The worst kept secret in Detroit is secret no longer.
After months of leaked photos and information, the new 2018 Buick Regal GS is finally official. The bad news is there are no real surprises to report – the leaked information was pretty much spot-on. The good news is, well, the information was pretty much spot on. That means Buick is giving us an all-wheel drive, five-door runabout with sexy styling, luxurious appointments, and a taste of performance.
The taste comes from a 3.6-liter naturally-aspirated V6 making 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of twist. If we’re honest, we were hoping for a bit more – that’s the same output you’ll find in the larger LaCrosse, and the 3.6-liter mill already makes 335 hp in the Chevrolet Camaro. Still, it’s a significant step up from the previous turbocharged GS, and while we aren’t expecting neck-snapping acceleration, it should help make for a lively drive. And with integrated auto start/stop and cylinder deactivation, it has the potential to be on the frugal side as well.
Engine performance will be aided by Buick’s new nine-speed automatic transmission, mated to an intelligent AWD system with an active twin clutch that the manufacturer says will precisely shuffle power between the front and rear wheels for optimum performance. Providing further assistance on that is Buick’s Interactive Drive Control system, which is standard on all GS models and includes three driver-selectable modes – standard, Sport, or GS – to deliver varying degrees of fun or refinement. To that effect, the system utilizes the manufacturer’s second-generation Continuous Damping Control, which can adjust suspension damping as much as 500 times per second.
Inside, the Regal GS is fitted with exclusive performance seats that have heating/cooling and massaging functions, as well as adjustable bolsters and thigh support. It also gets a sport steering wheel with a flat bottom, metal pedals, and an optional head-up display. Most features are controlled through a comprehensive infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, with vital information communicated to the driver through an 8-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster. Compatibility with Android Auto and Apple Carplay is standard, and a full host of driver assists are optional, including lane assist, auto braking, and adaptive cruise control.
Outside, the GS Sportback gains unique front and rear fascias with side skirts, a rear spoiler, and tasteful GS badging. Yes, it’s basically a redressed Opel Insignia but the styling works – the GS is quite the looker, especially with its standard 19-inch wheels and standard red Brembo brakes up front. We’re disappointed, however, to find LED headlights as optional equipment instead of standard.
With a base price of $39,990, the Regal GS Sportback costs $15,000 more than the base Regal, and $10,000 more than the TourX – Buick’s first station wagon since the body-on-frame Roadmaster over 20 years ago. It’s also a $2,500 bump up from the current GS, though we’ll admit the new look and extra power could be worth the premium. That question will be answered after some time behind the wheel.
Live Photos: Jake Holmes / Motor1.com
Gallery: 2018 Buick Regal GS
2018 Buick Regal GS Makes World Debut
Premium sport sedan offers all-new 310-horsepower V-6, nine-speed transmission and intelligent AWD with active twin clutch
DETROIT — Where spirited driving meets attainable luxury and sleek, sporty design meets modern usefulness, you’ll find the 2018 Buick Regal GS – a car for commutes that are anything but common. As the brand’s most dramatic expression of design and dynamics, this all-new model balances these key characteristics to provide customers excellent driving performance every day and in every season.
The 2018 Regal GS advances the nameplate with 51 more horsepower than the model it replaces, more refined transmission and AWD technology, all-new, heated/cooled and massaging performance seats and the added functionality and style of a five-door sportback design. Starting at $39,990 with destination charges, the Regal GS offers luxury features at a price more attainable than competitors from Audi and BMW.
“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving, but one that makes every drive special,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market: more refined and luxurious than the mainstream, more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher-end competitors, and with standard features like AWD with active twin clutch and a rear sportback design that will surprise customers with its usefulness.”
