The Buick Regal luxury sport sedan’s driving experience stacks up with the best imports in the segment for a good reason: All Regal models balance dynamic ride and handling and responsive power without sacrificing fuel economy. Whether it’s higher performance or better fuel economy, the 2012 Regal offers consumers more choices and more value than its competitors.
The 2012 Buick Regal lineup consists of:
- Regal, with EPA-estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city/31 mpg highway
- All-new Regal with eAssist light electrification technology, which delivers EPA-estimated 36 mpg highway
- Regal Turbo, which takes on competitors such as the Acura TSX, Volvo S60 and Volkswagen CC. The Regal Turbo makes 220 horsepower (164 kW).
- All-new Regal GS, a responsive, high-output turbo performance touring sedan with 270 horsepower (201 kW), 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque and standard Interactive Drive Control System.
All-new Regal models for 2012
Regal with eAssist: The Buick Regal with available eAssist™ fuel-saving technology – all-new for 2012 – gives customers the best of both worlds: a premium, no-apologies driving experience with EPA fuel economy of 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
Mated to Regal’s 2.4L Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission, the eAssist system uses power stored in the lithium-ion battery to provide needed electrical boost in various driving situations, optimizing engine and transmission operation. Combined with the vehicle’s regenerative braking capability, the eAssist system increases combined city/highway fuel economy more than 25 percent over the standard four-cylinder/six-speed powertrain.
Regal GS: The Regal GS blends a 270-horsepower (201 kW) high-output Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine, six-speed manual transmission, responsive Interactive Drive Control System suspension technology, four-piston Brembo front calipers and aggressive styling into a powerful and spirited performance touring sedan. The Regal GS 2.0L Turbo delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has offered, and at 135 hp per liter, it is the most power-dense engine ever certified by SAE.
The engine also produces more torque than the Acura TSX V-6, Audi A4, Lexus IS 250 and IS 350, Infiniti G25 and G37, and Volvo S60.
A six-speed automatic transmission will be offered later in the model year.
More Regal news for 2012
Regal’s standard 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine adds FlexFuel capability, meaning it can operate on regular unleaded fuel, E85 ethanol or any combination of both. E85 is a North America-produced biofuel that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as petroleum use.
Buick IntelliLink is standard on the Regal, and will roll out later in the year. It uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smart phone to a new high-resolution, full-color touch screen display radio. IntelliLink expands on Buick’s current Bluetooth and USB capabilities to allow smart phone control via voice activation and steering wheel-mounted controls. It also enables streaming stereo audio from the phone through services such as PANDORA® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®.
In addition to making it easier for Buick customers to customize their music, Buick IntelliLink seamlessly integrates portable devices while they are safely stowed, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
IntelliLink complements the safety, security and connectivity services of OnStar, also standard on all Regal models. With a simple button touch, voice command or via an app downloadable for certain smartphones, Regal owners can access popular OnStar services such as Turn-by-Turn navigation and Destination Download, hands-free calling, remote door unlock, vehicle diagnostics, emergency assistance and much more.
- The Regal’s flowing silhouette and coupe-like proportions suggest motion from all angles.
- Attention to detail complements the Regal’s bold styling, with Buick design cues such as the waterfall grille, select use of chrome trim and excellent fit and finish of the exterior panels. For 2012, Buick’s signature portholes return, but to the hood instead of the front fenders, and all Regal models will sport a black chrome grille.
- Short rear deck and tucked-in body panels are characteristic of a contemporary sport sedan. Bold taillamps and intricate lighting elements underscore the car’s attention to detail.
- Regal GS features unique front and rear fascias, with the front fascia incorporating prominent, vertical air intake slots. The rear fascia has a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Rocker panel extensions and a rear spoiler extension are also featured.
- The feeling of flow and motion extends inside the car, where side panels flow uninterrupted into the instrument panel.
- Gauges and controls have the look of expensive sport timepieces and are lit with ice-blue LED lights.
- The center stack was designed to allow for a lower instrument panel profile more inviting to drivers.
- Firm, highly bolstered seats were benchmarked against the top import competitors for comfort and support.
Regal interior and exterior – standard and available features
Standard equipment includes: Dual-zone air conditioning; seven-speaker, AM/FM/XM stereo with single-disc CD and MP3 player; 3.5 mm audio input jack; USB port for iPod connectivity; speed-compensated volume and TheftLock; OnStar; Bluetooth for phone; Sirius XM Satellite Radio with three free months of service; leather-appointed and heated driver and front passenger seats; remote keyless entry; leather-wrapped steering wheel; Buick IntelliLink (later availability).
Premium 1 equipment group adds: 120-volt power outlet; extended-range E-Z Key Passive Entry System and automatic door lock/unlock features; push-button keyless start; ultrasonic rear parking assist; front passenger eight-way power and four-way power lumbar seats; Universal Home Remote; remote start and chrome accent door handles. All Premium 1 features are standard on Regal Turbo.
Premium 2 equipment group adds: harman/kardon 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix Surround Sound with nine speakers; rear seat-mounted thorax air bags; HID headlamps with flash-to-pass feature, automatic on/off, automatic delay and warning buzzer.
Premium 3 (Turbo) equipment group adds: available Interactive Drive Control System and 19-inch alloy wheels. GS equipment group adds: standard Interactive Drive Control System tuned exclusively for GS and 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels. Twenty-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels and summer-rated performance tires are optional. Regal GS includes all Turbo Premium group features.
