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Buick??? Making Car Buying a Tough Decision:BUICK GNX

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Europe Builds a Brand-New Buick

By Alistair Weaver, European Editor Email

Date posted: 08-20-2009

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There's a small plastic button on the fascia marked "VXR." Give it a prod and the throttle response quickens, the suspension stiffens and the steering becomes more direct. This is the moment when the 2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR casts off its humdrum, mainstream persona and becomes a genuine rival to the Audi S4 and the BMW 335i.

This car is not short of ambition, and its claims are not without substance. The turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 has been tuned to provide 321 horsepower, there's all-wheel drive, and a revised front suspension system for better cornering grip has been introduced.

Imagine a revitalized Saab 9-5. Oops, you can't because Saab isn't under the General Motors umbrella anymore. Then maybe a toughened Pontiac G6. Nope, that brand is history. How about a serious Saturn Aura? Nope, another goner. Well, what about the 2012 Buick Regal?

The Opel Connection

The 2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR is a derivative of the Opel Insignia OPC introduced in Europe earlier this year, itself the high-performance version of the Opel Insignia. The Vauxhall Insignia became the U.K.'s 2009 Car of the Year by a single vote over the Ford Fiesta. Built on the same GM Epsilon II platform familiar to us in the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu, the Insignia rides on a 107.8-inch wheelbase and measures 190.2 inches overall, 73.1 inches wide and 60 inches high.

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The 2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR employs a retuned version of the Holden-engineered 2,792cc V6 turbo with a forged-steel crankshaft, forged-steel connecting rods and variable valve timing. By increasing the boost pressure of the single twin-scroll turbo to 13 psi and substantially reducing the backpressure from the stainless-steel exhaust system, the VXR technicians have managed to liberate 25 percent more power and 9 percent more torque. The headline figures now stand at 321 hp at 5,250 rpm and 321 pound-feet of torque at 5,250 rpm, output that compares well with the Audi S4's 328-hp V8 and the BMW 335i's 302-hp twin-turbo inline-6.

At idle, there's a nice V6 woofle from those extravagant exhausts, but on the move, the engine is disappointingly muted, save for a whistle from the turbo's wastegate.

Nor does the VXR ever really feel as fast as the outputs suggest. Vauxhall claims zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with top speed limited to 155 mph, yet when you're cruising along, this car never feels more than satisfyingly brisk. At 4,023 pounds, it is 395 pounds heavier than the S4 and 474 pounds heavier than the 335i, so you really have to work the engine hard to get the car to deliver its best. The final-drive ratio has been shortened to 3.76:1 from 3.90:1 to help out, but the long throws of the six-speed manual transmission work against you.

All the Right Stuff

GM deserves credit for investing in hardware. This might be the Epsilon II platform, but it has all the best stuff from the big worldwide bin of parts.

It starts with the Haldex all-wheel-drive system introduced by the 2008 Saab Turbo X. An electrically driven hydraulic pump ensures torque is directed to the rear wheels, even if all four wheels are stationary. Like the Turbo X, the 2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR adds an electronically controlled rear differential, which can actively transfer up to 40 percent of the torque reaching the rear axle between the rear wheels. With the ability to transfer torque front and rear independent of wheel-speed variations and also across the rear axle, you can manage understeer and oversteer situations more effectively.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...;mktid=cj260233
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Real testament, that as much as I hate Edmund's driving skills... their photographer deserves a raise. THIS CAR IS EFFIN GORGEOUS... and if Buick gets a version of the OPC/VXR as a GNX... as they should RIGHT OUT THE GATE, they could instantly destroy the "Grandpa" image so many haters like to tout. It's 0-60 times versus Audi's S4 are to to do with te fact that the Audi packs more power buy about 8HP... and weighs 400lbs more than the S4... which knowing Audi's normal lack of sound isolation in the previous S4s and the new GM's love of more sound isolation... explains a lot.

Two things pop to mind... GM.. KILL The NOrthstar already. The STS, Lucerne, and DTS won't need it soon... and if teh Lucerne remains the 3.6LDi would certainly suffix until the Angel of Death appears at it's door. It actually has more HP than the Lucerne's 4.6LV8.

