2018 Buick Regal debuts with Euro look, 310 hp


By Casey Williams – MyCarData.com

Buick has a rich performance history that includes the muscle car era GS through Indy race cars, Grand National, GNX, and the most recent Regal GS. But, there’s always room for a sexier body and more power. Coming later this year, the redesigned Regal GS will deliver just that for a new generation of American sports sedan buyers.

“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving, but one that makes every drive special,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market more refined and luxurious than the mainstream, more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher end competitors, and with standard features like AWD with active twin clutch and a new sportback design that will surprise customers with its usefulness.”

You can tell from the outside the Regal GS is an entirely new design mostly shared with Europe’s Opel Insignia. It does have a very German ethos, as if it could have been designed by Audi or BMW. The front bears Buick’s new grille with darkened mesh elements behind a chrome wing suspending the brand’s crest on top. Cat-eye LED headlamps with Buick’s halo lighting look aggressive – especially when hovering above giant air intakes in the lower facia.

Every line appears precisely drawn. Aggressive ground affects accompanied by a deep line that rises from the front wheels to the upper rear wheel arch adds dynamics. The five-door design is not only very practical, but elongates the rear for that Audi A7 or Mercedes CLS look. A subtle rear lip spoiler and L-shaped LED taillamps finish off the body. Place it all over 19” alloy wheels for a car that looks born to perform.

Inside, the cabin takes on similar themes to the new LaCrosse, Encore, and Envision crossover. The center of the wide horizontal dashboard contains the touchscreen over climate controls. It looks nice in all Regals, but GS adds deeply-bolstered sport seats that are heated, cooled, and massage. The front thrones also offer adjustable thigh and lumbar supports to grip your body

Aluminum pedals, flat-bottom steering wheel, and available head-up display enhance the sporty vibe. Keeping everybody connected and safe is an array of advanced technology. On the entertainment front, Regal GS gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Bluetooth and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connect all of your favorite gadgets. Safety is enhanced by Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking

Backing up the suave sheetmetal is what resides under the skin and that will entice performance sedan drivers the most. Out is the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, replaced by a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 50 additional horsepower. Expect 310 horsepower and 282 lb.-ft. of torque, made as efficient as possible with direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and auto stop/start technology that pauses the engine at rest. It connects to a new nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel-drive with active twin clutch for improved control.

That’s only the beginning of the Regal GS’ performance portfolio. A second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC) adjusts the suspension 500 times per second to quickly transform from a comfortable ride to all-out handling champ in GS and Sport modes. The shocks accompany a sophisticated five-link rear suspension, Brembo front brake calipers, and sport-tuned exhaust system. All of this promises a sedan that can provide traditional Buick comfort when desired, but can become an all-out performance car when requested.

“With the all-new 2018 Regal GS, we set out to make a driver-focused, engaging and entertaining sport sedan without sacrificing the smooth ride and refined character expected of any modern Buick,” said Martin Hayes, chief engineer for the Buick Regal GS. “Our new V6 and nine-speed transmission, intelligent AWD and CDC all work to deliver excellent driving performance.”

It occurs to me this is exactly the type of car Buick needs to attract sophisticated sport sedan buyers. First, the Regal GS is a legitimate German sport sedan, engineered in The Fatherland. It carries its American pedigree proudly too. Add more horsepower, a smooth transmission, standard AWD, and five-door utility for a truly special package within Buick’s line-up. A base price of $39,930 makes it a pretty good value too.

If you like the GS, check out the rest of the all-new Regal line-up. Base models with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine start at just $25,915, or about $2,000 less than the base 2017 Regal. Or, go for the first-ever Regal TourX wagon with enhanced ground clearance for a base price of $29,995 and available next February. Whichever Regal you drive, I think you’ll be surprised.



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