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Auto blogFri, 29 Nov 2013 19:01:00 EST
Buick may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of performance automobiles, but fans of the brand know what letters to look for. If you believe the reports, there's a new GNX and Grand National on the way, but in the meantime, Buick may offer more GS models to fill the void.
Currently, the Regal is the only model available as a GS (pictured above), packing the same 259-horsepower turbo four as the Regal Turbo but enhanced with key suspension, brakes and rolling-stock upgrades. As Car and Driver notes, similar upgrades could easily be applied to the Verano and LaCrosse, although maybe not the Encore or Enclave crossovers. Of course, Buick would still have to steer clear of Cadillac's Vsport line, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a little room to play.
A day after Ford announced it was scaling back the complimentary maintenance program for its Lincoln brand, General Motors has gone in the completely opposite direction, offering most of its 2014 lineup with free maintenance. Since 2011, Cadillac models have all come with a four-year/50,000-mile complimentary maintenance program, but Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles will now come standard with free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles for the 2014 model year.
The program will give vehicle owners and lessees free oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections following the recommended maintenance schedule laid out in each vehicle's owner's manual. We contacted GM to see which vehicles were eligible for the program, and a spokesperson got back to us with the following comment:
"All 2014 models are eligible, it's just that the included services vary by model, e.g., Spark EV would not need oil changes, Corvettes don't recommend tire rotations."
Buick has announced pricing for the refreshed 2014 Regal. The base model offers a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 259-horsepower, four-cylinder engine for $30,615 (*after $925 delivery and destination fee). The standard turbo can be replaced by Buick's eAssist mild hybrid system for $32,485. The electrified powertrain delivers 36 miles per gallon, in place of the turbo's 30 mpg on the highway.
The big powertrain news for 2014 is the inclusion of an all-wheel-drive system for an extra $2,175. Marking one of the few uses of all-wheel drive on a Buick car, the new Regal AWD has an electronic, limited-slip differential and a HiPer Strut front suspension, which is the same front arrangement used on the hot, front-drive Regal GS.
Speaking of the Regal GS, it's not so hot for 2014. It sports the same 259-horsepower engine as the standard Regal, but offsets that with a wealth of standard, optional or flat-out exclusive equipment like active dampers, Brembo brakes and a Bose stereo. Prices (all including the $925 fee) start at $37,830. Like the standard car, the GS will be available with all-wheel drive for the first time, bringing it a bit more in line with its cousins across the pond - Opel Insignia OPC and Vauxhall Insignia VXR. Prices for the GS AWD start at $40,195.