Buick appears to be serious about getting into the sporty entry-level luxury market, first unveiling that the 2011 Regal and announcing it would come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, and now confirming that it will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission.
This top-level model, boasting 220-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque, won’t be available until next Summer, with the initial offering being a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 182-hp. No doubt it will be the manual transmission that will help the more powerful Regal model to achieve 29-mpg highway, which almost matches the standard car’s 30-mpg rating. The 2.0T model will also be available with a new Interactive Drive Control (IDC) option that will let the driver choose from three settings (Sport, Tour and Normal) for the suspension, throttle, steering and transmission.
The Regal is based on the same chassis as the award winning Opel Insignia, which was made in (and for) the German market. This is also the same chassis used for the new Buick LaCrosse, but is shortened by four-inches between the wheels and shrunk by 6.7-inches in total. The smaller overhangs should make for a more dynamic driving experience, as should the standard 18-inch wheels and six-speed manual transmission.
GALLERY: 2011 Buick Regal