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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
While it’s probably not the most dangerous issue to merit a recall, General Motors will fix defective parking lights in some 2012 Buick Regals.
The company says an inability to turn the parking lights in a total 3,633 vehicles could reduce visibility and increase the likelihood of a crash. It seems the vehicle still has functional lighting, even in instances of the defect.
Not sure what parking lights are? You probably don’t use them very much, at least not consciously. Parking lights are the smaller ones that look more like bike reflectors and are illuminated on that “less-than-lit” setting your car probably has. The 2012 Regal, pictured above, has them built into the head and tail lights.
Essentially, there isn’t any need to panic. If you drive a Regal, the parking lights might not work properly, but GM is going to fix the issue for free. For now, just use your headlights on the full setting if in doubt at any point. If you have any questions you can click here for more information.
GALLERY: 2012 Buick Regal GS
Making its way on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for 2012 is the all-new Buick Verano. This raises General Motors IIHS Top Safety Pick award count to 14 in 2012 – not too shabby.
Equipped with 10 standard air bags, the Verano came out with a good score in the IIHS tests for front and side crash tests, roof strength test, and rear impact test. The Verano also features standard electronic stability control, which the IIHS requires for Top Safety Pick designation.
“GM set a goal that every new product would be designed to meet or exceed the third-party metrics that IIHS and others use to communicate crash worthiness to consumers,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety. “We are now seeing the results from that commitment.”
Of the GM vehicles that made it to IIHS’s 2012 Top Safety Pick award list, 13 models had previously qualified for the 2011 award. These vehicles were carried over to 2012 because its structure is substantially the same as the IIHS tested for 2011. Carrying over for 2012 awards are the Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Enclave; the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, Volt, Equinox, Malibu and Traverse; the Cadillac CTS (sedan) and SRX, and GMC Terrain and Acadia.
General Motors much loved LNF engine, the same 2.0L Ecotec that powered the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Redline and Chevrolet Cobalt SS is continuing on in the Buick Regal Turbo and Buick Regal GS, but a new generation of turbocharged 4-cylinder motor is set to replace the LNF next year, packing even more power.
While the LNF makes as much as 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft in the Regal GS, the new engine, dubbed the LHU, will be used as a replacement for V6 engines in mid-size cars, and is expected to make at least 280 horsepower in standard trim. Given that GM’s current “high feature” V6 makes 306 horsepower, we should expect a figure somewhere in that area.
The LHU will get its first use in the Cadillac ATS sports sedan and the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Expect it to migrate to other products in the near future as well.
[Source: GM Inside News]
Buick has announced pricing for their newest additions to the Regal lineup, with their Regal eAssist mild hybrid vehicle starting at $29,530, while the high performance Regal GS starts at $35,310.
The Regal eAssist uses a stripped down regenerative braking system to deliver hybrid-like fuel efficiency gains without the weight or added complexity of a full hybrid system. Fuel economy numbers aren’t quite as high as other full hybrids, but the vehicle still manages to deliver 25 mpg in town and 36 mpg on the highway.
The Regal GS offers a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a 6-speed manual gearbox. Despite early concept vehicles that were displayed with all-wheel drive, the Regal GS is front-drive only, but also adds adjustable damping, upgraded brakes, a 19″ wheel and tire package and a harmon/kardon stereo system. The Regal GS is also expected to deliver 27 mpg on the highway.
A “leaked document” (read: dubious rumor) claims that a coupe variant of the Opel Insignia sedan, may wear the famed Calibra badge. The previous Calibra was known for its slippery styling and turbocharged engines, and the Insignia would make a worthy successor.
Opel previewed an Insignia Coupe with their GTC Concept, which was powered by a 2.8L V6 with a twin-turbo setup, and this engine is currently used in the Insignia VXR good for 321 horsepower. A proposed coupe would be fitted with all-wheel drive, and have a shorter wheelbase to give the car sharper reflexes.
