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, autoofcars2011.blogspot 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.