Last summer, Buick announced that they were releasing a new Regal GS with an impressive 310HP and all-wheel drive to help put that power to the ground, and we couldn’t contain our excitement. Could this new GS be the modern day Grand National that we’ve all been waiting for? To find out, we headed down to Atlanta a few weeks ago to put this ferocious Buick to the test.
Buick has been shaking things in recent years as they attempt to shed their “old” image, with more attractive offerings than they are traditionally known for, and going after untapped niches (aka white spaces). The new Regal continues this trend, getting completely revamped for 2018, and ditching the traditional sedan layout for three variants – a hatch (Sportback), a wagon (TourX), and a performance sedan (GS).
We had a chance to drive the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback a few months back, and I found the car to offer a nice balance of comfort, sportiness, and utility. So I couldn’t wait to see how an extra 60 horsepower and a bunch of performance tweaks would transform the car.
In a word.. Impressive! The 2018 Buick Regal GS most definitely brings the heat, with 310HP and 282 lb-ft of torque from its 3.6-liter V6 engine, more aggressive styling front and rear, performance brakes with Brembo front calipers, a sports-tuned suspension with Interactive Drive Control, Recaro-style performance seats, a throaty exhaust, 19″ wheels, a nine-speed automatic (sadly no manual this time around), and AWD.
With all of the other automakers moving to turbocharged engines, we were thrilled to see Buick do the exact opposite with the GS, opting for a large-displacement, naturally-aspirated motor. Power delivery is immediate and linear, with the car rocketing from 0-60mph in a respectable five seconds.
Buick’s Interactive Drive Control system lets you choose between three drive modes: Regular, Sport, and GS. Clicking the ‘Sport’ button increases steering effort, firms up the shocks, and quickens the shifts. And as you would expect, the GS mode dials things up another notch. Naturally, we spent most of the time in GS mode, grinning from ear to ear as we made our way through the hilly switchbacks of Georgia, the car hugging those corners, with tons of grip and no body roll whatsoever.
Visually, Buick did a nice job with the Regal GS, giving it just the right dose of sportiness without overdoing it. There’s a more aggressive front bumper and grill, with that familiar air ducts from the previous generation GS. Out back, the rear fascia and spoiler really work to hide the fact that this is a
hatch Sportback. The red brake calipers hiding behind those 19-inch wheels complete the look.
Step inside, and the first thing you notice are the GS-specific performance seats, which look like they belong in a racecar rather than in a Buick. Not only are these bad boys supportive, but they’re heated and ventilated and come standard with a massage function. The interior also features a standard heated flat-bottom sport steering wheel and GS-specific pedals and sill plates.
The 2018 Regal GS can be equipped with all of the technology bells and whistles you want, keeping drivers entertained (with an 8-inch infotainment screen), connected (with OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi), and safe (with the optional Driver Confidence II package).
Overall, we think Buick knocked it out of the park with the new Regal GS, delivering a confident, spirited, and efficient luxury vehicle that is ready to face off against the competition (Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln, etc) head on. And with a starting price of just $39,990, it undercuts those “premium” brands by a significant margin.
While it’s not quite the Grand National successor that we were hoping for, the Regal GS is one fun ride, and it will have you looking at Buick in a whole new light.
“The cure for the common commute” indeed!
The 405HP BMW M2 Competition Really Is The Ultimate Driving Machine
When BMW first introduced the M2, it was a clear indication that they had not forgotten about purists like me who wanted a small, lightweight, fun-to-drive sports car that could hang with the big boys come track day. And that it did.
But now they’ve taken things up a notch with the first-ever 2019 BMW M2 Competition.
As the name suggests, the M2 Competition is playing for keeps, with a new engine lifted from the M3/M4, a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter straight-six making 405 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.
For those of you keeping score, that’s 40 horses and 63 more lb-ft than the outgoing M2, and it’s good enough for a 0-60 time of four seconds flat and a top speed of 174 mph.
Naturally, there’s a host of chassis improvements to make the most of the added power, with lots of raiding from the M3/M4 parts bin, along with new M Sport seats, larger M Sport brakes front and rear, a new dual exhaust system, and bigger kidney grilles up front (painted black).
Overall, it’s a pretty impressive update to a vehicle that was perfectly fine as it sat, taking this lightweight track beast and dialing it up to 11. Porsche owners had better watch out!
No word on pricing just yet, but it sounds like it will be worth every penny that they’re asking. And if it turns out to be too rich for your blood, you can always pick up one of the many used M2’s that will surely be hitting the market once the M2 Competition comes out..
Speaking of which, anyone wanna buy a kidney? 🙂
What do you think of the BMW M2 Competition?
What Do You Think Of The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro And Its Bold New Styling?
