The Buick Regal has already been a promising new model for the Buick division of General Motors, but the newest model to hit dealer showrooms should help bring much-needed excitement to the brand until the Regal GS arrives next year. Aside from the turbocharged engine, one of the features that will help set the all-new 2011 Buick Regal Turbo apart from the base Regal model is the Interactive Drive Control system that offers three driver-selectable driving modes at the push of a button.
Buick's Interactive Drive Control system will help give the Regal Turbo a unique balance of sport and luxury by allowing the driver to choose between three distinct modes - standard, touring and sport - which control and adjust settings for the steering, suspension and transmission. The touring mode is setup for long drives and delivers a smoother ride and softer shifts, while the sport models designed to improve handling along twisty roads by tightening up the suspension and making the steering and transmission more responsive. With both modes off, the Regal Turbo offers a ride quality ideal for everyday driving. While such driving systems aren't uncommon among sport luxury sedans, the Interactive Drive Control system does offer the unique ability to intuitively adjust to individual driving styles.
'Interactive Drive Control links vehicle systems together, changing perceivable vehicle characteristics as it adapts to driver inputs,'? said Bill Rietow, GM lead development engineer. 'The driver can really feel the difference.'?
The controls for the Interactive Drive Control system are mounted beneath the touch-screen display in the center stack, and rather than just adding buttons to the center stack, Buick also made each mode easily stand out from the rest of the other buttons and controls. Buick gave the controls for the Interactive Drive Control system more personality by making the 'Sport'? button resemble a checkered flag and the 'Tour'? button resemble two straight lines. In addition to the factory settings, drivers can also customize the settings of the Interactive Drive Control system through the radio setup menu.
With Buick looking to become a bigger player in the luxury segment, expect the Interactive Drive Control system to become available on other Buick models and possibly even other GM vehicles as well.
'By enabling drivers to tune their vehicle to their driving situation and even their mood, we're better able to exceed their expectations and provide a more satisfying driving experience,'? said Robert Casparian, Regal product manager. 'We fully expect to see this capability become more widely available in years to come.'?
Powering the 2011 Regal Turbo is a 2.0-liter direct-injected inline-four that is obviously turbocharged, and it is tuned to produce 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Buick says that the new Regal will go up against cars like the Acura TSX, Mazda Mazda6, Volvo S60 and Volkswagen Passat. Initial 2011 Buick Regal models are being produced in Russelsheim, Germany, but future production is being planned for next year at GM's Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario, Canada.
The Buick Regal Turbo is currently available at dealerships with a starting MSRP of $28,745.