NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Officially Official: Buick Regal GS is a go!

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Officially Official: Buick Regal GS is a go!

Last week, we heard rumors that Buick had finally decided to produce the Regal GS but no official announcement came from General Motors headquarters.

This morning as U.S. media gathered to drive the Regal in California, the GS officially became a reality. And while our man Michael Harley is on the launch, we also just received an email from Dayna Hart in GM communications proclaiming:

"At wave 1 of our drive program for Regal we just confirmed that the Regal GS will be added to the Buick portfolio. We are not providing any additional details at this point."

As the quote notes, Buick isn't sharing any other details about the GS such as timing, or what engine will be in the car. We're expecting that Buick will stick with the 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected Ecotec inline-four that was listed on the spec sheet for the concept version shown at the Detroit Auto Show last January. However, now that Hyundai has announced the Sonata Turbo with 276 horsepower, we're expecting that Buick will try to ensure that the Regal GS will have more than the 255 hp announced back in January

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/05/24/officially-official-buick-regal-gs-is-a-go/

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Z-06    493

Saab had already shown (pre-bankruptcy) that they were able to produce an Ecotec Turbo with 300hp

That engine is good for 340-350 hp before it falls apart - as seen from the various Cobalt dragsters.

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hyperv6    774

That engine is good for 340-350 hp before it falls apart - as seen from the various Cobalt dragsters.

The engine will go 400 HP easy before it needs pistons and a few other minor mods to go higher. This engine can really take a lot with the use stock parts.

My SS with only two T maps and a flash went from a 235/250 HP to 290 HP. I am at 315 FT-LB and the manual Solstice went to 340 FT-LB.

300 HP is so easy for GM to obtain with this engine. Even the fuel mileage is a non factor as the Turbo Upgrade I install has given the engine 1-2 more MPG witht he added torque. Driving it is not a real issue as GM has tamed the torque steer very well.

We should see a bump in the final performance and may see more in the future.

All I can say is if you have never driven this engine you have no idea of what it can do. It is one of the few engines that have amazed me from GM. I did not buy the HHR because of it being a HHR I bought it only for the ability to haul in more than one way with this engine and suspension tune. The test drive sold the car not the styling or price.

This drivetrain in a qaulity car at a competitive price should be a game changer for Buick. All car companies are changed by one car at a time and this is the one to change their image like the CTS did for Cadillac.

GM needs to get butts behind the wheel of this car as that is what will sell it.

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hyperv6    774

Just saw the 3 door hatch Opel. Hmmm If Buick offers it with the correct 2.0 that would also help.

If Buick end up having better performance cars than Pontiac has had in the last 10 years it would help heal the wounds.

The GS already makes me think G6 what or Grand Am who?

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ocnblu    773

Hyper, don't try to sugarcoat this crap. If Buick comes out with serious performance cars, it will only put salt in the wounds of Pontiac people... because where was GM when Pontiac needed them? The GS and a Delta performance Buick should have been Pontiacs... and all these vehicles were already well along in planning before the axe fell.

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ocnblu    773

Near luxury class.

I'm not saying the Regal base and light pressure turbo should have been Pontiacs, nor the Delta Buick sedan. Both are fine as Buicks. I'm saying these all-out performance powertrains such as in the GS and a potential high-pressure turbo Delta Buick hatch should have gone into Pontiacs.

Edited by ocnblu

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ocnblu    773

When people think of Buick, they, uh... don't think of "street cred", imo. Now, with Pontiac, and its innate, historic swagger, "street cred" is a phrase that fits.

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ocnblu    773

GM is going to need a marketing department if they expect people in 2011 and beyond to look to Buick for performance. Now, as a near luxury brand, they're already there.

It is becoming clear that GM has had good stuff to put into Pontiacs... their sporty brand since the '57 Bonneville, but they dropped them like a red-headed stepchild when the bailout carrot was dangled before them. Now they're trying to sell people a Buick that would have fit much better on the other end of the showroom, wearing an arrowhead.

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The Buick GS is Back, Regal Performance Model Green-Lit

A little while back GM was crashing and burning, littering the automotive market with debris from its badge-engineered brands. Who could have seen turbochargers, all-wheel-drive, Recaros, and a clutch showing up in the Buick lineup? The last time any one of those were even possible, I was in diapers.

