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Buick shifts gears with 2011 Regal

by Scott Burgess, Detroit News

The 2011 Buick Regal is the most important car in Buick's lineup.

It can transform the brand, or bury it, depending upon whom you talk to. But it's certainly going to shake things up in the coming months.

Based on the Opel Insignia, this midsize sports sedan will arrive this spring with a nice 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

But the car is not what brought me to Milford, outside of General Motors Co.'s testing grounds. I was there to test the exact engine that will come in the Regal this summer: the 2-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder. This is the heart of the real Regal; the one disguised as an Opel Insignia has won acclaim across the Old World.

Now, it's the New World's turn.

Along with me on the drive was Jim Federico, GM's vehicle line executive for global midsize vehicles, and Craig Bierley, Buick's marketing director. As we ate lunch, they talked excitedly about the new Regal.

Federico, an engineer by trade, has spent more time in airplanes than offices in recent months, flying back and forth from Michigan to Germany, where the Insignia is currently made. (It will first be made there and shipped to the United States. Later, it will be made in Canada.) Future Buick owners may raise a statue in his honor for the work he did on this car. In fact, they should.

This car is important for many reasons: It could be the third hit in a row for Buick. GM is still less than a year out of bankruptcy, so there's no time for failure, and it's the very first truly global car in GM's lineup. From the beginning, it was designed to be sold around the globe.

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I agree, grassroots Buick lovers will want one for sure.

Dave
Maybe in the second production run it will be offered? Also if they receive enough consumer feedback, GM may introduce a V8 option.

From the information provided in the article, I'm anxious to see how the Regal and the Regal GS drive - I'm sure it would be a blast. I think that if it's fun to drive and the engine is as responsive as described, the younger drivers will come.
 

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I think its a mistake not to offer a V6 option.
Not necessarily - what if most people don't want a V6 and the 4-cylinder engine provides enough power as is. Also, wouldn't a V6 make the Regal more expensive?

Personally, I'm not losing sleep over the fact that Buick is not offering a V6 option on the Regal. And wouldn't a V6 decrease fuel efficiency?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think that Buick could win huge by bring out a modern version of the Grand National. Do a small V6, with twin turbos, trim the weight and use the old GN graphics? That could rock the Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers of the world!

Maybe this time, you won't have to have a standing order for head gaskets with your dealer, either. :D

Digger
 

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The 220 hp Turbo 4 is more powerful than my 3.0 liter V6, while providing reasonable mileage. If you want to hit a younger audience, you can't ignore economy or the environment. That said, the devil on my shoulder may push me towards the GS!
 

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Why bother with a V6? Put a V8 in it and call it a day. Yes it will have horrible gas mileage and more emissions. But you will have the biggest smile on your face while burning that gas away.
 
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