2011 Buick Regal Preview

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General Motors may have offloaded its Saturn brand but a replacement for one of its more popular models, the Aura mid-size sedan, will soon be arriving in North America--only it will be wearing a Buick badge.

The stylish Opel Insignia sedan was destined to serve as the replacement for the Saturn Aura but with the brand’s sale, GM executives have decided to sell it as the 2011 Buick Regal in the second quarter of 2010. The new car will be revealed for the first time, however, this Thursday at a special presentation in Los Angeles.

Armed with turbocharged horsepower, a driver-selectable suspension system and a firm, European-tuned chassis, it delivers a driving experience that rivals the best import sport sedans in the segment.

Targeting mid-tier premium models like the Acura TSX and upcoming 2010 Volvo S60, the new Regal comes in with a longer wheelbase and greater trunk volume than those vehicles, along with standard features--including a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels and OnStar--that aren’t offered standard on either competitor.

The Regal’s development is rooted in Germany, where the globally led engineering team created the award-winning Opel Insignia--the 2009 European Car of the Year. The car has also been a success in China, where more than 64,000 have been sold since last December.

North American-spec models will initially be offered in premium CXL trim only, with additional trim levels to be offered in the 2012 model year. The standard powertrain option will be a 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder mill but a more potent 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected unit is due late next summer.

Both engines will have a 6-speed automatic transmission standard with driver-shifting control. Fuel economy is estimated at 30 mpg on the highway with the 2.4-liter unit and 29 mpg on the highway with the 2.0-liter turbo.

In addition to have more power, the 2.0-liter turbo will also be available with a new Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) feature that offers driver-selectable suspension settings and automatic driver suspension setting adaptability. These models also get bigger 19-inch wheels.

IDCS continually monitors driving style utilizing yaw rate, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel, throttle and vehicle speed, and then calculates optimal chassis reactions.

All four dampers are electronically controlled and continuously adapt within milliseconds, and the degree to which they change is adjustable by the driver, with Normal, Tour and Sport settings, with Sport being the firmest.

Other standard features include electronic stability control, dual-stage front air bags, side-curtain air bags and pedal-release (rear-seat thorax air bags are optional), as well as a 12-way power, leather and heated driver seat, a leather and heated passenger front seat, Bluetooth capability, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar. Optional goodies include a navigation system and a Harmon Kardon sound system with a 10 GB hard drive.

[General Motors]

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Comments (14)
  1. Keep em coming! I wonder what the gas mileage figures will be on the Regal variations. If it can achieve 25 city to 33 highway, then it will be a legit alternative to a hybrid, much like the Chevy Equinox is at 32 highway! That is an incredible achievement for a gas power SUV!

  2. I like it - A far more attractive competitor than Mercury Milan.

  3. Seems like a waste since it is so smiliar to the LaCrosse

  4. Same ole GM! Another Opel Model gets stripped down and rebadged.

  5. Please Buick sell the Insignia OPC/VXR as a Regal Grand National or Gran Sport!!!! Duh! A perfect way to end the "old people car" stigma, bring some performance back to Buick! 321HP, AWD, sounds good to me.

  6. This car has perfect positioning, Denton. Where else is there a sporting FWD midsize with a competent chassis in the New GM's lineup? I'm ready for this car to take on the TSX. And that deturned 2.0 turbo some GM exec was talking about.

  7. This car has perfect positioning, Denton. Where else is there a sporting FWD midsize with a competent chassis in the New GM's lineup? I'm ready for this car to take on the TSX. And that deturned 2.0 turbo some GM exec was talking about.

    Car is about the same size as the LaCrosse and even if the pricing is low that means it will take sales from the Malibu

  8. I was impressed w/ the Enclave & then the LeCrosse but this one leaves me unmoved ...

  9. The lack of a manual transmission will discourage some TSX drivers (myself included) from considering this Regal, but I recognize those conquest sales are probably too few to justify bringing the manual over. Still, a German engineered mid-size car that's auto-only seems a bit disappointing.

  10. I would say This car and it´s new platform (Epsilon II) were developed at Opel's International Technical Development Center (ITDC)in Ruesselsheim, so it is german engineered. A lot engineering work were done there, and not in Detroit or elsewhere. And the same applies to the new Delta platform.

  11. Wow it has got those superb looks. With 220hp and more torque, I think this would be powerful enough for the roads, taking kids to sports etc...only problem IMO, front-wheel-drive.

  12. beautiful GM is on a roll. however the more affordable version from Chevy will be in my range!!!

  13. I posted this on another site/blog, and I'm reposting it here, too:
    This is a great sedan in every way, but the lack of a V6 is a disappointment. The base I-4 with the 182HP isn't bad for the class, and the 2.0L turbo-4 with the 220HP and 258ft. lbs. for a 4-banger is very decent, true, especially the torque figure, but I would have rather seen the D.I. 3.0L V6, at least, in the Regal, which would have the smoothness and refinement for the class, especially for a Buick.
    Recent reports have indicated that a GS version of the Regal could be in the works, and could sport the 3.6L, 280HP V6 from the LaCrosse.
    One thing I like with the 2011 Regal is the fact that 18" wheels are standard with 19-inchers optional, which will give it a nice stance. At least you won't see puny (by today's stanards) 16" wheels in a base edition, and give the elephant in dainty ballet-slippers appearance.

  14. Sorry, but a Saturn Aura by any other name is still a Saturn Aura. And who the hell wants all the troubles associated with a turbo? This "Regal" is a loser before it even leaves the garage!

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