Although it's not yet Buick's best-selling model, the Regal has become the center of gravity for the brand. Not only does it sit in the heart of the lineup -- below the LaCrosse and above the new Verano -- but it also has the widest range of variants. All Regals are derived from the Opel Insignia and have a firmer, more-European-style chassis setup than you might expect from Buick. The Regal Turbo and the GS add driver-adjustable steering effort and adaptive dampers. The base Regal is powered by an adequate but uninspiring 2.4-liter four. Add the eAssist system, however (a $2000 option), and the Regal becomes economical and more responsive. Fuel economy shoots up from 19/31 to 25/36 mpg, which is exceptional for this class. For those seeking power rather than economy, the Regal Turbo gets 220 hp from its 2.0-liter four and can be had with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Regal GS has all kinds of serious sport-sedan hardware, with one major omission. Among the highlights are a 270-hp version of the 2.0-liter turbo four, deeply bolstered sport seats upholstered in leather, Brembo disc brakes, a lower ride height, a redesigned front suspension, and a standard six-speed stick (with an automatic option due midyear). The glaring omission is all-wheel drive, as the high-output turbo's 295 lb-ft of torque is an awful lot to send through the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available on this chassis in Europe but not here; as a consolation, the GS gets what GM calls its HiPer Strut front suspension, which helps minimize torque steer.
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