GM shows off new 2012 Buick Regal GS at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 11, 2011

At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, General Motors displayed the new Buick Regal GS, one of the most awaited models this year. It is expected to start selling in the second half of 2011. The vehicle is equipped with the Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine that is partnered to a six-speed manual transmission.

The vehicle delivers 255hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, which enables the vehicle to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in less than seven seconds. Drivers can adjust the suspension settings and steering sensitivity of the new GS between three modes: standard, sport and GS.

The car has unique front and rear fascias, with the front fascia integrating prominent, vertical air intake slots and specific grille treatment. In addition, the vertical elements are accented in a satin-metallic finish.

For a sporty feeling, the GS has a lower ride height than other models and it rides on 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels and all-season tires. But the buyer may instead opt for the 20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels with performance tires.

The highlights of its interior include a racing-inspired, flat-bottom sport steering wheel and metal sport pedals, as well as leather-appointed 12-way power-adjustable sport driver and front passenger heated seats, which include four-way power lumbar.

The black interior is accented with satin-finish elements on the instrument panel, steering wheel and console. And when the driver engages the GS mode of the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS), the instrument panel glows white.

Powertrain

The new Buick Regal GS is powered by a version of the Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged DOHC VVT engine that is fitted with direct injection technology. Derived from the engine that will power the Regal CXL later this year, this Ecotec 2.0L powerplant and its turbocharger have been tuned to provide higher boost pressure, delivering up to 255 hp (190 kW) in output and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque.

The engine was also able to achieve higher power, thanks to a three-inch-diameter exhaust system that allows for reduced back pressure. With the help of direct injection technology, the engine is able to provide a combination of higher power, higher efficiency, similar fuel economy and lower emissions. In fact, this engine version emits 25-percent less hydrocarbon during cold starts compared to the base version.

Thanks to variable valve timing, elements like power, efficiency and emissions have been optimized across the entire rpm band. This version of the Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged DOHC VVT engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission, as standard.

Buick will make available a six-speed automatic transmission later. Featuring a long wheelbase of 107.8 inches (2,738 mm), the Regal GS rides on a four-wheel-independent suspension that features a High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension design. This system could lower torque steer while maintaining negative camber during cornering, which means improved grip and higher cornering power as well as sharper handling, more precise steering and feedback.

The four-link independent rear suspension on the Regal GS has been designed to minimize the possibility of unwanted toe and camber effects during maneuvers, thereby improving vehicle stability. Both of its front and rear dampers feature active Computer Damping Control (CDC), which constantly modifies damper characteristics to keep optimal vehicle ride control even on rough road surfaces and profiles.

Drivers could choose performance-oriented damping characteristics just by accessing Interactive Driver Control System. Deceleration and braking are being taken care of a large diameter four-wheel disc brake system that comes with Brembo front calipers. Its standard four-channel anti-lock brake system has been calibrated to be able to further stopping distances on varying road surfaces and conditions.

It features an electronic parking brake that can be activated through a center console-mounted control. Also provided as standard on the Regal GS is the StabiliTrak stability control system featuring integrated traction control. Mike Anderson, Ecotec global chief engineer and program manager, remarked that the Regal GS turbo certainly combines the responsiveness and acceleration of a 3.5L V6 and the fuel economy of a 2.0L four-cylinder engine.

Press Release

2012 Buick Regal GS

Buick revealed the production version of the 2012 Buick Regal GS, an even sportier expression of the Regal sport sedan that went on sale in 2010 and has attracted new buyers to the Buick family. Powered by a high-output, exclusive Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the GS delivers an estimated 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque for a 0-60 mph performance of less than seven seconds (estimated). Buick's Interactive Drive Control System is standard on the GS, allowing drivers to customize the driving experience by changing the suspension settings and steering sensitivity between three modes: standard, sport and GS.

"Built on the performance foundation of the Regal, the Buick Regal GS was designed as an even sportier expression of responsive performance and style," said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick marketing. "The driving experience is powerful and spirited; and the GS represents the next entry in Buick's product renaissance."

Product highlights include:

Exclusive Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged and intercooled engine rated at an estimated 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm)
Six-speed manual transmission, with six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control to be offered later
Interactive Drive Control System with GS mode
Four-wheel independent system with HiPerStrut front suspension
High-performance four-wheel disc brake system with Brembo front calipers
Standard 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels and all-season tire and optional 20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels with performance tires.