Additional options include audio system with touch screen navigation, SD card reader and multi-function controller, and a tilt-sliding power sunroof.
Chassis and suspension
The Regal’s chassis and structural systems were developed globally and they give the Regal the handling and dynamics of a luxury, import sport sedan with the quiet, refined ride expected of a Buick.
Regal’s Interactive Drive Control System chassis technology (available on 2.0L Turbo model and standard on GS) is designed to change the personality of the car based on the driver’s preference. One of the most rigid body structures in the segment supports more precise suspension tuning and a quieter ride. Additional features include:
- Long wheelbase of 107.8 inches (2738 mm) gives the Regal refined, well-balanced vehicle dynamics and supports comfortable ride tuning.
- Independent MacPherson strut-type front suspension, a four-link independent rear suspension, electric rack-and-pinion power steering and optimized four-wheel disc brakes are designed to balance ride comfort and sportiness. Models equipped with the 2.0L turbo engine feature larger brakes and hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering with variable assist.
- Regal GS features a four-wheel independent suspension with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPer Strut) front suspension design. HiPerStrut helps reduce torque steer and improves grip and cornering power, and provides crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.
- Latest-generation electronic stability control (StabiliTrak), anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction control system (TCS) are standard.
Interactive Drive Control
Buick’s Interactive Drive Control System is available on the Regal Turbo and standard on Regal GS, and adapts damping and other driving functions to drivers’ preferences. It includes 19-inch wheels. While the Regal Turbo offers Interactive Drive Control with the choice of a standard adaptive setting, a more comfortable Tour mode and a Sport mode, the system in the Regal GS is deliberately tuned for those who enjoy a higher level of performance:
- Standard: Delivers ideal all-round performance while maintaining comfort characteristics for everyday driving.
- Sport: Features a firmer level of suspension damping and reduces body roll for more agility. The sport mode increases steering effort only on the Regal Turbo.
- Tour (exclusive to Regal Turbo): Optimized for comfort and relaxed driving on longer journeys.
- GS (exclusive to Regal GS): Readies the car for dynamic, enthusiast- level driving. Increased steering efforts provide more direct feedback to the driver, while increased damping levels ensure ultimate wheel control and reduced body roll for ultimate agility. GS mode will also alter the shift feel on an automatic transmission.
Efficient, proven powertrains
The Regal relies on the excellent horsepower-per-liter ratio of the four-cylinder Ecotec engine family to deliver smart, on-demand performance that is also very efficient.
- The standard 2.4L engine and the available 2.0L turbo use direct injection technology to optimize performance, reduce emissions and maximize fuel efficiency. On the Regal Sport Sedan and Turbo, these engines are also flex-fuel capable and can run on E85 ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two.
- The 2.4L makes 182 horsepower (136 kW) and 172 lb-ft (233 Nm) of torque, and delivers agile performance. EPA-estimated highway fuel economy on the Regal sedan is 31 mpg; and 36 mpg on Regal with eAssist.
- The 2.0L turbo, responsible for the Regal Turbo’s 220 horsepower (164 kW) and 260 lb-ft (353 Nm) of torque, provides on-demand power comparable to a V-6, but with the efficiency of a four-cylinder, at an estimated 32 mpg highway with the available six-speed manual transmission. A high-output version of the 2.0L turbo makes 270 horsepower (201 kW) in the Regal GS, while still delivering 27 mpg highway when paired with the standard six-speed manual.
- The 2.0L Turbo in the GS delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has offered.
- Six-speed automatic transmissions are paired with each engine (later availability for GS). Both offer driver shift control that enhance the sporty driving feel. A six-speed manual transmission is available at no charge on Regal Turbo and standard on Regal GS.
Safety and crash-avoidance features
Regal offers standard and available safety features designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash. Safety-enhancing features include:
- Six standard air bags including dual-stage frontal and side-impact air bags. Rear-seat thorax side-impact air bags are optional. Regal GS is equipped with eight standard air bags, including rear-seat thorax side-impact air bags.
- Three-point safety belts in all seating positions and air bag passenger sensing system to detect the presence of a small adult or child in the front passenger seat.
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control helps drivers maintain vehicle control in certain driving situations, and helps mitigate rollover crashes.
- Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist and traction control.
- Daytime running lamps to improve visibility to other vehicles as well as pedestrians.
- LATCH system for safe and secure attachment of child safety seats.
- Available ultrasonic rear parking assist with audible warning (front and rear parking assist is standard on GS).
- Standard tire pressure monitoring system.
All Regal models are equipped with segment-exclusive OnStar technology, which includes the Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance, remote vehicle diagnostics, six months of the Directions and Connections plan for route guidance support and OnStar RemoteLink.
OnStar RemoteLink allows Regal owners with certain smartphones to download an app to start the vehicle remotely, as well as get information on the fuel tank's level and range, the remaining oil life, current and recommended tire pressure, and lifetime average miles per gallon. In addition, users can access the current odometer reading, vehicle ID (VIN) and OnStar account number, plus call a dedicated representative for advice or assistance.
Other OnStar services:
- The Advanced Crash Response System uses vehicle sensors, GPS and digital cellular phone technology to summon emergency responders to a crash scene even when the vehicle’s occupants are unable to do so.
- Stolen Vehicle Location capability helps law enforcement officials find subscribers’ vehicle in the event they are stolen.
- Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology allows an OnStar advisor to remotely cut off power to the vehicle in the event of a police chase.
- OnStar 9.0 technology offers improved voice recognition capabilities for regional phrases and dialects.