By on November 4, 2010

Pity the Buick Regal GS. Since the idea of a hotted-up Opel Insignia was floated for the US market, fans imagined that Opel’s epic Insignia OPC would be headed stateside, complete with 325 horsepower, 2.8 liter turbocharged V6 and all wheel drive. Buick reps quickly ruled out the turbo-six engine, as GM’s corporate order demanded that the engine be limited to “premium” Cadillac and Saab models. Then we found out that the Regal GS would have the same turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder engine found in its Regal Turbo sister model, tuned from 220 to 255 horsepower, leading us to conclude that

That engine can reportedly be tuned to an easy 310 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, making the “base” Regal CXL with the 220 hp 2.0T engine a much smarter buy. Unless the idea of tuning a Buick is simply more cognitive dissonance than you can handle. Otherwise, the only thing the GS really brings to the table is AWD and a bodykit with more front-end venting than the United States Senate.

Well, now it’s time to knock another item off the list: Automotive News [sub] reports that the GS will not get AWD because

We really don’t think consumers will want that feature… It does take away from some of the performance capability of the vehicle.

Which is doubly strange considering that AN is forced to note that

The Regal GS will accelerate slightly slower than expected, with estimates having it reach 60 mph at less than seven seconds. In January, executives said the production car would accelerate about one second faster.

D’oh! With the Regal Turbo hitting 60 in about 7.5 seconds, it’s beginning to look like the GS really is all about the bodykit. The saddest part of all this: the GS will still technically be “the sportiest Buick ever,” and will certainly be marketed as such, just as the Regal Turbo is now.

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70 Comments on “Buick Regal GS: No AWD, One Second Slower Than Projected...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    I am sure that Buick will be charging a “premium” price on it, so why not give it all the goods? Someone should remind GM that the new Sonata 2.0T Limited costs only $30k including navigation! And it will have more power and better economy.

    • 0 avatar

      People immediately compare the Regal  to the Sonata Turbo.

      The Sonata is a nice car for a low price but the interior is nowhere near as nice as the Regal. Everything in the Sonata feels cheaper. In the Buick, however, I was immediately able to see where the premium $4000 went.

      autoblog has the Buick at 6.7 seconds 0-60. I’m going to wait for Inside Line to do their track test because the Sonata only got a 6.6second  on its 0-60.

      ANY car that claims “PERFORMANCE” and does 0-60 in more than 5 seconds is a joke.

      The mere fact the Buick has Brembo breaks, goodyear All weather tires and optional Pirelli’s lets me know where the extra cash went. Sonata is a lower end car than the Regal and I don’t think its fair to crosshop it because i seriously dobt anyone looking at a Buick will be.

      Compare the Sonata to a CamCordZashi or something…

      Sonata review:  http://www.epinions.com/content_504784391812

      Buick Regal:  http://www.epinions.com/content_513739755140

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      To me 0-60 is a useless stat (used by people to bench race cars based on their statistics) – to be considered a performance car you must also be able to turn and brake well in a controlled and predictable fashion.  I’ve driven neither so cannot comment on either.  Though I do see the Buick as promising car from a brand I’ve long since associated as the car of choice with retirement home occupants.

    • 0 avatar

      Jaje
       
      I think the average driver needs more important stats too.
      0-60,  60 – 0,   0-30 and 30 – 0  seem more important  than just 0-60.  This way, you know braking power and acceleration right away.
      Performance cars should be measured in 0 -60, 0-100,  60-0, 100 – 0  in America.   100 is an obviously illegal speed though.

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    Perhaps we’ll see the Buick OPC version in 2013, if the GS sells well enough.

  • avatar
    the duke

    Regal GS, the sportiest Buick ever?  Apparently the Grand National and GNX never happened, because just like GM politics prevent the new Regal GS from having a turbo V-6 (GNX what?), no GM car was ever supposed to be faster than the Corvette.  Shame on you GNX for being faster than the Corvette, we now deny your existence.

