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Bad Buick: The New 310-Horsepower AWD Regal GS

While Buick probably isn't the first brand you associate with fire-breathing performance cars, the company is no stranger to building fast machines. All that it takes is a look back at icons like the 455-powered '70 GSX and of course the legendary turbocharged Grand National of the '80s. In recent years, the brand has been climbing back into the performance market and this week they debuted the new 2018 Regal GS Sport Sedan.

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While the previous iteration of the Regal GS used GM's turbocharged engine, the new Sportback GS has dropped the 2.0T in favor of a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. While that's an improvement of over 50 horsepower compared to the previous GS, equally important is the new drivetrain featuring a nine-speed transmission mated to a standard all-wheel-drive system.

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Other features that separate the GS from the standard issue Regal include Continuous Damping Control, Brembo brake calipers up front and a set of unique 19-inch wheels. Naturally, the exterior also gets more aggressive fascias when compared to the standard car. There is also GS-specific equipment in the car's interior, including a set of aggressively bolstered sport seats, unique pedals and a new flat-bottom steering wheel.

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While the Regal GS might not be ready for hunting for Corvettes or M3s, it should provide a solid mix of performance and luxury — along with the benefit of AWD capability for those who need it.

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And with a starting price just under $40,000, it should also be priced more affordably than most of its European and Japanese rivals. It might not be the second coming of the Grand National, but we are always happy with another enthusiast-oriented choice on the market.

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