Buick partisans now have one more reason to rejoice. In addition to the imminent arrival of the all-new 2011 Regal line, the division has confirmed it will build a production version of the high-performance Buick Regal GS that was displayed in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Even then, execs more than broadly hinted that the Regal GS would be turning up in showrooms at some point as a 21st century spiritual successor to the classic Buick Gran Sport models of yore.
While releasing no other details on the GS, including pricing or an on-sale date, Buick sources did confirm that the final go decision on this halo vehicle was facilitated by "a lot of positive consumer feedback." It also seems likely that much of what made the concept GS so attractive will be incorporated into the final production package.
Intended to boost Buick's image and credibility with a new generation of younger buyers, more affluent buyers, the Regal GS show car matched unique styling touches with enthusiast-grade powertrain and suspension upgrades. Like other Regal models, it's powered by a four-cylinder engine, although the turbocharged Ecotec under its hood makes 255 horses -- 35 more than it will in the force-fed Regal CXL that arrives this fall. Turning out 295 pound-feet of torque and backed by a six-speed manual transmission, the GS show car can streak from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds. Complementing that well-mannered muscle with a sophisticated all-wheel drive system, sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes and 20-forged-alloy wheels with 245/35 tires, this one-off precursor bodes well for what we can expect to see when the new Buick Regal GS finally does arrive in showrooms.