I quite liked the last Buick Regal GS. With 259 horsepower on tap, it was a premium sedan that wasn’t afraid to dish out fun in decent quantities. But all things must eventually change, including the Regal GS — just as there’s a new Buick Regal, there’s an all-new version of its sportiest trim.
The 2018 Buick Regal GS starts with the five-door hatchback body of the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback. Several cues should immediately give away the GS’ sportier pretensions, such as more aggressive bumpers with silver-painted inlets, larger side skirts and a rear spoiler. The wheels are bigger than the Sportback’s (19 inches, to be exact), and there’s a set of Brembo brake calipers behind ’em.
The new Regal GS isn’t just bark, though — there’s some bite, too. That comes in the form of a 310-horsepower, 268-pound-foot 3.6-liter V6. Mated up to a standard nine-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, it’s the most powerful variant of the new Regal by a longshot — the TourX and Sportback both wield four-bangers.
It should handle pretty nicely thanks to a set of adaptive dampers, and it sounds pretty gnarly thanks to a new exhaust system. I was able to tool around in the Regal GS briefly, and while I can’t say much about how it drives, I can confirm that the exhaust sounds surprisingly stout.
The interior received a bunch of new kit, too. The standard sport seats come with heating, ventilation and a massage function. The heated steering wheel has a flat bottom, because that’s in vogue now. There’s also a new set of shiny sport pedals, as well as a mode switch on the center console to tighten up the throttle and dampers.
The tech continues inside with a standard 8-inch infotainment system that packs both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A head-up display is optional, as is a collection of active and passive safety systems that includes adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking. OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is here, too.
It’s not often that new cars are first shown off alongside a price tag, but the Regal GS is not one for convention. When it goes on sale in early 2018, it’ll cost $39,990 including destination.