  • avatar
    ajla

    *Facepalm*
     
    We should have got the OPC in the first place.  This is just GM laziness.
     
    If it okay for the $23K Camaro to have the same engine as the uplevel option on the $42K+ CTS Sedan/Wagon, then why can’t an uplevel $35K Buick have the same engine as a $50K SRX?  It isn’t like the Regal is going to cannibalize SRX sales.

    I personally don’t care for AWD, but many people seem to need it. Plus, 295lb-ft@2500 through the front wheels is a recipe for bad torque steer if HiPerStrut isn’t magical.

    • 0 avatar
      John R

      Me thinks they’re more worried about this car, or rather, the prospect of an AWD 330hp Regal cannibalizing CTS sales.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @John R:
       
      If that’s true (and it makes sense), then why not just say that?  Why bother with all the “our 2.8T is only for the premium stuff” nonsense?
       
      At least GM won’t have to worry about the Regal GS cannibalizing anything.

  • avatar
    vvk

    So, does Regal Turbo get manual gearbox and HiPerStrut as well? Because these are the two most important features GS has.
     
    I am so glad they dropped AWD.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    L-A-M-E. The 97-04 Regal GS hit 60 in 6.6 seconds. The Regal LS did it in 7.8. 

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The car weighs 3600 lbs; its performance with 255 HP should be no surprise.  Maybe there are reliability problems with a hotter engine.
     
    I agree with Buick on the AWD; it doesn’t really add much except repair headaches and expense.
     
    The typical Buick customer won’t have a problem with these choices, but GM won’t endear the brand to a younger audience without offering the best toys.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Oh yeah, we forgot. the 2.8 turbo goes BOOM if you forget to put premium gas in.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      You guys complaining about the engine “only” making 255 hp – it’s the same power as the BMW 330i makes.

      You want 325 hp & AWD? That’s an Audi S4, which would means the little Buick would sticker around $50k, maybe more, depending on features and such.

      Buick needs to walk before it runs, so let’s sell a few GS at $40k, before trying for $50k.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Well, I’m certain in GM’s infinite wisdom, that there’s a logical line of reasoning for their decision as to why the much-ballyhooed GS will be slightly slower than originally planned/hyped!

      Maybe…

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect that the problem is price. They figured out that no one was interested in a $40,000 Buick Regal.

  • avatar

    The typical Buick customer isn’t going to buy this car anyway.  New customers will pass on it because it’s performance is lame and it’s going to be expensive for what it is.  GM completely blew it with this car.

    It needed to be exactly the same as the OPC Insignia with a Buick grille on it.  Not too tough to tack that one and import them right?  Well, when you’re GM I guess it is too tough afterall.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      The OPC lists for $45k EUROS, or nearly $65k USD.

      Nobody is going to be paying that kind of money for a little Buick next year.

      Even at $50-$55k, that’s too much to ask for a Buick right now. Later, sure, just not right now.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @SVX Pearlie:
       
      You can’t just convert European prices directly to US dollars.  The price for the base Insignia in Europe (which is way under-equipped compared to the base Regal here) converts to about $31K USD.
       
      The Saab Turbo X was the closest thing to the OPC sold in the US, and it cost about $42K.  The S4, CTS 3.6L AWD, and 335ixDrive all start under $46K, and GM would be crazy to price a Regal starting above that.   I’d expect a Regal OPC would be priced starting very near $40K.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      You can get the brand new Saab 9-5 XWD 2.8T Aero for $43,000 before you start negotiating. MSRP is almost 10 grand higher, but the value just isn’t there with any of this GM engineered stuff. They need to start TRYING to do their best. It still wouldn’t be good enough, but it would obviously come closer.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      SVX – you can’t do a straight currency conversion.  You’d have to get the price of a Buick and Opel that are comparable and offered in both countries to see a ballpark of what the conversion factor would be.  There are all kinds of different taxes tacked on in Europe that we don’t see in the states.  An STI in England is like 28000 pounds.  An STI in the US is $34000.  That is far from the $1.60/GBP that is the current exchange rate. 

