Buick isn’t talked about much in this publication unless there’s some urgent Grand National news. But today Buick revealed a car that has us genuinely intrigued. It’s the 2018 Regal GS, which features a 310-hp V6 and, more interestingly, a super clever all-wheel drive system that’s very similar to the one in the Ford Focus RS. Seriously.
We reported back in 2015 that Buick was going to get a twin-clutch all-wheel drive system supplied by GKN, the same company that builds the Focus RS’s system. This drivetrain has already been employed in the 2017 LaCrosse, and can distribute torque variably between each individual rear wheel. This is what enables the Focus RS’s Drift Mode, but such a feature probably won’t be available on the Regal GS.
Still, this system could give the Regal GS sharp handling, since it effectively helps the car rotate in corners. The new GS also gets Buick’s Continuous Damping Control, which uses dampers that respond to changing road surface conditions in real time. This sounds an awful lot like the Magnetic Ride Control used to brilliant effect in other GM products, and we’ve reached out to Buick to confirm if this is the case.
The 2018 Regal GS uses a naturally aspirated version of GM’s workhorse 3.6-liter V6, which offers 310 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. It’s basically the same engine as the one offered in the Camaro V6, though its horsepower and torque figures are slightly shy of the Camaro’s 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque. For the GS, this engine is mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The old Regal GS had, shockingly, an optional six-speed manual, but only for front-wheel drive models.
The GS also gets big Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels, and a sports exhaust as standard. Inside, there’s a set of great-looking, GS-specific sport seats that come with a massage function.
Pricing for the Regal GS starts at just under $40,000, which seems like a pretty good deal for what’s offered. Of course, the proof will be in how it drives. Hopefully that clever all-wheel drive system can help make the GS a legitimately fun sports sedan, not just another front-drive-based mid-sizer with a big V6.
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