Buick will launch two new Regal models for the 2012 model year, one focused on efficiency, the other on performance. The Regal eAssist uses General Motors' new mild-hybrid technology to deliver up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway (25 mpg in the city), and the Regal GS ups the sedan's performance prowess.
When it hits dealerships, the 2012 Regal eAssist will be priced from $29,530, including $860 in destination charges. The eAssist option is available as a $2,000 option on the base Regal, and GM will continue to offer both the standard 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine in the car, as well as the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit.
The 2012 Regal GS will be the top model in the sedan's range, with pricing starting at $35,310 (also including the $860 destination charge). For the GS, Buick has boosted the output of its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, producing 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque in this application. The Regal GS will launch exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, though a six-speed automatic unit will be available later in the model year.
Both the eAssist and GS models will arrive at Buick dealerships in the fall. Follow the jump for GM's official pricing release.
Arrival of fuel-efficient eAssist and performance-oriented GS broaden Regal's reach
DETROIT – Buick's Regal offerings will double this fall, with the arrival of the new technologically advanced 2012 Regal with eAssist and the performance-oriented 2012 Regal GS, which are expected to broaden the appeal of the hot-selling midsize luxury sport sedan.
Regal with eAssist will start at $29,530, and Regal GS will start at $35,310; both prices include $860 in destination charges. The eAssist system is a $2,000 option on the Regal base model, mated to a 2.4L Ecotec engine. Buick will continue to offer the base model without eAssist as well as the 2.0L turbo.
"Regal with eAssist and Regal GS offer distinct advantages to midsize luxury sport sedan customers," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. "The eAssist's advanced technology delivers the most fuel-efficient option, while the high-output GS is the sportiest expression of Regal to date."
Regal with eAssist uses a variety of advanced technologies and body enhancements to deliver an EPA-rated 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the latter being unsurpassed by the higher-priced Lexus HS Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. With gas prices near $4 a gallon, the option on Regal should pay for itself in about 3 ½ years.
The fuel economy boost that Regal with eAssist offers comes from pairing the direct-injected 2.4L four-cylinder Ecotec engine with a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator that enables regenerative braking capability. This "light electrification" system also is available on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse.
Standard features with the eAssist system include driver-selectable, fuel economy-optimizing mode for the air conditioning system, enabling more frequent and longer-duration engine stop periods; ECO gauge on the instrument panel that continuously responds to driving behavior, enabling the driver to drive with greater efficiency; and powerflow readout in the color infotainment or driver information center that shows the flow of energy through the electric assist system, such as battery charging from regeneration and electric power directed to the engine.
Regal GS has been SAE-certified to deliver 270 horsepower (201kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400Nm). Its exclusive Ecotec 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers more torque than Acura TSX V-6, Audi A4 Sport, Lexus IS 250 and Volvo S60 T5. Torque is the twisting force that gets a vehicle moving and what the driver feels when accelerating.
The GS's engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, and gets an estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic transmission will be available later in the model year. The GS powertrain is covered by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Regal GS also features push-button start; a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sport steering wheel with audio controls; metal sport pedals; and leather-appointed, heated and 12-way adjustable sport seating. A Harman Kardon premium 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix Surround Sound system with nine speakers is also standard.
Regal GS is also equipped with an Interactive Drive Control System, which adapts damping and other driving functions that allows the driver to choose a standard adaptive setting, a Sport mode, and a GS mode, which is tuned for those who enjoy a higher level of ride and handling performance.
Other standard features on Regal GS include front and rear ultrasonic parking assist, a 120-volt accessory power outlet, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, and 19-inch alloy wheels; 20-inch polished alloys with summer-only performance tires are available.
Later in the year, Regal GS and Regal with eAssist both will come with standard Buick IntelliLink, which uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver's smartphone to a new 7-inch, high-resolution, full-color touch screen display radio. IntelliLink expands on Buick's current Bluetooth and USB capabilities to allow smartphone control via voice activation and steering wheel-mounted controls. It also enables streaming stereo audio from the phone through services like PANDORA® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®.
Most important, Buick IntelliLink enables seamless integration of stowed portable devices with each vehicle's infotainment system, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
"As is the case on all Regal models, the GS and eAssist offer the winning combination of advanced technology, no-compromise driving performance, luxurious style and passenger comfort that make Buick one of the fastest growing automotive brands in North America," DiSalle said.