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      My point is that a full-on OPC is a Buick that GM would have to price around $50k US, unless they play BMW-like games with megabuck options while listing the base car as a stripper that you can’t even factory order. In that case, we’re talking as-tested prices of $55k.

      Where are you guys getting the idea that GM should sell their cars cheaply, far below the competition?

    • 0 avatar

      SVX, the Regal GS is the full-on OPC except they took out the V6 and AWD.  For what GM will be asking for the GS you can find other cars that offer more performance and AWD or more luxury leaving the GS in a very bad position.

      There’s no reason in the world this car could not have been offered with a turbo V6 and AWD.  People expect that at the price point of this car.  The young people GM wants to attract to Buick are internet savvy as well, they are going to know the version of the car GM is selling here is badly neutered. 

      This was a great car for GM to ruin and ruin it they did. 

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      @TriShield: Do you even read what you write?

      That’s like saying a STi without the DCCD and turbo is still a STi, an AMG is an AMG without the 6.3, and a CTS-V doesn’t need the blower.

      An OPC without the 325 hp engine and AWD simply isn’t a “full-on” OPC.

  • avatar
    MasterOfTheJawan

    where the hell is all the weight coming from?!!!??? This thing weighs 3600lbs with an aluminum 4 cylinder… The old W body regal with the all cast-iron 3800 weighed 200lbs less!

  • avatar
    segfault

    Yawn.  Why buy this over a Sonata?  And other than styling, why buy it over an Acura?

    Looking at the dimensions of the Regal and Lacrosse, I’m not sure why Buick needs two cars that are almost exactly the same size.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      It is a close runner to the Sonata, but Acuras are way over priced and definitely ugly.
       
      But, if you actually get into a Regal and LaCrosse, you will not say that they are the same size.  Not even close.  Much more roomy interior on the LaCrosse.

  • avatar
    carguy

    There is much more to a car than the 0-60 time. Let’s all hold off on judgement until we get our hands on it.

  • avatar
    Dr.Nick

    Dagnabbit! My plans for a 500hp AWD Buick Porsche destroyer have been relinquished to the dustbin of history.  Oh, General Motors, you are too cruel.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I’ll add another yawn and another Sonata shoutout. Hey GM, what’s the EPA estimates?
     
    $24K will buy a Sonata 2.0T SE with 274HP and 33MPG, better hire some new engineers GM!

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The 2011 Optima EX Turbo will be joining the party sometime this month.

    • 0 avatar
      Ian Anderson

      I forgot about that thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      You can shout out the Sonata all you like. Fact is the Sonata turbo beat ANY mid size car – so not just Buick. If you think people are fools to consider the Regal instead of the Sonata turbo then you must think the same for any A4, TSX, TL, Maxima, Fusion, Accord etc buyer.
       
      Also as others have said 0-60 is not the most important part of a performance car. 30-60 is just as important and this car has almost as much torque as a 335i. Handling, ride, steering feel are all important and the Regal beats the Sonata on that too. There is a reason the Isignia was European Car of the Year. Remind me how the Sonata sells over in Europe.

  • avatar
    photog02

    An Insignia OPC with a Buick badge? Awesome!
    An Insignia OPC with a soup’d up four banger? Well… ok!
    An Insignia with a body kit? Um… No thanks.

  • avatar

    At least the last Regal GS had a supercharged 3800 to give it some sort of performance bonafides over the LS.
    This looks more like my 92 GS, which was just an up-level trim with leather seating and full dash instrumentation.  Only the more youthful among the golfing set will graviate towards this car, if they haven’t already bought a Sonata or an Acura.

