This should help put some spice back into the brand once known for the Grand National GNX.
Crystal balls aren’t the most accurate ways to predict the future, but when news about the what’s on the horizon leaks from the source itself, there’s no ambiguity left for the imagination to fill its time with. So thanks to a screw up on Buick’s Canadian site following the release of the new Regal, it comes as no surprise that GM’s brand for spruced up sedans and SUVs has revived the spicier version of its bread and butter sedan, the Regal GS.
Just as the leak said, the 2018 Regal GS comes with GM’s naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 engine. It makes 335 horsepower when under the hood of the Camaro, but Buick detuned the powerplant so that it makes 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. That may disappoint those who aren’t easily impressed, but it’s a 30 horsepower increase over the model it replaces and a good 60 horsepower more than what the standard 2.0-liter inline-four makes in the base Regal. Best of all, that power is routed through a nine-speed automatic transmission and out through all four wheels via GM’s twin clutch intelligent all-wheel drive system. Anyone hoping for a true American sports wagon will be disappointed here because the Regal TourX won’t be getting the V6.
At least the Sportback lies in the grey area between sedan and hatchback. Buick is also ditching the manual for this GS, though the advanced all-wheel drive system has the ability to transfer torque between the rear wheels for better turning performance. Rounding off the rest of the package are 19-inch wheels hiding performance brakes with Brembo front calipers, GS-specific front and rear fascias that compliment the side skirts and rear spoiler, a sport-tuned exhaust, and Continuous Damping Control system that makes 500 adjustments per second whether in GS or Sport mode. Even with all the extra toys and grunt, the exterior of the GS strikes a balance between elegance and sportiness, restraining itself before it shows off too much attitude.
The inside pulls off the same trick with a flat-bottom steering wheel, metal pedals, a heads-up display, and heated and cooled performance seats, of course with a massaging function embedded inside. GM kept Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so that the 8-inch infotainment display can double as a smartphone, and if that’s too distracting then Buick was sure to throw in a suite of driver aid technology like Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking. Can’t get over the looks of the Regal Sportback but wanted just a bit more oomph? Then be ready to sign a check for no less than $39,990 at the Buick dealership.