Set to debut in just a few weeks time at the LA Auto Show, Buick has taken the covers off the official production version of its new Regal GS sports sedan. Changing little from the concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show at the start of the year, it retains the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with output raised to 255-hp and a significant 295 ft-lbs of torque. Full power comes on strong at 5300 rpm and torque is available as of 2500 rpm. Only one transmission is offered and, to our surprise, it's a 6-speed manual – hinting that this is a machine built for enthusiasts. This, however, is just a marketing trick and a 6-speed auto-box is set to arrive in the next few months.
Sadly, AWD is not available. Instead, the Regal GS is a front-drive only model and comes equipped with GM's HiPerStrut suspension. What is included, however, are some beefy Brembo brakes which should help slow the sedan. Another important goody is GM's new Interactive Drive Control that lets you choose different suspension and steering settings with normal, sport and high-performance GS modes.
Outside the car gets a more aggressive front end, larger exhaust pipes out back and 19-inch wheels (20s are optional). Inside, standard equipment includes a push-button start with passive keyless entry, a 9-speaker 320-watt Harmon/Kardon audio system, 12-way heated front seats with lumbar adjustment, full leather interior, Bi-xenon headlights, front and rear ultrasonic park assist and a flat-bottom leather steering wheel.
Overall, the Regal GS falls short of the high-performance Opel OPC on which it's based, but for a Buick this package is impressive.
We'll be sure to bring you more on the car with its reveal at the LA Auto Show starting November 17th.
More: 2012 Buick Regal GS Revealed Ahead of LA Auto Show on AutoGuide.com