2018 Buick Regal GSHot Hatch or Not Hatch?
How many of you remember when the only cars on the market boasting 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive were either a Subaru with an engine that had a pancake fetish, or a Mitsubishi with an anime wing that wasn’t a television set? Aside from Pepperidge Farm, nearly most of us born before the turn of the century can relate. Today, after seventeen years, the market for all-wheel drive performance sedans seems saturated.
You can buy a Ford, that’s made in Germany, has a face that can make a Lamborghini blush, and a button that makes doughnuts. Alright. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can buy a Volkswagen Golf that’s a little faster than another Volkswagen Golf, and has four cheater pipes instead of just two. Or, if that’s too boring, you can always play it safe and buy the Mitsubishi, except…wait, you can’t because they stopped making it. So that leaves us with the Subaru STI, which is still being made, except minus a face-lift, nothing’s really changed for the past thirteen years. Might as well buy an older model because it’s cheaper, better looking and probably faster.
So what other option is out there that doesn’t cost you over $40K? Well, Opel…err Buick has the answer! They are bringing back the Regal GS for 2018 and on paper it seems to check all the right boxes. Three hundred and ten horsepower–because spelling it out makes it more dramatic–3.6 liter V6? Check. Nine, more than you needed, speed automatic with intelligent all-wheel drive that has active twin clutches? Check. Holy heated, cooled, and wow even massaging performance seats? Yep, that’s a check. Second-generation Continuous Damping Control 500 per second adjustment suspension? Check. Brembos? Check. Flat brim flat bottom steering wheel? Check! Bingo tickets? Nope! Also, that super nifty heads-up display that GM has been charming us with since the nineties, yeah it’s still there, except now more modernized.
Let’s face it, this car is based on an Opel, and even though it’s wearing a Buick badge, this thing is more 1960’s Buick cool than 1990’s Buick old. GM aim to deliver a car that has more features, performance, and amenities than Audi for less money. Let’s not forget also, GM currently has better chassis dynamics than even BMW, so this car will no doubt be a driver’s car. The Regal will feature an Interactive Drive Control, which allows the driver to alter the car’s driving dynamics based upon his/her driving style. With CDC (Continuous Damping Control) and the ability to adjust damping up to 500 times per second, this car will not only drive more comfortable than the Subaru STI, and definitely the harsh Focus RS, but potentially more precise than the VW Golf R. This car aims to truly be a car that can do it all. Let’s not forget the all-wheel drive, with an “active twin clutch that can precisely transfer torque between the rear wheels for more refined and efficient performance”. While no manual is in the works, GM never really nailed the manual in the previous GS, so the automatic will be most things for most people.
Keep an eye open for the 2018 Buick Regal GS, at the $40K price point, it’s competitive against every other hot hatch in it’s segment, and yes it is a hatchback.