Buick officially released full details of the upcoming 2012 Buick Regal GS this week at the Buick Regal Remix in Miami, the last in a series of parties thrown by the brand leading up to the GS' debut. Amidst the music and cocktails sat the sportiest sedan to have been released by the Buick brand since the Buick GNX of the mid-1980s, a vehicle which has been designed to further hasten the GM division's transition from dowdy to hip.
The 2012 Buick Regal GS bears a more aggressive appearance than the standard Regal compact sedan already on sale. Aerodynamic and style concerns have called for a redesign of the front fascia and the rear bumper, and a spoiler and revamped rocker panels complete the GS' sleeker look. The vehicle's suspension system has been lowered compared to the stock Buick Regal, giving it a stance and handling advantage and allowing its 20-inch alloy rims to better fill its wheel wells.
Not only is the Buick Regal GS suspension lower than the standard Regal, but it also offers GM's High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) design up front, which has been put together to improve cornering as well as reduce torque steer. The suspension system combines with Computer Damping Control (CDC) which actively manages the damping characteristics of the shocks to account for variance in road conditions as well as driver inputs. Manual control over CDC settings is also available in the cabin through the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS), which provides standard, sport and GS settings. The latter maximizes throttle response and alters StabiliTrak stability control settings to enhance performance-oriented driving.
Under the hood, the 2012 Buick Regal GS features a turbocharged Ecotec 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Buick's commitment to the sporty character of the Regal GS is evident in the fact that a six-speed manual transmission is the only gearbox that is initially available with the sedan - a six-speed automatic unit will become an option later on in 2012. A three-inch exhaust system helps the turbocharger produce efficient power and also gives the GS an additional snarl when compared to the less aggressively-tuned Regal. The Ecotec turbo returns fuel mileage of 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 miles per gallon on the highway, which helps the Regal GS maintain a fairly thrifty status at the pump while still providing better than average acceleration and passing power.
While most new car buyers will likely be interested in the 2012 Buick Regal GS for the additional power and handling it provides, the sedan is also loaded with a longer list of standard features than the regular Regal, including items such as HID headlamps, leather sport seats, metal sport pedals, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel and seat heaters for vehicle's forward occupants.
The 2012 Buick Regal GS is not yet available for sale - the summer of 2011 is the target release date for the automobile - but now that GM has provided all of the salient details surrounding what it has to offer over the well-received regular Buick GS, it seems clear that Buick has finally found itself with a halo car that will almost certainly attract more traffic to its showrooms.