to. That's the beauty of forced air setups. Modability.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM has always built nice cars, and the Buick Regal was one of them. Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, Cadilac, Saturn, all GM cars and all were nice well made cars. And why do you call them Union made cars? Is it more because the Auto Workers were making good money that you put down our American made cars? I would thimk Americans would want to keep making cars in this Country and keep the Industry here instead of making other Countries wealthy by buying there cars instead.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Opel's are great ! I had a 1969 Opel mini station wagen in college and it was a blast to take to the beach - good mileage and more room than I needed - you could flip down the read seat and sleep in the thing, and other stuff... THEN - I had a 1970 Opel Kadette with the optional 1.8 litre , 4 banger with a 2 stage carb on it ,4 speed - weighed about 1900 lbs / 115 HP.
      I remember leaving a bar about 1 am up on conn Ave in DC and running up the street 100 feet throwing in 2nd cranking the wheel hard left burned out a complete 180 while rolling and had just hit 3 gear when a cop pulled me over. I began apologizing profusely that it had just "gotten away from me" and all the cop wanted was to see under the hood. I absolutely flogged that car for 111,000 miles and loved it. Damn I wish I had bought the Opel GT with the same running gear - they fetch $30,000 now !!!
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