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Detroit Autoshow 2010: Buick Regal GS - The new beast

If there’s one brand that continues to fly under the radar, it’s Buick. While it enjoys immense success over in Japan and China, North Americans keep getting sedate, comfort-oriented automobiles.

But now, this GM leftover is moving in a new direction as evidenced by the Buick Regal GS, which was unveiled at the 2010 NAIAS in Detroit.

The standard Regal, as you know, is a low-profile albeit nicely-executed sport sedan that will be manufactured in Canada. Bob Lutz, who has more than a thing for high-performance machines, chose to introduce a new show car based on the Opel Insignia OPC.

Under the hood of the Regal GS is a 255-horsepower, 2.0-litre, turbocharged Ecotec engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The high-performance drivetrain is expected to enable accelerations from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds.

The exterior receives additional air intakes and 20-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires, while the underbody gets a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension and Brembo brakes. Buick also added its new Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology which alters suspension, throttle and steering calibration anytime the driver feels like it. Inside, Recaro sport seats await occupants.

For now, production is not actually considered, let alone announced, but Mr. Lutz refused to say the Regal GS will be limited to a show-car role.