Regal GS Highlights:
- New 3.6L V-6 with 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque featuring direct injection, cylinder deactivation and stop/start technology
- Standard nine-speed automatic transmission and intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) with active twin clutch for improved vehicle control, and five-link rear suspension
- GS-specific, AGR-certified, performance seats that are heated, cooled and massaging with adjustable seat and seat-back bolsters as well as thigh support
- Second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC) capable of 500 adjustments per second and Interactive Drive Control with GS and Sport modes
- Unique sport front and rear fascias, side skirts and rear spoiler
- Standard 19-inch wheels
- Performance brakes with Brembo front calipers
- Sport-tuned exhaust system
- Sport flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals
- Available head-up display
Buick’s most advanced new propulsion components come standard on the new Regal GS. With 310 horsepower, its refined 3.6-liter V-6 provides more power than an Acura TLX A-Spec or a Lexus IS350 F-Sport but offers seamless auto stop/start technology and can cruise on four cylinders. The V-6 engine is complemented by a sport-tuned dual exhaust system.
Regal GS’ intelligent AWD system with an active twin clutch can precisely transfer torque between the rear wheels for more refined and efficient performance, and the GS receives one of the first applications of the nine-speed automatic transmission in the Buick lineup that’s mated to AWD. This advanced new transmission will soon be offered across five different Buick models.
Every Regal GS also features Buick’s Interactive Drive Control, allowing the driver to tailor the car’s dynamics based on different drive experiences through a standard setting or Sport and GS modes selected via the center console. Interactive Drive Control utilizes Buick’s second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which is able to adjust suspension damping up to 500 times per second.
Versus a standard 2018 Regal Sportback, the GS also has standard Brembo brakes for more confident stopping power.
“With the all-new 2018 Regal GS, we set out to make a driver-focused, engaging and entertaining sport sedan without sacrificing the smooth ride and refined character expected of any modern Buick,” said Martin Hayes, chief engineer for the Buick Regal GS. “Our new V-6 and nine-speed transmission, intelligent AWD and CDC all work to deliver excellent driving performance.”
Outside, Buick’s signature sculptural beauty presents the car’s sporting nature in an understated way with aggressive front and rear fascias, standard 19-inch wheels, a rear decklid spoiler and GS badging front and rear. Full LED headlamps are an option.
Inside, the Regal features unique perforated GS-specific performance seats with integrated headrests and adjustable lumbar and thigh support bolsters. The seats are 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 offers a cohesive and connected infotainment experience with an 8-inch diagonal touchscreen and 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable instrument cluster as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility both come standard. A full-color head-up display is available with an optional Driver Confidence II package that also includes several safety features including Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking.
The Regal GS is a highest performance expression of the 2018 Buick Regal GS Sportback. Other Regal Sportback models will offer a standard 2.0T engine and sleek new design at a starting price -- $25,915 – that’s approximately $2,000 lower than the 2017 Regal
The first-ever Regal TourX, which combines car-like handling and SUV capability, launches with limited availability of select higher trim levels later this year. TourX models with a starting price of $29,995 are expected to be available at dealers in February 2018.
Every Regal also comes equipped with a 3 month/3 gigabyte trial of OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and access to an unlimited data plan for $20 per month, as well as five years of the OnStar Basic Plan at no additional cost. Among other benefits like the myBuick app, this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance and become better drivers.
All prices above exclude tax, title, license and dealer fees.
 Visit onstar.com for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services and connectivity may vary by model and conditions. Eligible vehicle and data plan required. 4G LTE coverage not available everywhere. Data plans provided by AT&T. After 22GB of data usage, AT&T may slow speeds.
 Plus applicable taxes and fees. Plan provides access to AT&T wireless data services for your equipped vehicle for 30 days. Payments are non-refundable (subject to applicable law). Visit onstar.com or att.com for plan details.
 OnStar Basic Plan is available for five years from the delivery date of eligible 2015 model year and newer vehicles and is transferable. Basic Plan does not include Emergency, Security or Navigation services; these and other services require a paid plan. Visit onstar.com for details.
 Compatible mobile device required. Some features require a paid OnStar service plan.