The exterior design features unique front and rear fascias, with the front fascia incorporating prominent, vertical air intake slots and specific grille treatment - with the vertical elements accented in a satin-metallic finish. The rear fascia has a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Rocker panel extensions and an integrated rear spoiler are also woven into the design. The GS cuts a sportier stance, too, with a slightly lower ride height than other models and aggressive 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels and all-season tires (20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels with performance tires are optional).

Inside is a racing-inspired, flat-bottom sport steering wheel and metal sport pedals, along with leather-appointed 12-way power-adjustable sport driver and front passenger heated seats, which include four-way power lumbar. The GS-specific black interior is accented with satin-finish elements on the instrument panel, steering wheel and console, while the instrument panel glows white when the driver engages the GS mode of the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS).

Standard amenities for the Buick Regal GS include:

Passive keyless entry with push-button start
Standard XM Satellite Radio with three-month trial service
Harmon/Kardon premium 320-watt sound system with nine speakers
Bluetooth phone connectivity
Leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with audio controls
Leather-appointed sport seating
Heated driver and front passenger seats, with 12-way adjustable driver and front passenger seats - including four-way lumbar adjustment
120-volt accessory power outlet
Power windows with express up/down feature in the front and express down in the rear
Front and rear ultrasonic parking assist
Bi-xenon HID headlamps
Turbocharging and HiPerStrut

Power for the Regal GS comes from a high-output version of the Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged DOHC VVT engine with direct injection technology. It is based on the engine that will be available on Regal CXL later this year, but the engine and turbocharger are tuned to deliver greater boost pressure in the GS. The output is rated at 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm). A three-inch-diameter exhaust system provides reduced back pressure, resulting in higher engine power

Direct injection technology helps the engine deliver more power through increased efficiency, while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions. That means less fuel is consumed and lower emissions generated - including a 25-percent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions. Variable valve timing optimizes power, efficiency and emissions across the entire rpm band.

"We've been combining direct injection and variable valve timing with boosted engines since 2006, and there's no question the Buick Regal GS turbo has the responsiveness and acceleration of a 3.5L V6, while delivering the fuel economy of a 2.0L four," said Mike Anderson, Ecotec global chief engineer and program manager.

The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission will be available later.

The Buick Regal GS rides on a relatively long wheelbase of 107.8 inches (2738 mm), which delivers refined, well-balanced vehicle dynamics. It also features a four-wheel-independent suspension, with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension design. The HiPerStrut system helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering; the driver experiences reduced torque steer, improved grip and increased cornering power, along with crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.

The four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing vehicle stability. Both front and rear dampers incorporate active Computer Damping Control (CDC), continuously changing damper characteristics to maintain optimal vehicle ride control over varying road surfaces and profiles. More aggressive, performance-oriented damping characteristics can also be selected by the driver through the Interactive Driver Control System.

Braking power comes from a large diameter four-wheel disc brake system featuring Brembo front calipers. A standard, four-channel anti-lock brake system is tuned to reduce stopping distances over varied road surfaces and conditions. An electronic parking brake is actuated via a center console-mounted control. The Buick Regal GS also features standard StabiliTrak stability control system with integrated, full-function traction control.

Interactive Drive Control System

The Buick Regal GS is also equipped with Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology (also offered on other Regal models with the 2.0L turbo engine). It delivers enhanced vehicle stability and greater driving safety. The driver selects among three operating modes - standard, sport and GS - that change the suspension settings, and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system.

A sophisticated driving mode control module continually monitors driving style utilizing yaw rate, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel, throttle and vehicle speed. It defines the dynamic vehicle state, including acceleration, braking and cornering, to optimize chassis reactions. It also executes all of the IDCS driver selections. All four dampers are electronically controlled and continuously adapt within milliseconds to the prevailing road conditions, vehicle movements and individual driving style.

Selecting GS mode optimizes the car for dynamic driving, tightening the suspension and steering response. "Standard," or the default mode, is the setting for all-around use. The sport mode provides a level of performance between standard and the GS modes.

 

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