More recently, Buick was the brand that was selling the Lucerne, LaCrosse, and Rendezvous, none of which could get anyone excited. Now, however, Buick intends to keep surprising people with its new direction and image. The latest decision from the golden oldie? They're going to build the Regal GS (can I get a collective high five?).

Originally debuting as a concept in Detroit this year, the GS is styled similarly to Opel's Insignia OPC yet uses a different power train (would it be too much to get the Euro's turbo-six?). Instead, we'll be getting something like the concept's turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 that makes 255 horsepower and is connected to a 6-speed manual transmission.

Sadly, the Detroit News reports that the GS may not be getting those Recaros. If that's some idea to save costs, here's a bit of advice: have them be part of an available sport package. That way, the car won't seem diluted; just having the option available shows that Buick is serious about having a little adrenaline in its lineup now that Pontiac's dead.

As for the 2.0 liter power train, it could be just the beginning. Considering the LaCrosse is soon to be Buick's big-dog, the next generation LaCrosse would likely get GM's version of EcoBoost making significantly more horsepower to better compete with Lincoln's MKS (that's right, I said it).

This means we may be able to expect more from the Regal GS in the future, but don't get too worked up just yet. It's exciting enough to see that the GS will be making it out onto dealer lots.

Since GM has decided to kill trim-level badges in order to make Buick more upscale, the Regal GS will likely be the only model with a specific designation.

Good, because this is one case where you want people to know what it is. It's a Buick GS, and it's back.

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/05/buick-gs-is-back-regal-performance.html

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FAPTurbo    1,091

If Buick comes out with serious performance cars, it will only put salt in the wounds of Pontiac people... because where was GM when Pontiac needed them? The GS and a Delta performance Buick should have been Pontiacs... and all these vehicles were already well along in planning before the axe fell.

Yeah but then everyone would've gotten super angry that the vehicles are FWD.

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Intrepidation    848

When people think of Buick, they, uh... don't think of "street cred", imo. Now, with Pontiac, and its innate, historic swagger, "street cred" is a phrase that fits.

Not to the younger generation.

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

Yeah but then everyone would've gotten super angry that the vehicles are FWD.

If done right I could see Pontiac successfully chasing the Mini-Cooper/Scion TC/Civic/Integra crowd

But you're right, a lot of people would be whining that the 2011 G5 looked nothing like the 64 Tempest and wasn't RWD.

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

GM is going to need a marketing department if they expect people in 2011 and beyond to look to Buick for performance. Now, as a near luxury brand, they're already there.

It is becoming clear that GM has had good stuff to put into Pontiacs... their sporty brand since the '57 Bonneville, but they dropped them like a red-headed stepchild when the bailout carrot was dangled before them. Now they're trying to sell people a Buick that would have fit much better on the other end of the showroom, wearing an arrowhead.

As good as GM is doing right now, I don't think they have the financial strength to support another brand with the appropriate level of development dollars needed. If they did, it would have to be super niche brand with no more models than Scion. I doubt any RWD or V8s could be sustained in such a lineup.

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If done right I could see Pontiac successfully chasing the Mini-Cooper/Scion TC/Civic/Integra crowd

Maybe.. but I'd rather have seen them survive and focus on adult stuff like the Solstice, G8, GTO..

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smk4565    351

They could dial up the boost a ton, to get 300 hp, but then what will that do to reliability? Buicks still need to have Lexus-like reliability to get repeat buyers. If they make the engine for max performance like a GT-R and then it has problems like some GT-Rs have had, those buyers will leave GM in a second. The perception already exists that Japanese cars are more reliable and last longer than American ones.

The other issue is this car is front wheel drive, over 260-270 hp in front drive is pointless and will probably make the car worse handling. If it is awd, they could do more. But as a FWD based car these is still a limit, which is probably around the 320 hp in the Opel/Vauxhall turbo V6 version. And GM still has to sell Cadillac's and the optional engines in the CTS and SRX are making 300 hp, so one would think the Buicks would all be below that.

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hyperv6    774

Hyper, don't try to sugarcoat this crap. If Buick comes out with serious performance cars, it will only put salt in the wounds of Pontiac people... because where was GM when Pontiac needed them? The GS and a Delta performance Buick should have been Pontiacs... and all these vehicles were already well along in planning before the axe fell.

No sugar here.

