2012 Buick Regal GS Revealed Ahead of LA Auto Show

2012 Buick Regal GS Revealed Ahead of LA Auto Show
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Set to debut in just a few weeks time at the LA Auto Show, Buick has taken the covers off the official production version of its new Regal GS sports sedan. Changing little from the concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show at the start of the year, it retains the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with output raised to 255-hp and a significant 295 ft-lbs of torque. Full power comes on strong at 5300 rpm and torque is available as of 2500 rpm. Only one transmission is offered and, to our surprise, it’s a 6-speed manual – hinting that this is a machine built for enthusiasts. This, however, is just a marketing trick and a 6-speed auto-box is set to arrive in the next few months.

Sadly, AWD is not available. Instead, the Regal GS is a front-drive only model and comes equipped with GM’s HiPerStrut suspension. What is included, however, are some beefy Brembo brakes which should help slow the sedan. Another important goody is GM’s new Interactive Drive Control that lets you choose different suspension and steering settings with normal, sport and high-performance GS modes.

Outside the car gets a more aggressive front end, larger exhaust pipes out back and 19-inch wheels (20s are optional). Inside, standard equipment includes a push-button start with passive keyless entry, a 9-speaker 320-watt Harmon/Kardon audio system, 12-way heated front seats with lumbar adjustment, full leather interior, Bi-xenon headlights, front and rear ultrasonic park assist and a flat-bottom leather steering wheel.

Overall, the Regal GS falls short of the high-performance Opel OPC on which it’s based, but for a Buick this package is impressive.

We’ll be sure to bring you more on the car with its reveal at the LA Auto Show starting November 17th.

GALLERY: 2012 Buick Regal GS

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Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

2012 BUICK REGAL GS PRODUCTION MODEL TAKES SPORTS SEDAN PERFORMANCE TO A NEW LEVEL FOR BUICK

• High-performance midsize sport sedan with 0-60 mph performance of under seven seconds • Features exclusive, GS-only high-output version of the Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine with 255 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque • Buick’s Interactive Drive Control System allows drivers to change the suspension settings and steering sensitivity • Exclusive, racing-inspired exterior and interior appointments • Goes on sale in the second half of 2011

MIAMI – Buick this evening reveals the production version of the 2012 Regal GS, an even sportier expression of the Regal sport sedan that went on sale earlier this year 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 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.”

The Regal GS will be unveiled this evening at a consumer event in Miami. It goes on sale in the second half of 2011. Pricing has not yet been announced.

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 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 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 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 Regal GS also features standard StabiliTrak stability control system with integrated, full-function traction control.

Interactive Drive Control System The 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.

BUICK REGAL GS SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Models: 2012 Buick Regal GS
Body style / driveline: four-door, five-passenger, front-engine transaxle. Front-wheel drive midsize sedan
Construction: steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, hood, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias
EPA vehicle class: midsize
Manufacturing location: Ontario, Canada (Oshawa)
Key competitors: Acura TSX, Audi A4

Engines

2.0L DOHC VVT I-4 ECOTEC Turbo High Output
Displacement (cu in / cc): 122 / 1998
Bore and stroke (in / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing for intake and exhaust
Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery: direct injection with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control
Compression ratio: 9.2:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 255 / 190 @ 5300 (est.)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm) 295 / 400 @ 2500-4000 (est.)
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required
Max engine speed: 6350 rpm
Emissions controls: close-coupled catalytic converter; variable valve timing; 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; wide-range O2 sensor
Estimated fuel economy (city / hwy) 19 / 29 (manual)

18 / 28 (automatic)

Transmission

2.0L DOHC VVT I-4 ECOTEC Turbo High Output
Displacement (cu in / cc): 122 / 1998
Bore and stroke (in / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing for intake and exhaust
Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery: direct injection with variable high-pressure rail and electronic throttle control
Compression ratio: 9.2:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 255 / 190 @ 5300 (est.)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm) 295 / 400 @ 2500-4000 (est.)
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required
Max engine speed: 6350 rpm
Emissions controls: close-coupled catalytic converter; variable valve timing; 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; wide-range O2 sensor
Estimated fuel economy (city / hwy) 19 / 29 (manual)

18 / 28 (automatic)

Chassis/Suspension

Front: independent, MacPherson strut-type with dual-path mountings, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; continuous damping control (Interactive Drive Control System)
Rear: four-link independent rear; hollow stabilizer bar; continuous damping control (IDCS)
Traction control: all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention
Steering type: hydraulic, variable-effort
Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock: 2.68
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (feet / meters): 37.4 / 11.4 (19-inch wheels)
Steering ratio: 15.2:1

Brakes

Type: four-wheel disc w/ABS (w/ESC)
Brake rotor diameter – front (in / mm): 14.0 / 355 vented; four-piston aluminum Brembo caliper
Brake rotor diameter – rear (in / mm): 12.4 / 315 vented; single-piston, aluminum caliper

Wheels/Tires

Wheel size and type: 19-inch alloy, 5-Twin Spoke

20-inch polished alloy, 5-Twin Spoke

Tires: Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/40R19

Pirelli P-Zero P255/35-ZR20

Dimensions

Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm) : 107.8 / 2738
Overall length (in / mm): 190.2 / 4831
Overall width (in / mm): 73.1 / 1811
Overall height (in / mm): 58 / 1480
Front track (in / mm): 62.4 / 1585
Rear track (in / mm): 62.5 / 1587

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3
Headroom (in / mm): 38.8 / 985 (front) 36.8 / 935 (rear)
Legroom (in / mm): 42.1 / 1069 (front) 37.3 / 947 (rear)
Shoulder room (in / mm): 56.7 / 1440 (front) 54.4 / 1382 (rear)
Hip room (in / mm): 55.4 / 1407 (front) 52.3 / 1328 (rear)
EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L) : 96.81 / 2741
EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 111.1 / 3146
Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 14.25 / 403

Capacities

Fuel tank (gal / L): 18.5 / 70
Engine oil (qt / L): 6.3 / 6.0
Curb weight (lb / kg): 3710 /1683