  • avatar
    John R

    Wow. This is a real shame! A Sonata/Optima Turbo with summer tires will probably cost less and be faster. So much for a Buick “S4″.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If the blown 2.8L is the same engine as in the Saab 9-3 then this might not be a bad thing: it’s a heavy little bugger (and this chassis needs no more excuses to understeer) and I do recall the four-cylinder Saabs being much more fun to drive despite being down on power by a good margin.
     
    What Cadillacs get the turbo 2.8, by the way?

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Just the SRX turbo. Not many people cross-shopping that with the Regal.

      The CTS is completely different, so I don’t buy the nonsense about this cannibalizing sales of it. Very few would consider a base CTS (which looks fug with those wheels, BTW) with the top-level, AWD turbo Regal-that-isn’t.

      And I’m willing to bet most people ponying up for the uplevel 3.6L CTS (the LaCrosse shares this engine – what about sales cannibalization there???) aren’t cross-shopping it with a smaller, AWD, turbo sport sedan.

      GM, you either need to position your brands like you’ve been saying you’re going to for a decade, or axe more of them. It’s simple! If you fear making Buick a true Acura/Audi competitor will cannibalize Cadillac sales, then Buick has no reason to exist, as Cadillac can fulgill that role.

      What are Harvard and Yale teaching in their MBA programs these days?? This is basic business sense.

      What Rush Limbaugh says must be true: it’s easier to buy a big-name degree than to earn a lower-tier one.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Another vote against plopping in a heavy engine with a bodacious hp rating. Too many of GM’s past special models, i.e. FWD with a super charged 3800, were fast in a straight line, but the chassis and handling were rubbish.
       
      A 2.0 turbo is a better fit for this platform.  If I want a V6, I’d rather have the La Crosse.

  • avatar
    Terry

    When someone says they are saving parts for a “premium” model, I get the feeling that all other models are “standard or even “substandard”. Kinda like GMC trucks being touted as “Professional Grade”. I guess that means Chevrolet trucks are for amateurs.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I don’t think the lack of AWD is going to be a handicap.  Sure, it would not hurt to make it optional, but for most, the need for AWD is more Madison Avenue than blizzard.  The loss of the second of speed is more of an issue, but even with that, 7.5 to sixty is more than adequate and I’d be willing to bet that the people who actually buy this car would prefer the extra couple of MPGs over the extra second of speed.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    I am not getting it; this is a Buick for 75 year old ladies who want sports car performance?

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    0-60mph in 7.5 seconds isn’t all that bad. For 1973. FWD, really? This car is going to get trashed in the press. Not looking good Buick. Not looking good!

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    No AWD?
     
    Good…people who don’t know how to drive need AWD (and FWD for that matter).

  • avatar
    LALoser

    I am really bummed. My next car to buy is a 2011, and my requirements are: AWD, appx 300HP, and if possible a 6M. The Regal GS was in pole position, no kidding. The Acura TSX is a distance 3rd because of ugly. In second place is the Fusion, but only available in auto…. Get with GM, now the Regal GS is another blandmobile in a sea of sameness.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr.Nick

      Your G37x is calling.

    • 0 avatar
      LALoser

      I looked at the G37x before, and it had the best interior, but seemed tight. I have a 4 YO to get in and out of the back…but it needs another look. The infinity dealer here is very good from what I hear.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Subaru Legacy GT.

      It will run rings around Grannies Buick

    • 0 avatar
      Robstar

      I was going to say “STI” but it’s probably too small for you.  That being said it’s a fun car if you don’t mind spending a metric butt-load on gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Yup, G37X is your best bet. We have two kids: 4 YO and 3 MO, we have plenty of room in our 98 TL and 07 Outback. Those are both equally narrow as the G37X (as they both fall within Japanese designed and not American designed models…ie, more narrow). You’ll have plenty of room for your kiddo. If anything, the Regal would probably be no bigger.

      You want a bigger car that meets most of your requirements…Legacy GT, CTS-4, or SHO.

