Friday, January 8, 2010

New Buick Regal GS: GM Rebadges Opel Insignia OPC But Replaces 325HP V6 Biturbo with 255HP 2.0-liter Four-Pot


Leave it to GM to take out all the fun even when it comes to re-badging its own vehicles... See, while the General took the decision to reveal a North American version of the Opel Insignia OPC in the form of the Buick Regal GS showcar in Detroit, unfortunately, the European model's 325HP 2.8-liter twin-scroll turbo V6 has been replaced with a lighter but more puny 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing an estimated 255HP.

Officially, the Detroit automaker says that the Regal GS was designed "to explore the appeal of a high-performance variant of the Regal", but chances are that it will make it into production in the very near future.

"We designed the Regal GS to explore the appeal of a high-performance variant of the Regal," said Craig Bierley, product marketing director for Buick. "Like the Regal, the Regal GS is based on the award-winning Opel Insignia, and we believe it will reinvigorate Buick's storied Gran Sport legacy."

The Regal GS showcar uses a modified version of the 220HP 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot that will be offered on Regal CXL models later this summer tuned to deliver greater boost pressure. The engine's output is estimated at 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm).

Furthermore, whereas the Regal CXL comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, the Regal GS's engine is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox that directs torque to an adaptive all-wheel-drive system.

As with its German counterpart, the GS is equipped with an electronic, limited-slip rear differential to reduce wheelspin.

General Motors says that the 255HP Buick Regal GS is expected to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, which sounds a bit optimistic considering the fact that the 325HP Opel Insignia OPC reaches 60mph in 5.8 seconds.

The Regal GS also benefits from a tuned four-wheel-independent suspension, a revised steering wheel system and a high-performance Brembo brake system with 14 x 1.2-inch (355 x 32 mm) cross-drilled rotors; four-piston, high-strength aluminum calipers, and high-performance pads.

There's also Opel's Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology that allows the driver to chose from three different operating modes (normal, sport and GS) for the suspension settings, throttle response and steering sensitivity.

Other than that, the Buick Regal GS gets the same tasty bodykit, sexy 20-inch alloy wheels and interior upgrades including a pair of Recaro front seats and flat-bottom steering wheel as its European counterpart.



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