2010 Detroit Auto Show: Buick Regal GS Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 29, 2010

The Buick Regal GS unveiled a stick-shift sedan at the Detroit Auto Show that is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than six seconds. Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for global mid-sized architecture at General Motors Co., said that he is convinced that launching a vehicle such as this would upgrade Buick's performance image immediately.

The GS, which stands for Grand Sport, was a badge worn by Buick's performance cars in the 1960s and '70s. The 2011 Regal is based on GM's global mid-sized front-drive platform and is essentially a rebadged Opel Insignia.

Almost all of the Regal GS performance upgrades have been adopted from the Insignia OPC, which is currently sold in Europe. The Regal will be available starting in the second quarter while the Regal GS production vehicle is expected next year.

Instead of rear drive and a V-8, the Regal GS has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating an estimated 255 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque.

The Regal GS has an adaptive all-wheel-drive system that includes an electric limited slip rear differential. The GS concept is equipped with Brembo brakes that have 14 x 1.2-inch rotors; four-piston, high-strength aluminum calipers; and performance high-speed pads.

In this concept, the driver can select one of three operating modes -- normal, sport or GS -- to change suspension settings, throttle response, shift pattern and steering sensitivity.

Press Release

Buick Regal GS Concept

With an estimated 255 turbocharged horsepower (190 kW), a six-speed manual transmission and an advanced, adaptive all-wheel-drive system, the Buick Regal GS Concept is a high-tech, high-performance version of the brand's newest sport sedan. It was introduced at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.

The mechanical elements were developed with the aim of delivering a driving experience that is sporting, confidence-inspiring and refined. It has a performance-oriented drivetrain, a lowered body and lower center of gravity. Exterior and interior cues include two additional vertical front air intakes; large, forged aluminum 20-inch wheels and performance tires; a racing-inspired sport steering wheel and metal pedals. Recaro high-performance front seats feature four-way lumbar support and cushion extensions.

"We designed the Buick Regal GS to explore the appeal of a high-performance variant of the Regal," said Craig Bierley, product marketing director for Buick. "Like the Regal, the Regal GS is based on the award-winning Opel Insignia, and we believe it will reinvigorate Buick's storied Gran Sport legacy."

The Buick Regal GS exterior is distinguished by vertical air inlets in the front fascia, as well as unique rocker panels, an integrated rear spoiler, dual exhaust outlets, Olympic White paint and satin metallic accents.

"The idea behind the Buick Regal GS was taking the production model in a more aggressive direction to appeal to performance enthusiasts," said John Cafaro, Buick design director. "But along with its aggressive stance, there's sophisticated style in the design that complements the driving experience."

Inside, the Buick Regal GS varies from the standard Regal by featuring a completely jet black interior, including the pillars and headliner, sport shifter for the six-speed manual transmission and a suede-covered, flat-bottom steering wheel reminiscent of those used in international racing series. The instrument panel glows ice blue when the driver engages the sport mode of the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS).

Turbocharged AWD performance

Power for the Buick Regal GS comes from a high-output 2.0L Ecotec turbocharged engine with direct-injection technology. It is based on the engine that will be offered on Regal CXL models later this summer, but the engine and turbocharger are tuned to deliver greater boost pressure in the GS. The output is estimated at 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm).

The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that directs torque to an adaptive all-wheel-drive system calibrated for performance driving. An electronic, limited-slip rear differential helps ensure the engine's power is distributed effectively during cornering.

The high-performance drivetrain is expected to enable the Buick Regal GS to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. That performance is complemented by a four-wheel-independent suspension, with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) design in front. The HiPerStrut system helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering. This improves ultimate grip levels in dry and wet conditions, as well as improves the direct feel of the road, while isolating undesirable feedback. Behind the wheel the driver experiences reduced torque steer, improved grip and increased cornering power, along with crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.

The Buick Regal GS features a high-performance Brembo brake system with 14 x 1.2-inch (355 x 32 mm) cross-drilled rotors; four-piston, high-strength aluminum calipers, and high-performance pads.

The Buick Regal GS is also equipped with Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology (also offered on Regal CXL models with the 2.0L turbo engine). It delivers enhanced vehicle stability and greater driving safety, while also adapting the driving characteristics of the car to the driver's preferences. The driver selects among three operating modes - normal, sport and GS - that change the suspension settings, throttle response and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system.

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