Buick fans, rejoice! There’s a new turbocharged stick-shift model available that’s sporty, smaller and really fun to drive. The 2012 Buick Regal GS is a midsize four-door sedan that’s built in Germany and based on the award-winning Opel Insignia platform.
You would have to go back to 1987 to find the last turbocharged Buick Regal. But the new 2012 version is even more exciting with its double-overhead-cam, four-valve 255-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, and six-speed manual gearbox, the first Buick for sale with a manual transmission since the popular 1991 Skylark. A six-speed automatic with manual paddle shifters will be available later in the year.
The new Buick Regal GS has a sport-tuned chassis and rides slightly lower to the ground for better handling. It clocks 0-60 mph in under seven seconds, and that’s not too shabby. Italian Brembo front disc brakes give the Regal good stopping power and a three-position adjustable steering and ride system, called Interactive Driver Control, features Standard, Sport and GS modes for high-performance driving, complemented by continuously adjustable shock absorbers, a high-performance front strut suspension and a four-link rear suspension. StabiliTrak chassis control, traction control and ABS are standard. Regal GS models come with 19-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels and all-season tires, with optional 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels and high-performance tires also available.
The Regal GS exterior has a unique front and rear fascia, unique front air intakes and grille elements finished in satin metallic. The rear end has a decklid spoiler and integrated, trapezoidal exhaust outlets to distinguish it from the CXL.
On the inside, the Regal GS is comfortably appointed with a leather-wrapped steering wheel with a flat bottom, perforated metal floor pedals, leather sport bucket seats with 12-way adjustment and power lumbar adjustment. All GS interiors are black in the first year of production, with satin metallic trim on the console, steering wheel and instrument panel. When the IDCS system is placed in the GS mode, the instrument panel will glow with white light instead of the normal blue light.
The GS also has such features as passive keyless entry, XM satellite radio, a Harman/Kardon 320-watt, nine-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, bi-xenon headlights, front and rear ultrasonic park assist, and a 120-volt power point for on-the-go computing and charging.
Pricing on the Buick Regal ranges from $29,000 to $32,000.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.