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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM Confident in Regal Powertrains

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GM Confident in Regal Powertrains

By Eric Mayne

WardsAuto.com, Mar 16, 2010 10:13 AM

SOUTHFIELD, MI – General Motors Co. anticipates a 60:40 take rate in favor of its 2.4L Ecotec I-4 when the all-new Buick Regal sports sedan arrives in U.S. showrooms next quarter.

It is a milestone launch, considering there is no available 6-cyl. engine and the conventional Buick customer has long preferred larger powerplants. The Regal’s optional mill is a 2.0L turbocharged I-4 that generates 220 hp, 38 more ponies than the direct-injected Ecotec.

But GM is confident. Says Craig Bierley, Buick marketing manager: “I don’t think we’re going to have a backlash.”

Dealers, Bierley tells Ward’s during an exclusive preview of the car, are not shy about expressing displeasure with a product. “And not one of them said we need a V-6,” he says.

George Fowler, general manager of Superior Buick GMC in Dearborn, MI, is among the Regal fans in GM’s dealer network.

“If you look at the old-time, old-fashioned (Buick) buyer, the 72-year-old guy, this isn’t the car that’s going to appeal to that kind of guy,” he admits. But Buick’s demographic has been skewing steadily younger. Entering 2010, the average customer was 65 – down from 70.

From the traffic Fowler has seen, cost of ownership is the No.1 deal-breaker. “(Consumers) all want cheap lease payments,” he tells Ward’s. “If they can get the car for under $350 (a month), we’re going to sell a ton.”

Buick Regals equipped with 2.4L Ecotec to start at $26,995.

Fowler says this with confidence, even in the shadow of Ford Motor Co.’s world headquarters, where his dealership is located. “The engine is not going to be a problem.”

Against a backdrop of rising gasoline prices, American car buyers are enthusiastically embracing thriftier 4-cyl. powerplants. Nearly 62% of all ’09 cars produced for the U.S. market featured 4-cyl. engines, up from 51.7% in ’08, according to Ward’s data.

Regals equipped the 2.4L Ecotec, chosen one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 2010, start at $26,995. Units with the turbocharged 2.0L engine start at $29,495.

link:

http://wardsauto.com/home/gm_regal_powertrains_100316/

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I'll admit, at first I was a hp snob, but after giving it consideration, I feel the DI 2.4 will be just fine as the base engine. The fact that at least one optional engine is available helps, just as are the 260lb/ft.

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2.4 will do ok but the Turbo engines are the ones that will make this car shine. I almost wish they would just do the two turbo engines and forget the 2.4 if they could lower the price on them. But I know cost are cost.

I have seat time behind all three Ecotechs on the market and while the 2.2 and 2.4 DI do well the 2.0 is a marvel. It converted me from never wanting a 4 cylinder kind of guy to owning one as a daily driver with no regretts.

If gas goes up as it is starting to again this car will play well in the market no matter which engine.

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Unfortunately due to the unreasonable weight of epsilon the 4 bangers will be taxed more than they should be.

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I'll admit, at first I was a hp snob, but after giving it consideration, I feel the DI 2.4 will be just fine as the base engine. The fact that at least one optional engine is available helps, just as are the 260lb/ft.

If I was you, I would get the 220hp and crank it up to 300 if needed. It is the LNF-4, sure it will handle extra.

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Interesting everywhere I've seen the Buick Regal weight (googled) its listed at 3600lbs.

According to the Regal purchasing guide, it is 3600lbs.

I'm wondering if some of that weight is because of the extra sound deadening. They said the Regal was quieter than the Insignia.

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According to the Regal purchasing guide, it is 3600lbs.

I'm wondering if some of that weight is because of the extra sound deadening. They said the Regal was quieter than the Insignia.

I wonder if that is a preliminary number.... The larger Malibu LS is 3400 with the 2.4. Even the LTZ V6 is just 3650.

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I wonder if that is a preliminary number.... The larger Malibu LS is 3400 with the 2.4. Even the LTZ V6 is just 3650.

Well, you'd know better than me, but don't forget, this is a different frame with a different version of the 2.4, so you can't exactly compare the two.

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The Insignia has to adhere to different crash tests than the Regal. So that could be a cause for the added weight on the American version. Since the Aura and Malibu are 3450-3500 with a 4-banger I think 3600 for the Regal seems right.

But let's be honest, people that buy Buicks don't care about performance or horsepower, otherwise they wouldn't be at a Buick dealership. The Lucerne is a big load and and has 227 hp, and for a few years had 197. Sot he Regal should be fine, front drivers can only take so much power anyway.

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The Insignia has to adhere to different crash tests than the Regal. So that could be a cause for the added weight on the American version. Since the Aura and Malibu are 3450-3500 with a 4-banger I think 3600 for the Regal seems right.

But let's be honest, people that buy Buicks don't care about performance or horsepower, otherwise they wouldn't be at a Buick dealership. The Lucerne is a big load and and has 227 hp, and for a few years had 197. Sot he Regal should be fine, front drivers can only take so much power anyway.

Generally the new car will be a global car and wieghts will be very close since they will not change much.

As for lowering the average age and raising the appeal to younger people performance is key. The GN average buyer was well under 55 years.

The key to Buicks future is not to repeat the 197 HP Lucern in a market that expects better. We all know what that got Buick.

FWD can do well over 300 HP now with little drama. So there is no reason that they could not get the base engine at least over 200 HP. A lighter BU with the same engine is a good reason not to buy the Buick. If they can better meet market expectations with a Chevy then why not with a better Buick?

Like I sad about Pontiac "Give me a reason to spend the extra money and not buy a Chevy" Pontiac accept for a couple models failed to do that.

If Buick wants the Pontiac buyer to come in they need to offer more than Chevy.

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Alas, no manual with the turbo 4.

deal breaker

yet......

hope they don't take forever

no v6 in regal means buyers can opt up for the lacrosse

Edited by regfootball
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deal breaker

hope they don't take forever

no v6 in regal means buyers can opt up for the lacrosse

The difference in attitude and size between the two makes it unlikely there will be much cross shopping between Regal and Lacrosse....

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There will be no Regal LS Brougham Presidential Sedanette? Not even in Florida?:o

Edited by ocnblu
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There will be no Regal LS Brougham Presidential Sedanette? Not even in Florida?:o

I'm sure their will be some dealer-embellished Regal Limiteds w/ coach tops, gold trim, and whitewalls..

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