The sad fact is Pontiac had fewer and fewer fans as time went on. Out side some sentelmental fans Pontiac's passing went as quiet as Plymouth. I find it funny that many non car people yet have realized that Pontiac is even gone.

I note at Pontiac meets and in the magazines only a small group of base fans are even speaking out. For the most many feel it was like putting a dog down.

Buick right now is playing the middle market well with cars that can compete with Lexus, VW and Acura. In time they can grow this.

Selling Buick to the Buick or Pontiac base is not that important as they are far in the minority of the buyers they need. They need to make cars that will sell to the non traditional buyers. Hyundai did not sell to their base the have taken buyers from Honda, Buick, Pontiac, Ford and Chrysler. Buick needs to bring in the non GM buyers.

The last few years people only bought G6's and most other models other than the G8 and Solstice because they were cheap. Fleet sales and large rebates are not loyalty they are just settling.

In fact many of the die hard Pontiac fans have not bought a new Pontiac in 10 years or less.

The bottom line is if Buick can continue to offer world class cars at a competitive price with great handling and power people will buy them. Brand Loyalty is not what it once was. Or have you not noticed that the GM room got a lot emptier over the last 10 years.

So if a handful of Pontiac fans get a little salty so be it. I would trade 1 Pontiac fan for 2 or 3 conquest buyers anyday.

Time for many to realize Pontiac is gone and move on.

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Z-06    493

Maybe.. but I'd rather have seen them survive and focus on adult stuff like the Solstice, G8, GTO..

I agree there. Two product line brand. G8 family - sedan, coupe, trucklet and wagon, and Solstice family - sedan, coupe, convertible, Nomad style vehicle. Both platforms must be RWD. Shoot for 100,000 in volume. But given current state you are looking way down the road.

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

They could dial up the boost a ton, to get 300 hp, but then what will that do to reliability? Buicks still need to have Lexus-like reliability to get repeat buyers. If they make the engine for max performance like a GT-R and then it has problems like some GT-Rs have had, those buyers will leave GM in a second. The perception already exists that Japanese cars are more reliable and last longer than American ones.

The other issue is this car is front wheel drive, over 260-270 hp in front drive is pointless and will probably make the car worse handling. If it is awd, they could do more. But as a FWD based car these is still a limit, which is probably around the 320 hp in the Opel/Vauxhall turbo V6 version. And GM still has to sell Cadillac's and the optional engines in the CTS and SRX are making 300 hp, so one would think the Buicks would all be below that.

First, the Ecotec is capable of producing over 320hp without needing new hardware, so 300 should be a breeze

Second, AWD, but the "GS Mode" has the AWD system route most of the torque to the rear for aggressive driving.

Third, the new Hi-Per Strut takes out torque steer on everything but cobble stone roads where you'd be getting rear wheel hop on a RWD vehicle anyway.

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hyperv6    774

First, the Ecotec is capable of producing over 320hp without needing new hardware, so 300 should be a breeze

Second, AWD, but the "GS Mode" has the AWD system route most of the torque to the rear for aggressive driving.

Third, the new Hi-Per Strut takes out torque steer on everything but cobble stone roads where you'd be getting rear wheel hop on a RWD vehicle anyway.

If you have not gotten a copy the GM performance division has done a power book on building the Eco. Get it and read it as you will be amazed at what it can do. 320 is only where the transaxle becomes an issue. 400 HP is not a problem with the stock LNF. At this point the pistons should be changed.

The book is available at the GM dealers or anyone who sells GM perfromance parts. The older version is also on the GMPD web site and can be down loaded.

Everyone should take a look http://www.gmperformancedivision.com click on tech manuals at the bottom. There is a lot to learn here on many of the things that GM has done and you can do.

even with out the Hi-per struts the wheel is not flying out your hands. Pulling out and going around a car with is not an issue and often I find where I think it will pull it seldom does. they Hi-per struts will only make a good thing even better.

I hop tyhe AWD becomes an option later but it not a must have and most cars would be sold with out. Just it is nice to have the choice.

Edited by hyperv6

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z28luvr01    170

This says it all right here:

...I wouldn't buy a Buick, just because of the badge on the front.

I've never been a fan of the Insignia ever since I first saw it, mostly because the styling is too generic Euro-Asian to me. But GM really seems to be intent on doing the Regal right for this country. For that I am intrigued and could even look past my gripes about the styling once I see it in the steel.

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