Second... GIVE THIS version of the 2.8L to Cadillac in the SRX. Make the 300HP version the base engine. BTW... to U GMI members.. please, in argument make a point that the 325HP 2.8L proves that the Haldex system can handle more than 300HP... CHEVYRULES believes otherwise.

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2010-insignia-shifter-vauxhall-fd-500-1.

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If Buick does this in the States, then they have to bring over the wagon too and in the GNX guise. I dig the wagon version way more than the sedan.

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While I'm sad to see the Northstar go, they really should have kept producing the "Shortstar" and offered it as a V6 companion option for Northstar-equipped vehicles. Why? Great power, better fuel economy. I actually prefer it over the Northstar.

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I like the piano black finish. I'd REALLY love to see some new textures/materials to liven up cars. It seems we have 2 majors: wood (faux and real), and brushed aluminum.

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Now that could be a real 'Super' for Buick. I'd call it Regal Super or something new, leave the GNX name to 1988..(it's a name from a very specific car and time and place).

Assuming the Insignia becomes the Regal, if they do something like this for the US, give it it's own identity. Something like this would give Buick a nice Taurus SHO competitor.

Rob

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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leave the GNX name to 1988..

Or at least put it on Zeta

Sorry but this thing is a case of

lipstick-on-a-pig-400.jpg

Stick that drivetrain in the LaCrosse, however, and we might have something.

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325hp. They are really pushing the limits now. RWD cars can handle over 600hp. Lets see them try that with a transverse engine.

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Haldex is the system used in the Veyron.

If the Insignia VXR can fit the 2.8T then it can fit a 3.6T DI just as well. The external dimensions of the engine are the same.

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Woops! There goes the argument that you can't have more than 300hp in a transversely mounted engine.

So? It's only 321hp...Ford has already done 365hp w/ the SHO.

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So? It's only 321hp...Ford has already done 365hp w/ the SHO.

Good point. I'd forgotten about that one when arguing in the XTS thread.

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So? It's only 321hp...Ford has already done 365hp w/ the SHO.

His point is it can be done. Is the SHO AWD?

Anyway, I don't care - it's still an anonymous blob with a gerneric European car interior that happens to have some pretty bits tacked on inside and out to make it look cool. This is no Buick, and certainly is no GNX. Again, give the LaCrosse this exact drivetrain and you'll have my attention.

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His point is it can be done. Is the SHO AWD?

Anyway, I don't care - it's still an anonymous blob with a gerneric European car interior that happens to have some pretty bits tacked on inside and out to make it look cool. This is no Buick, and certainly is no GNX. Again, give the LaCrosse this exact drivetrain and you'll have my attention.

The SHO is AWD. And it will be a Buick, the Insignia is coming as a Regal, correct? This AWD version is over 4000 lbs, I'm sure a LaCrosse version will be even heavier..

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While I'm sad to see the Northstar go, they really should have kept producing the "Shortstar" and offered it as a V6 companion option for Northstar-equipped vehicles. Why? Great power, better fuel economy. I actually prefer it over the Northstar.

shortstar was a 90 degree design which is not preferred for balance and packaging reasons over a 60 degree design

buick better bring this car, but in no way should this be called GNX. they will crucify it like the GTO then.

Gran Sport, maybe.

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About a year ago I proposed that the top of the line Buick trim should be listed in FRONT of the name rather than after.

Super Regal

Super Lacrosse

Super Lucerne

Super Enclave

If they ever do hybrids

Electra Regal

Electra Lacrosse

Electra Lucerne

Electra Enclave

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GNX is catchy, and would likely stick in a younger target market's mind better than 'Super' or 'Grand National.' GNX just sounds really cool, and this thing would run circles around the previous GNX, so I have no idea what the issue would be.

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GNX is catchy, and would likely stick in a younger target market's mind better than 'Super' or 'Grand National.' GNX just sounds really cool, and this thing would run circles around the previous GNX, so I have no idea what the issue would be.

It's an AWD sports sedan, not a RWD musclecar. It needs it's own identity.

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Nice looking car...I'd hit it... not actually hit it, but like cleatus said, 60 months of pain...

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If the Insignia VXR can fit the 2.8T then it can fit a 3.6T DI just as well. The external dimensions of the engine are the same.

I think the reason they use the smaller displacement engine is durability.

This engine is putting out around 325hp DIN with a single turbo and without direct injection. I wonder how far they could push it with a twin turbo + DI setup...

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