While Opel and Vauxhall cars aren’t sold Stateside, the car could make its easy over here as a Buick. The possibilities mulling in our heads, from a new Riviera to a Grand National successor, are definitely enticing, but we’ll wait for the real car to surface before we let our imagination run wild.
[Source: Auto Express]
Buick fans disappointed that the forthcoming Regal GS shares little in common with the European market Insignia OPC now have another reason to get mad, after Opel revealed that their hottest sedan is good for an astounding 168 mph when the speed governor is removed.
Naturally, Opel is going to try and squeeze another buck out of consumers by offering an “Unlimited” trim level, with no speed governor and a 6-speed manual gearbox, blue painted Brembo brake calipers and special instrumentation. Frankly, it’s absurd to have a family sedan that can hit near-supercar speeds, but we wouldn’t complain if Opel tossed us the keys.
The 325 horsepower, all-wheel drive sedan might not be a good fit for Buick in North America, but on the velocity-happy roads of Germany, we can forsee a number of happy customers.
It’s not too hard to remember the days when Buick was the butt of jokes, with many suggesting that Buick be killed off during the General Motors bankruptcy in 2008, rather than Pontiac.
In a few short years, the fortunes of Buick have reversed spectacularly, and the brand is now the second most popular luxury car maker after BMW. Only the new X3 helped push BMW over Buick, and the margin was only 800 units. In 2010, Lexus was the number one luxury car maker and outsold Buick by a 70,000 unit margin. An article at the KickingTires blog also analyzes a number of other factors, including an undesirable product supply and slow vehicle turnover for Lexus and increased conquest sales for Buick.
While GM’s announcement of a new car based on the Camaro platform being shown at the Chicago Auto Show stole the spotlight in the automotive press, the Buick Regal eAssist represents a product far more relevant to the average consumer, even if it’s less glamorous.
With an eAssist hybrid system from the Buick Lacrosse, the Regal delivers excellent mileage for a mid-size sedan, returning 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. A 15 horsepower electric motor helps to assist during acceleration and also allows for regenerative braking, and a start/stop system.
On the aesthetic front, lightweight 17″ wheels, a 7-inch screen for keeping track of fuel economy and other data, as well as an eco model for the air conditioning all make an appearance only on the eAssist. While the Lacrosse eAssist will be positioned as an entry level trim within the range, the Regal variant will simply complement the other versions, including the Regal Turbo and Regal GS.
Gallery: Buick Regal eAssist
General Motors will reportedly unveil a Buick Regal Hybrid at the Chicago Auto Show that uses similar eAssist technology seen on the its Lacrosse stablemate.
With the Lacrosse capable of returning 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, a 25 percent boost in fuel economy. eAssist also provides an extra 15 horsepower and 79 lb-ft of torque to GM’s 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft 2.4L 4-cylinder. While the Lacrosse has eAssist as standard, the Regal’s Hybrid model will likely be a flagship, along with the upcoming Regal GS for customers who want something a bit spicier.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
For more information on the Buick Regal, such as specifications, news, prices, safety information and more, please see http://www.regalforums.com/.
The Buick Regal will get GM’s eAssist mild hybrid system next year, according to rumors on GM Inside News. The eAssist system will debut on the Buick Lacrosse 4-cylinder, an engine shared with the Regal. It is also expected to appear on thew upcoming Chevrolet Malibu, though eAssist is expected to remain exclusive on Buick products for some time.
GM formerly offered a mild hybrid system on the Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Aura and Saturn Vue, but the models enjoyed limited popularity and a brief production run. The eAssist system is designed to use a much more powerful battery pack and other technologies derived from the Chevrolet Volt.
Buick is hoping to kickstart buzz around their upcoming Regal sports sedan by not manufacturing any buzz at all. Dubbed “The Moment of Truth”, Buick will take a page out of the Fiesta Movement’s book, but geared towards an older crowd.
Rather than the zany antics of the Fiesta Movement’s early 20′s demographic, the Regal site will feature user generated video reviews of the car, as well as professional reviews from journalists and comments from visitors. The main distinction will be that none of it is edited, and all content, whether it reflects positively on the car or not, will be posted.
