Spoiler alert: At some point in this review, I am going to make the idiotic suggestion that the Buick Regal GS ought to come with a manual transmission.
I’m assuming you’re all somewhat familiar with the Buick Regal, a lightly Americanized version of the European-market Opel Insignia. By our standards, the Insignia is legitimately European. It’s a hatchback masquerading as a sedan, which is (or at least used to be) a popular bodystyle in Europe. It’s built in Germany, which is more than a lot of BMWs and Benzes can say. By European standards, though, the Insignia is – well, it’s sort of a Buick. It’s wallowy and a bit soft around the tummy.
The GS is the hod-rod model, which dumps the 2.0-liter turbo four and replaces it with a 310 horsepower version of GM’s corporate 3.6-liter V6. It gets a nine-speed auto tranny and all-wheel-drive, bigger front brakes with red-painted Brembo calipers, unique front and rear fascias, and fancier gauges and front seats.
“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving,” Buick’s vice president Duncan Aldred said of the unveiling of the 2018 Buick Regal GS today, “but one that makes every drive special.”
We’ll be the judge of how special a drive the next-generation Buick Regal GS provides in the real world, but the on-paper formula certainly goes down smooth.
Priced at $39,990, the 2018 Buick Regal GS forsakes four-cylinder power in favor of the 3.6-liter V6 we told you about more than three months ago before receiving further confirmation last week. The V6 sends 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Manual option? No.
The GS is the top trim in a lineup that no longer features a true sedan. While the TourX is not destined to receive the GS moniker, this Regal Sportback brings its high-performance derivative under the $40K mark.
Two things leak more than the bathroom faucet at your Great Aunt Martha’s cottage in Saugatuck.
The White House.
It seemed fairly clear three months ago that something was afoot when GM Canada’s Buick.ca website momentarily revealed the 2018 Buick Regal GS’s powertrain: a 3.6-liter V6 and all-wheel drive. But Buick declined to comment, removing from the Canadian website the section that mentioned a V6 offering.
Once again, however, Buick appears to have let the horses out of the barn. Buick’s in-house magazine, B, revealed details ahead of schedule, GM Authority has learned. Rather than the 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder of current GSs that too often feels underwhelmed, B magazine says the 2018 Regal GS, “employs a high-feature V6 engine that furnishes an estimated 310 horsepower.”
The V6 liveth.
Buick did a bad job hiding the fact that a brawny GS variant of its 2018 Regal Sportback is on the way. It accidentally teased the vehicle’s presence on its Canadian website earlier this month before attempting — and failing — to remove all traces of this nugget from the internet.
Well, thanks to the California Air Resources Board, we now have documented proof of the GS’s return. The go-fast Buick will bow as a 2018 model, perhaps concurrently with its liftback and wagon siblings, but don’t expect any drivetrain similarities to the outgoing model.
Can we call it a hot hatch? The next-generation 2018 Buick Regal bowed earlier this week in Sportback and TourX wagon form, but one variant was missing from the spotlight: the go-fast GS model.
While the existing Regal GS makes do with a high-output turbocharged four, a source told us last year the new Regal would offer six-cylinder motivation. So far, the launch date and the TourX wagon variant claims have come to pass, though there’s still no V6 Regal in sight.
Actually, there is. And it happens to be in plain sight.