Grandma's car on the race track
Buick's new rebranding effort has been underway for some time and the General Motors brand has been working hard to shed its aged baggage and become younger, lighter and more nimble. The 2012 Regal's slogan is "Check your expectations at the door." I would suggest that you not do that because if you expect what I expected out of the Regal, you'll be humbled with delight.
One of the cars at the Rocky Mountain Drive Event in Denver, Colorado that surprised by its appearance, of all places, on a race track alongside monsters like the Audi R8, was the 2012 Buick Regal GS. I got into this car expecting to take a leisurely ride with grandma around the track, puttering around corners in comfort and (by the looks of it) style. I was half right.
The Regal GS delivers comfort and style in a big way. What surprises is that it also delivers in performance and handling. No, it did not outrun or out-corner the R8 or Mustang, but honestly, those cars wouldn't be comfortable as road trip rides or daily drivers like the Regal. On the other hand, the Regal was far from geriatric in its speed and agility.
On the first loop of the GT track run, I took it easy on the GS because of my preconceptions about the car. On the straightaway, however, I punched it hoping that GM had not skimped under the hood. The seat-pressing growl that came back at me was a shock and the surprise was such that I missed the first brake flag indicating the approaching corner. I recovered and put it through that tight turn in a tire-squealing cut and came out the other side of the turn with a huge grin on under my helmet.