Buick Regal Clocked Doing 162 MPH in Nevada
A pair of Buick engineers piloted a stock Regal GS luxury sport sedan to a second-place finish in the 135-mph class of this month’s Nevada Open Road Challenge, finishing within 0.4 seconds of their 40-minute target time. The podium finish follows a first place title claimed by the same team – driver Bill Rietow and navigator John Townsend – in the 120-mph class last fall.
Success was based on balancing low-speed sections of the course with running the Regal at top speed for a period of time. During that segment, a radar trap controlled by race operators verified a speed of 162 mph for the 270-horsepower Buick. The Regal's 2.0-liter turbocharged engine was named one of WardsAuto World’s 2012 “10 Best Engines” for North America.
Now it's probably time for some kind of disclaimer. Don't try this on open roads. Closed course with a professional driver as the car manufacturers are fond of posting on their TV commercials (even when showing a car being driven normally down the highway).
The top speed was reached as part of the Nevada Open Road Challenge takes place on a remote, two-lane, 90-mile-long segment of Nevada State Highway 318. Rather than a test of who finishes a course the fastest, the goal is average speed consistency. Podium finishers often are separated by hundredths of a second.
The Regal GS piloted by Rietow and Townsend was a stock 2012 model, with modifications limited to safety equipment such as a roll hoop and five-point harness seat belts, as well as data collection computers.