      The Legacy will slot, in size, right between the G37X/TSX/Regal and Taurus. As will the CTS-4, but for a higher price (probably equal to the G37X).

      Finally, if you want all your requirements: G37X and LGT. I’d much rather have the manual than the 300 hp, shoot 200 hp is fine for me on a daily basis…and I live in Boise where the traffic isn’t really that bad and the roads are either tight and curvy with 45mph limits, or flat and boring with 75mph limits.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I think I’d rather have the reworked 2011 Avenger with the pentastar. 283 hp, 6.5 seconds to 60, 29 mpg, and probably cheaper by quite a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Did you really just say that?!?! My day’s been made.
       
      200 gets my vote– it’ll have the more femme look this Buick’s got, and the same engine and such. Now, if FIAT would just give us a 3-pedal model in the Chrysler body– the world would be a better place.

  • avatar
    craiger

    Is their an MBA class where they teach auto execs how to destroy a company?
     
    Signed,
    A former lifelong GM customer, as my father before me.
    1967 Impala, 1973 Catalina, 1975 Delta 88, 1984 Camaro, 1989 Camaro, 1989 Saab, 1992 Saturn, 2001 BMW, 2004 BMW, 2006 Porsche, 2007 Mazda

  • avatar
    johnnyreno700

    I have my doubts that a truly hot Buick Regal would cut into Cadillac sales.  People who want Cadillacs buy Cadillacs.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Not all. If the price of this loaded Regal is in the 37 thousand dollar range, Grandpa can get himself into a CTS for that kind of money if he doesn’t live in the snowbelt.

      Then there is the upcoming ATS which could put the final nail in the Regals coffin.

      Grandpas got a lot of choices.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      It would attract people put off by Cadillac styling; not everyone wants a brick with tiny windows.  A big part of any car is its looks, and the Regal and CTS should be far apart enough so that a common engine doesn’t get in the way.  And it’s not like you can get a CTS-4 with a manual anyway, I think.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    I give it 2 years tops before Government Motors pulls the plug on the Regal experiement and will blame the buying public on its failure stating that they did exactly what buyers were asking for (rebadging carbon copies of cars from Europe) and we didn’t accept it as a proper replacement for our beloved Pontiacs.

  • avatar

    Well I guess its probably the best handling Buick ever. Maybe. All of the BS spewing from Buick Central makes me want the LaCrosse Super with an LS-4. I’d get over the (mild?) torque steer just to have a truly fast and 100% American feeling V8 Buick.
     
    Worth a revisit: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/2008-buick-lacrosse-super-review/

  • avatar
    iMatt

    You know, all this talk about the-real-deal Regal GS stealing sales from Cadillac has people worried, what about the customers that would be cross shopping from other brands? Its not just Cadillac buyers looking for a 300+ hp AWD 6MT car! ;)
    Also, imagine if you couldn’t get the 3.5l v6 in a Toyota Camry because that engine was only reserved for Lexus buyers? Or what if Ford’s “premium” eco-boost engines were only offered with a giant Lincoln badge… Snobbery!
    Take a look around GM…its the masses that make your business and demand the best, not just the “elite” Cadillac buyers!
     

  • avatar
    CMK

    Forget “shooting themselves in the foot” – GM has hacked its foot to ribbons with a rusty axe on this one. It’s just pure shadenfreude to see how much self-loathing GM has.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I haven’t seen the car yet, and I’ll probably go look at it in a few years when my Audi will need replacing.  For myself I don’t want AWD but I really do want a manual box.  Sorry Buick but I’m old school.  You do understand old school, don’t you Buick?

  • avatar
    jeremyk

    I work for GM and was very excited about this car, but NO AWD?  WTF?
    This would have been my next car.  No way I’m buying one now.  How can we claim to compete with Audi if we don’t offer AWD as an option.  Sooo, disappointed.  No driving enthusiast is going to take this car seriously now.  AWD was the only hope for those of us that want more than a high priced body kit.


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