• Jan 4, 2011
1987 Buick Grand National vs. 2011 Buick Regal Turbo – Click above to watch video after the jump

When General Motors first announced that Americans would once again be able to get their power-hungry hands on a turbocharged Buick, enthusiast minds immediately leapt to visions of a modern day Grand National. Now, however, it's clear that the new Regal Turbo isn't exactly the second coming of old-school forced-induction glory. That hasn't stopped the crew at Inside Line from lining the two up on the quarter mile and sharing their exploits with the world. The editors chose an '87 Grand National as the representative of the old-school set, and predictably, it puts the new-age Regal CXL Turbo in its place without breaking a sweat down the quarter mile.

Even so, the 2011 Regal Turbo managed to pull off wins in both the slalom and skid pad as well as brake tests, but both results are of little surprise given that the new Regal Turbo has the benefit of over 20 years of technology on its side. You can head over to Inside Line for the full skinny on how both vehicles performed under the scrutiny of IL testing. Hit the jump to check out the quarter-mile video, too. Thanks for the tip, Brandon!

[Source: Inside Line]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      aaron
      • 4 Years Ago
      Everyone forgets about the buick GSX the fastest production muscle car of the 70s. I own a a 1970 GS and an 87 t-type. I will keep these cars forever. These new buicks are throw away cars and will not be remembered in 20 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @aaron
        @Aaron, thank you, I was about to mention the GSX. Although, actually, the GS Stage 1 is very slightly faster, since it deletes a few weighty interior options.

        What's sad is that this test is completely meaningless. They're testing the GN, wich is a near-top-option package, against a base-model new Regal. If they want the test to mean something, they should test a base-vs-base, in which case the new Regal would obliterate the old 305-powered base Regal. Or test the upcoming GS, which will have a more powerful turbo 4. Of course, if GM hadn't (stupidly) canned the idea of bringing over the V6 that Vauxhall gets, the new GS wouldn't just smoke the GN, but the GNX as well.

        But, it is sad that Buick's new model, even if it a base model, is actually slower than my 11 year old Park Ave Ultra was when it was stock.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My Pontiac G8 blows both of them away.

      To bad GM killed it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, I meant GN... My bad...
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's what I drive... With Chevy coming out and saying they're bring my favorite Holden back, I know what I'm buying next... lol

        Now lets do a corner to corner 45mph frontal impact test with the two. Much like the Belair/Malibu test you can view on YouTube if you haven't. AMAZING! People think the old iron is safer.

        CXL against a Regal GS? WTH? Lets at least wait till the new GS comes out.

        Those old GS's were fast in a straight line yes... Sucked for everything else including the interior.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear lord, I love the Grand National. It was at its peak glory when I was in high school, and I would get every Motor Trend or Car and Driver that had any info or pictures of it. One of them described it as "Darth Vader's personal car". I'm a sucker for big, intimidating, evil-looking cars. I don't care that it can't handle, doesn't have bluetooth or nav, and is rude and crude. I was still drive one for my daily driver and have the biggest grin while doing it.

      The new one? Meh. I would probably be a lot more interested if it had the turbo V6. Or if the turbo 4 hadn't been de-tuned to a lame 220HP. Isn't this the same engine that put out 260HP in the Cobalt SS? When you have engines like the Hyundai 2.0T pushing 274 HP, suddenly 220HP looks lame.
      • 4 Years Ago
      After 24 model years, and the Grand National is still the only Buick I would ever want or desire. The looks, the sounds, the performance - yeah, I love the '87 Grand National.
      • 4 Years Ago
      #1. There's way too many people here using the Grand National and GNX names interchangeably. Two different cars folks.
      #2. Anybody who feels the old 80's GM G-bodies were great cars is kind of kidding themselves. I owned several during that period and was more than happy to get rid of them.
      #3. The ONLY reason the Grand Nationals stood out from the crowd was the engine output. Notice I didn't just say "the engine". That's because it wasn't anything amazing. Most barely made it to 60,000 miles before coming apart, and that's what anyone who knew the engine would expect anyway. Face it, they stressed the hell out of that engine to get the power, and it came at a price.

      Bottom line, Buick wanted to make a statement, and they did. But, just because they boosted the 3.8 V6 to within an inch of it's life, doesn't make the car any better.
      Hell, the Pontiac Grand Prix had a much nicer interior, and was otherwise identical yet, because it only had the NA 3.8 V6 or the Chevy 5.0 V8, it is totally over-looked.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 2011 Regal winning in the slalom, skid pad and brake tests really
      shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, considering those tests are
      generally more indicative of tire quality than suspension/handling
      ability. Would be interesting to see how they compared around a
      circuit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Holy Crap the new regal is SLOW. My stock V6 4spd Fiero GT does 0-60 in 7.6 seconds and Quarter mile in 15.74 @87 MPH. wow....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Regardless of the same name, 2 entirely different cars. The GNX is a 2-dr, the new a 4-dr. The old one is pure drag muscle, the new one just a sporty sedan with above-average (but not overwhelming) power.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My mom was actually pregnant with me when her '85 Grand National caught on fire on the highway here in town. She was able to pull over and get out but the car wasn't so lucky. The interior burned completely and my mom was out of one nice car. It turns out my stupid father left an oily rag in the glovebox and I assume while my mom was driving it, a short near the box sparked the rag, which in turn started the fire. *sigh* I could have been the only guy in my high school driving that car had it not burned up...
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's ok. As I recall, the '85 was a slug. Wasn't 'til they offered the intercooled version in '86 that the car got seriously fast.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ John,
      While not a Park Avenue in the Buick (C, H, G, N, X, J) Scheme of things, the Regal was no where near an entry level car that it now is. When the GN/GNX were introduced, they were show stoppers and their looks backed up their performance! The GN/GNX induced lust of ownership just sitting on the showroom floor.

      They were so fast out of the box, Mustang's and Camaro's wouldn't even try unless they had Mickey Thompson slicks on a 4 link back axle and some gas aiding combustion. If Buick were serious about performance, the 2.0L DI turbo would have more HP & Torque than the now retired Cobalt SS not de-tuned to 220HP.

      The new Regal is a nice car to look at, but hardly qualifies as the show stopper it once was. I KNOW it is not a direct replacement but I am not the one hinting or banking on the performance coattails of the previous millenium. I actually do like the new car with its 6 speed manual transmission - but much prefer the Wagon version already cruising the streets of the EU.

      By the way, how come the new smaller car weighs more than the old technology?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Apples to oranges.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So what they are saying is that the 2011 Regal is no faster than my quad-cab Dodge Dakota?
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