Buick is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Case in point: I'm at GM's Milford Proving Grounds, informally known as the Lutz-ring, about 30 minutes out of Detroit. It's a sinewy track made of turns copied from famous race tracks around the world. With its high speeds, long turns and quick elevation changes, MPG tests vehicle durability.
And I'm slithering a toward the apex of one of the many blind turns, heel-and-toe downshifting and patiently waiting to get back on throttle, all the while pinned to the side of the GS's bolstered leather seats.
Yes, this is a . To say that Buick's globally bred, Epsilon-based Regal is a complete redefinition of what a Regal used to be is an understatement. And thankfully for the motoring world, it's for the better. When we tested the Regal CXL Turbo last year, we were impressed. We loved its 200-bhp inline-4, its state-of-the-art interior and clean styling. But we couldn't wait for the top-line GS.
Now that it's here though, we have some good news and bad news.
First, the good: It's finally here! It goes on sale in the fall, with prices that start at $35,310 (with destination). The bad: While it was originally targeted to have a Haldex-based all-wheel-drive system (other Epsilon based cars from and Opel feature the system), the 2012 Buick GS will be offered only in front-drive form, for efficiency (weight and fuel) and pricing reasons.
The GS's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 is far more powerful than the CXL's, producing 270 bhp at 5300 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque at 2400 rpm. It's basically the Ecotec Cobalt SS engine that we've all grown to love. Along with the turbo, it uses variable valve timing, 3-in.exhaust and direct injection. At peak, the CXL has 15 psi of boost, whereas the GS has 20. (more)
Keep Reading: 2012 Buick Regal GS – Driving Impressions >>
Photos: 2012 Buick Regal GS >>