The radical transparency being shown by Buick is part of an effort to boost sales by reaching out to a younger demographic – buyers around 35 or 40, rather than in their mid 60′s. Buick sales have fallen 89 percent since their peak in 1984, so really, there’s nowhere to go but up.
With the launch of the Buick Regal comes word that the U.S. may get more than just the sedan. According to a report by Car & Driver there’s a strong possibility that we could get either the hatch or wagon, or both.
Regal brand manager Jim Federico even admitted to C&D that Buick is currently testing “Touring” (wagon) models in the U.S. Federico commented that considering wagons are more popular in snowbelt states, a Regal wagon is likely to come with all-wheel drive. And considering the popularity that Volkswagen has see with its TDI diesel engines in the Jetta SportWagen, a diesel regal wagon with all-wheel drive would be a part of the mix – hypothetically of course. Such a car would, however, take until 2012 or 2013 to launch in North America.
In the mean time, Buick will offer the Regal with the 2.4-liter front-drive layout, 2.0-liter turbo front drive model and eventually the Regal GS with a 255-hp version of the 2.0-liter turbo and AWD. Six-speed manual versions of the cars will roll out eventually as well.
Even more exciting that the Regal GS is word that a Grand National may be in the works for Buick. Sure Buick could badge a Regal with the Grand National logo and run the 300-hp turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 – but we’d rather see the rumored twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 paired with the CTS Coupe chassis and badged as a bad-ass Buick.
Get more Buick Regal news at RegalForums.com
[Source: Car & Driver]
Autoguide previously reported that the Buick Regal GS was a sure bet to return to Buick showrooms, and now Autoblog has confirmed that the Regal GS will be back, posting the contents of an email from GM employee Dayna Hart that states “At wave 1 of our drive program for Regal we just confirmed that the Regal GS will be added to the Buick portfolio. We are not providing any additional details at this point.”
Expect the Regal GS to make more than the show car’s 255 horsepower now that the Hyundai Sonata Turbo is putting out 276 horsepower. Those nice Recaro seats also on the show car? They might not make the cut. Even though the Regal GS is Buick’s “hot rod”, the average age of a Buick buyer is 65, and even if the Regal GS buyer is 15-20 years younger on average, they’re still likely to be at the point in their lives where getting in and out of high-bolstered bucket seats is an annoyance rather than a novelty.
Get more info on the new Buick Regal at RegalForums.com
A new report by J.D. Power and Associates claims that 49% of American car buyers opted for four-cylinder powertrains in cars and light-trucks purchased during the month of April. Concerns over fuel economy and gas prices helped spark a trend in consumers picking the smaller engines in the first quarter of 2010, with 46.5% choosing them, versus 41.9% last year.
Manufacturers are also hoping on the four-banged only bandwagon. Hyundai‘s Sonata and Buick‘s all-new Regal are both available exclusively with four-cylinder engines, and offer turbocharged variants for those who want six-cylinder power. The Regal has historically offered six or eight cylinder powerplants, but GM and Hyundai feel that technologies like direct-injection, six-speed gearboxes and turbocharging will give consumers the perfect blend of power and fuel economy.
With most four-cylinders developing the same power as the V6 engines did a decade ago, the reasons for buying a V6 sedan look increasingly redundant, and consumers are beginning to take notice. After all, who needs a 300 horsepower V6 family car when the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo puts out 274 horses and 34 miles per gallon on the highway?
[Source: USA Today]
Starting this fall, the 2011 Buick Regal will be E85 capable, marking the first time a direct-injection turbo motor can run on biofuel.
The E85 turbo engine was originally intended for the new Saab 9-5, but with the Swedish luxury division out of GM’s hands, the engine needed a new home. The base 2.4L four-cylinder will be E85 capable as well. The turbo engine in particular is expected to eliminate the fuel economy discrepancy that occurs when running on E85. Motors running on ethanol tend to see a 15 percent drop in fuel economy, however GM expects the gap to narrow below 10 percent on the turbo engine, with virtually no discrepancy in the future.