According to General Motors, the Regal GS is officially the fastest Buick ever made. The sedan's lead development engineer, Bill Rietow, and powertrain drive quality engineer, John Townsend, did their part to support the assertion when they ran the Regal GS in the Nevada Open Road Challenge. The event isn't about all-out speed, but about a driver finishing the course in a pre-set time. It has speed-limited and wide-open sections, and during one flat-out phase the Regal GS hit 162 miles per hour.

The same pair took Most Accurate Rookie honors last year in the 120-mph class, so this year they jumped to the top-tier 135-mph class. They finished second, four-tenths shy of their 40-minute target time over the 90-mile course. Scroll down to see the engineers talking about the course and the car, and for a press release on the achievement.




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Regal GS Hits 162 mph at Nevada Open Road Challenge
Buick luxury sport sedan finishes second in 135-mph class


ELY, Nev. (2012-05-21) – A pair of Buick engineers piloted a stock Regal GS luxury sport sedan to a second-place finish in the 135-mph class of this month's Nevada Open Road Challenge, finishing within 0.4 seconds of their 40-minute target time.

The podium finish follows a first place title claimed by the same team – driver Bill Rietow and navigator John Townsend – in the 120-mph class last fall.

Success was based on balancing low-speed sections of the course with running the Regal at top speed for a period of time. During that segment, a radar trap controlled by race operators verified a speed of 162 mph for the 270-horsepower Buick.

Buick's 2.0L turbocharged engine was named one of WardsAuto World's 2012 "10 Best Engines" for North America.

"The Regal GS is an incredibly capable performance sedan," said Rietow. "In addition to the strong acceleration from the engine, the chassis maintained its composure well while running across these closed public roads at high speeds. Likewise, the Brembo brakes were easy to trust coming hot into a corner."

The Nevada Open Road Challenge takes place on a remote, two-lane, 90-mile-long segment of Nevada State Highway 318. Rather than a test of who finishes a course the fastest, the goal is average speed consistency. Podium finishers often are separated by hundredths of a second.

The Regal GS piloted by Rietow and Townsend was a stock 2012 model, with modifications limited to safety equipment such as a roll hoop and five-point harness seat belts, as well as data collection computers.

Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.


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  • 64 Comments
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 2 Years Ago
      has fangs
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Going 162 is no slouch but the event is a snoozer. If you are trying to average a certain speed, it ain't racing. This goes for Time-Distance rallies and Bracket Drag "Racing". Grow some balls and go as fast as you can.
      Dreez28
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't believe that car goes over 160mph! Damn! Thats impressive.
      Soyntgo4it
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ya thanks to Opel they wouldn't have this car.. Again GM taking someone else's technology and calling it their own..
        Jerry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soyntgo4it
        The 2.0L Ecotec is 100% GMNA, as for the rest of the car... The engine is definitely the best part.
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soyntgo4it
        you really are a stupid idiot aren't you. Opel BELONGS to GM for more than 80 years you moron. Opel is to GM like Buick or Chevrolet etc is to GM, It is a DIVISION of GM. Who allows stupid illiterate morons like you to post on this blog....It's mindboggling how many uneducated people are out there and all they have to do is just look up stuff on Wikipedia...i guess you are a lazy a$$ too, besides being stupid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soyntgo4it
        [blocked]
          Dixon Ticonderoga
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Soyntgo4it Your first source is a three year old story about a failed deal, your second clearly shows that GM is a 100% owner of Opel.
        Slizzo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Soyntgo4it
        Considering Opel is a division of GM, they're not really taking someone else's technology; it's theirs in the first place. But yes, the Insignia is the vehicle this is based off of.
          Soyntgo4it
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Slizzo
          Umm no it is not it belongs to Opel.. Everything they are using now comes from other developers that they have spent buying shares in companies since the bailout. Do you really think GM can build their own cars anymore .. The answer is no they have to go else where to build them and that is why they are buying up stocks in other copies to use their technology. Also without Opel they wouldn't be able to sell any cars over in Europe. GM is all over the place buying up stakes in other companies to build cars. They just can't do alone anymore ...
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, well if it isn't a rebadged Opel Insignia OPC....
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      They're about 50 years late to that party...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jvshenderson
        [blocked]
          jvshenderson
          • 2 Years Ago
          No. All the other drivers who have been going 170+ since the late 50s have probably had more fun than Buick drivers... Don't get me wrong, the Regal GS is a nice car, but the fact that it is the first Buick to break 160 shows a serious lack of performance in the history of their brand, and isn't really something to brag about imo...
      Christopher
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like this Buick. Vvvery stylish inside and out.
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Christopher
        That's because it's a rebadged Opel Insignia - designed in Europe.
          paul3230
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Myself
          Wait what?!...you just contradicted yourself. Earlier you said American's were proud of this lesser acheivement..now someone praises it and you boastfully claim it as European? YES..it came from Europe. YES..it's an Opel. YES..GM owns Opel.
      PatrickH
      • 2 Years Ago
      Given the car's horsepower rating, this news is BARELY noteworthy. Seriously who cares?
      dan1malk
      • 2 Years Ago
      A FWD, four-cylinder luxury sedan going 160mph > A supercharged, huge V8 sports car going 200 mph.
        ngiotta
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dan1malk
        The gap between 160mph and 200mph is huge. Aerodynamics and/or power have to be suited to that speed. I'm assuming you're talking about the GT500 when you say "A supercharged, huge V8 sports car going 200 mph". Mustangs are not huge. If you own one and have a family, you'd know that. I've got an '06GT and it's quite small. I park (and fit) in compact spaces regularly.
          dan1malk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ngiotta
          Huge V8, not car. ...And a Mustang parked in a compact space belongs on Jalopnik's, "Why Mustang Drivers are Asshats." post.
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks like there are hard feelings here for the mere fact that GM is passing a non-premium Opel Insignia in the US of A as a premium Buick. Not so long ago it tried to pass non-premium Opels as budget Saturns... Let's face it, both GM and Ford did the sensible thing and brought superior European models, be it an Insignia, Focus or Fiesta Stateside to have something to put against Japanese and Koreans. It saved their collective arses by having global models instead of separate cars for different continents. I applaud the business decision, I just frown at a curious badge engineering execise the GM is performing.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        [blocked]
          Kai F. Lahmann
          • 2 Years Ago
          Well, if they really kill Opel in Europe (which is a common rumour), it would also mean the end for Buick...
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      Even though GM dropped the ball on the complete package for this car, it's hard not to look at the GS and instantly like it. The styling is just aggressive enough , while still reaming classy. If only AWD was apart of the equation, I think they would gotten more than a few A4 conquests and considerations.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Autoblogist
          • 2 Years Ago
          Nah, I was always bearish on the turbo six. It was thirstier, more lag and and heavier. We already know from the Cobalt SS that 2.0 ecotec had gobs of potential. An easy reflash would put it well over 300hp. The missing torque vectoring Haldex AWD, system isnt so easy to overcome. Without a doubt it would've transform the GS's performance.
      CJ_S4
      • 2 Years Ago
      This challenge looks like a ton of fun. Drive your car 130+ for 40 minutes straight with a few twisties to keep it interesting.
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