This morning, Chevrolet surprised all of us with the unveiling of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, which feature distinctive designs, new available technologies and the first-ever Turbo 1LE.
We’re not really sure why Chevrolet chose not to unveil the new Camaro at the 2018 New York Auto Show a few weeks ago, given the sheer number of consumers and media who come out to the show. But they must have had their reasons..
In any event, we got our first glimpse of the 2019 Camaro this morning, and it’s… different.
According to Chevy, the 2019 Camaro’s updated designs “are not only striking but also help to improve performance. For instance, the grille details and hood and fascia vents were designed for optimized air flow, either to cool components or help minimize drag or lift.”
Maybe so, but at what cost? The 2018 Camaro was a great looking ride. But the new Camaro has already got the Internet buzzing, and not in a good way. The front-end treatment is a bit much, and it’s even worse in SS trim, where the grille is mostly blacked out.
Still, if you can look past the looks, there’s a lot to like about the new Camaro. The SS model’s 6.2-liter LT1 V8 can now be paired with a 10-speed automatic, complete with custom launch control and line-lock. This transmission, co-developed with Ford, replaces the eight-speed automatic, and until now it’s only been available in the ZL1 model.
In addition, a new Turbo 1LE joins the V6 1LE, SS 1LE and ZL1 1LE to round out Camaro’s line of 1LE track stars. The 275 HP Camaro Turbo 1LE comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and a tailored chassis package that includes a performance suspension with larger diameter front and rear stabilizer bars, specifically tuned dampers, stiffer rear cradle bushings and cross-axis ball joints in the rear tow links that enhance lateral stiffness
The Turbo 1LE also gets wide summer tires (275mm in the rear, 245mm in the front), Brembo brakes, a drive-mode selector with sport and track modes, a suede flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob, and optional Recaro seats, along with nearly 50-50 weight distribution.
As you can see, there’s a lot to like about the 2019 Camaro, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one so I can test it out for myself. And while I’m not 100% sold on the styling of the new Camaro, maybe it’s one of those designs that looks better in person than in photos.
What do you think of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro?
Review: 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t
Of all of the vehicles in the Infiniti line, the Q50 is probably the most timeless. For the 2018 model year, the Q50 shuffles a few things, but remains as it’s been for some time. Unlike many in the luxury segments, however, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 holds its age well and after a week in this sedan, we still like it for everything that it is.
Key to the Q50’s nature are its understated good looks, comfortable interior, and a strong road presence. Like most in the luxury sport sedan market, the Infiniti Q50 is offered in a variety of performance flavors from the daily driving 2.0t model with its turbocharged four-cylinder to the powerful Red Sport 400 and the fuel-sipping Q50 Hybrid model. We spent our week driving the middle-road 3.0t model with its turbocharged six-cylinder engine and would recommend it as the Q50 of choice for most buyers.
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t combines strong performance with a likeable price point. Much of the focus gets put on the Red Sport 400 model, which deserves that notice, but which most will likely find overpowered and too highly priced to compensate. The well-done 3.0-liter V6 in the 3.0t model outputs 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which are more than enough to make a midsize luxury sedan feel powerful and go fast. The solid range of output the engine has is well managed by the smart automatic transmission that comes attached and the tight and balanced chassis all of it sits upon.
We drove the all-wheel drive model and would recommend it for not only its added control, but its peace of mind when the weather goes sour. We had snow and bad weather during our time with the 2018 Q50 3.0t and it proved itself capable in those conditions.
Fuel economy in the 2018 Q50 is good, with the 3.0t model returning 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway on paper and a little better than that, we found, in real life. Compared to the less powerful 2.0t’s 23/31 and the more powerful Red Sport 400’s 20/26, the 3.0t’s V6 seems to balance power output and economy well.
Key to the 2018 Infiniti Q50’s appeal is its timeless exterior design, which starts with an understated front grille and hawkeye-shaped headlamps. A hoodline shaped for speed, fenders bulging with power, and an unobtrusive rear fender design all combine to make for that timeless, sport-tuned quality that the Q50 carries with it.
Our chief concerns with the Infiniti Q50 are in the interior, where the dual screen infotainment often vies with itself to see which screen will glare more often and the somewhat cramped trunk space. The latter being especially true if you prefer to carry a full-sized spare tire.
Where the interior shines, however, is everywhere else. Quality materials and high-end workmanship are seen in the cabin with ergonomics and layout being very well done. We like the low-slung dashboard, which keeps the cabin cozy without impinging on legroom, and the cushioning way the rear seating is shaped to keep rear headroom high despite the sloping roofline.
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 2.0t has a base price of $34,200 while the 3.0t starts at $38,950. We recommend bumping that over forty thousand to get the 3.0t Sport model with AWD for the best mix of accoutrements and drivetrain.