We’ve heard plenty of stories of ‘old’ turbo Buick Regals, ones with solid rear axles and blown V6s hitting high speeds, but 162 mph from a front-drive four-banger?
Recently, Buick division engineers Bill Rietlow and John Townsend enrolled a 2012 Regal GS in the Nevada Open Road Challenge. The car was stock save for mandated safety and data logging equipment (roll hoop, harnesses and onboard computers).
The purpose of the NORC is to obtain average speed consistency over a 90 mile stretch of state highway 318, with the idea of balancing speed on the low velocity sections with top end running over an extended period of time. During the high speed stage, race operators recorded a top speed of 162 mph for the Buick, which was driven by Rietlow, with Townsend performing navigator duties.
Ultimately the duo finished with 0.4 seconds of their 40 minute target time, placing second place in the 135-mph class and putting them on the podium.
Upon finishing the event, Rietlow remarked that “the Regal GS is an incredibly capable performance sedan. In addition to the strong acceleration from the engine, the chassis maintained its composure well while running across these closed public roads at high speeds. Likewise, the Brembo brakes were easy to trust coming hot into a corner.”
Kind of makes you want to run out and buy a Regal GS doesn’t it? Can anybody say “sleeper.”