NEWS : 2012 Buick Regal GS

2012 Buick Regal GSNew Car 2012 Buick Regal GS

When the Buick Regal GS concept debuted at last January’s Detroit auto show, future production was as safe a bet as you’ll find in the automotive world. Sure enough, this past spring, GM confirmed that the GS would head to showrooms, but released no further details. Now, finally, we’ve got the skinny on the first real performance Buick in a long time.

Staying true to the recent trend, wherein a concept car is nothing more than a production-ready vehicle with really expensive paint and a few exaggerated styling cues, the 2012 Regal GS looks almost identical to the car we saw in Detroit. Basic differences boil down to smaller vertical air intakes on the front fascia, slightly different trapezoidal exhaust finishers in the rear, and Recaro-like front seats in place of the concept’s actual Recaros. But the satin-metallic trim; integrated rear spoiler; rocker panel extensions; Brembo front brake calipers; and big, 20-inch wheels all make the cut for production.
2012 Buick Regal GS2012 Buick Regal GS Picture

The same uprated direct-injected, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder found in the concept will be the production GS’s powerplant. It’s identical to the turbo 2.0 found in the Regal Turbo, but GM’s engineers have cranked up the boost and reduced backpressure with a larger exhaust, upping its output to (an estimated) 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, increases of 35 and 37. At launch, the GS will be offered solely with a six-speed manual transmission—Save the Manuals!—while a six-speed automatic will be available later. The concept was initially claimed to hit 60 mph in under six seconds, Buick is now tempering its expectations, saying the production car will hit the mile-a-minute mark in “less than seven seconds.” We recently tested an automatic-equipped, 220-hp Regal Turbo to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, and we predict the automatic GS will complete the sprint in 6.7 seconds or so.

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