Hot Buick: Buick Regal GS DebutsBuick has today revealed their US-market Regal GS, the fast version of their new-for-2018 fastback-style sedan. Described in their own press release as the “brands most dramatic expression of design and dynamics”, Buick seems to be aware of the need to overcome their slightly geriatric reputation. The new exterior design they have already showcased is a more dramatic execution of Buick’s design language, and the option of a fastback sedan or lifted wagon in the form of the TourX all points to the brand attempting to cast their net as wide as they can for new customers. The GS trim-level previewed today is only available on the sedan body-style, and is the ‘hot’ offering from Buick in their lineup.
Powered by a 3.6L V6 with 310hp and 282lb-ft of torque with cylinder deactivation and automatic stop-start; like so many cars produced today, the zest comes from more than just the motor. In this case the engine is aided in both fun and power delivery via a trick all-wheel drive system. All four wheels are driven through a traditional 9-speed automatic, and the AWD system itself uses a twin-pack clutch system in the rear to distribute power and torque to the individual wheels, giving it many of the same effects as the Focus RS’s AWD system. Buick’s second-generation adaptive dampers, dubbed Continuous Damping Control, can make 500 adjustments per second, ensuring that the suspension can keep up with the rest of the car, without sacrificing the road handling and comfort that are at the core of Buick’s brand. The rest of the car is breathed on in the normal ‘sport’ formula: big Brembo brakes at all four corners, a sporty body kit, and selectable drive modes to turn everything into ‘sport’ mode.
While a Buick can be fast, it should also be moderately comfortable. To this end, the GS is equipped with model-specific 19-way adjustable seats, with thigh extensions (!), that are heated, cooled, and massaging. An available heads up display, and 8.0in infotainment screen ensure the seats are an even more pleasurable place to sit. The normal suite of anti-collision and ultra-safety features are also included, all for a starting price of $39,990 including destination charges. Look for the new Regal sedan and TourX later this year.
Exciting EV’s: Nissan’s New Leaf Gains E-PedalNot many people would call the Nissan Leaf an exciting car, and none of those people are what we would call ‘enthusiasts’. In fact, beyond the lack of oily bits and the low cost of entry, the Leaf is not a particularly desirable car by anybody; there have generally been better options no matter what you were looking to get out of the Leaf. With a new feature introduced by Nissan, it looks like they are trying to make the Leaf a more interesting proposition. Dubbed the e-pedal, the technology takes advantage of some inherent electric car characteristics, packaging them into a different set of controls for the Leaf. Activated by the push of a button on the dashboard, the e-pedal mode turns the accelerator into a one-pedal wonder. Utilizing the engine braking inherent with electric motors, and the sensitivity of a throttle-by-wire system, one-pedal operation can be utilized up to 90% of the time, up to and including hill stops and starts.
Nissan is billing this feature as both engaging and convenient, hoping to snare as many people as possible into the new Leaf. Look for the feature in the all-new 2018 Nissan Leaf.
Formula One Agrees on Cockpit Safety System for 2018 SeasonAs we near the 2nd anniversary of Jules Bianchi’s death following a collision with a track emergency vehicle at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, the governing racing body—FIA—has voted for and approved new cockpit safety measures for the 2018 season. Two systems were under review for implementation; a shield-style protection screen from Ferrari and a halo-style device. After it was reported that Sebastian Vettel came back dizzy following testing of the shield device, it seems FIA has made its decision. A final design hasn’t been submitted, but we can assume that they will be thinner and more aesthetically pleasing during the season than what was shown being tested. Driver and fan acceptance is mixed, but Kimi Raikkonen said it perfectly, “I think it can be very ugly, but nothing justifies not having these two guys around” in reference to two further drivers who were killed Henry Surtees and Justin Wilson.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.