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2012 Buick Regal GS rated at 270 hp

Wed, 15 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

This is a heady title: highest specific output of a General Motors production engine. Ever. Better than any Corvette, Cadillac or Camaro or anything else GM has produced in the last century.

That's what Buick is claiming for the turbocharged four-cylinder in the halo sedan launching this fall, the 2012 Regal GS.

Granted, it's only 2.0 liters. But still. Buick said on Wednesday that the sporty four-door will punch out 270 hp from a direct-injection, 2.0-liter Ecotec powerplant—more than the 255 hp the car was expected to get. That breaks down to 135 hp per liter. Torque is rated at 295 lb-ft, which Buick claims bests many import competitors.

The original Regal GS concept from the 2010 Detroit auto show had an all-wheel-drive system, but the production car will only employ front-wheel drive. A spokesman said there are no plans to offer AWD for the new GS.

The high-end Regal follows in a long line of cars from Buick to wear the GS, or Gran Sport, badge, signifying athletic models and increased performance.

Pricing was not announced, but look for the car to start in the range of a top-shelf Regal turbo. Buick says the sedan will be able to sprint to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Plus, maximum torque comes on early in the band, at 2,400 rpm.

The 2012 Regal GS will be offered with a six-speed manual at launch, which is expected to pair with the four-banger to get up to 28 mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic will be available later.

The new Regal GS also has a driver control system that allows the pilot to modify the chassis to three settings, a four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo calipers. It has a lowered ride height and rolls on 19-inch alloy wheels, with 20-inchers optional.

The front gets “saber”-style air vents, blue-ringed headlights and a grille and front fascia with a more sinister look. There is satin chrome on the sides to set off the brightwork.

“Still fairly understated; it's a little bit aggressive but it's still proper in the Buick portfolio,” Dave Lyon, GM's executive director of North American interior and global cross-brand design, said at a preview event for the Regal GS last year.


Buick Regal GS Cranks 270 HP and 295 Lb-Ft of Torque

Exclusive Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine delivers more launch force than imports

DETROIT – The 2012 Buick Regal GS, which arrives at dealerships this fall, has been SAE-certified to deliver 270 horsepower (201kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400Nm) for an estimated 0-60 mph performance of 6.7 seconds.

Regal GS's exclusive Ecotec 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers more torque than Acura TSX V-6, Audi A4 Sport, Lexus IS 250 and Volvo S60 T5. Torque is the twisting force that gets a vehicle moving and what the driver feels when accelerating.

“The Regal GS 2.0L turbo delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has ever offered, and at 135 hp per liter is the most power dense engine ever certified by SAE,” said Mike Anderson, Ecotec global chief engineer and program manager. “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 some V-6s, while delivering the fuel economy you'd expect of a four-cylinder.”

Ecotec 2.0L turbo highlights include direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, forged steel crankshaft, twin scroll design turbocharger and an efficient intercooler system. The peak torque of 295 lb-ft is achieved at a relatively low 2400 rpm. There is 95 percent of peak torque available between 2300 and 4900 rpm.

The GS's engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, and gets an estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic transmission will be available later. The entire GS powertrain is covered by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

Further reinforcing Regal GS's performance appeal is its Interactive Drive Control System chassis technology, which delivers enhanced vehicle stability. The driver selects among three operating modes that change the suspension settings, and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system. “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. “Sport” mode provides a level of performance between standard and GS modes.

Regal GS 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 to keep the all-important tire contact patch on the pavement. The driver experiences 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 and tire grip. Both front and rear dampers incorporate active Computer Damping Control, continuously changing damper characteristics in real time to maintain optimal vehicle ride comfort over varying road surfaces and profiles. More aggressive, performance-oriented damping characteristics can also be selected by the driver when choosing “Sport” or “GS” mode.

Braking power comes from a large diameter four-wheel disc brake system featuring big, four-piston Brembo front calipers for optimal feel and modulation. A standard, four-channel anti-lock brake system is tuned to reduce stopping distances over varied road surfaces and conditions. The Regal GS also features standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with integrated, full-speed traction control.

The GS cuts a sportier stance, too, with a lower ride height than other Regal 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).

“The 2012 Regal GS is well balanced with dynamic ride and handling, powerful brakes, great acceleration and excellent fuel economy,” said Robert Casparian, Regal product marketing manager. “And the fact that one can get such great performance in a gorgeous sport sedan makes it even more attractive.”

About Buick

Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is the fastest growing major automotive brand in the U.S. and is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan and highly anticipated all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at, on Twitter @buick or at

By Greg Migliore