2011 Buick Regal Turbo vs 2000 BMW M5

This is something of a shout-out to the guy driving the late model Buick Regal Turbo this morning. Here’s the setup: I was driving on Walnut Grove this morning and was behind a guy driving his Buick about 30 in a 40 zone so he is clearly not in a hurry to get anywhere. The light ahead of us turned red and the lane to my left was vacant so I pulled out from behind the Buick into the empty lane. When the light turned green, I didn’t floor it but I did take off with a bit more than “normal” acceleration because I had to get back over into the right-hand lane so I could exit onto the expressway; I was well ahead of the Buick now and didn’t think anything of it. I got onto the expressway and got up to speed when I noticed the Buick coming up behind me – fast. He got right on my bumper then abruptly changed into the lane to my left and floored it past me; keep in mind this is a construction zone – I’m moving along with traffic at between 45 and 50, this guy is now doing North of 70… in a 45. I’m thinking not only is this guy not a safe driver and not particularly mature in the way he drives but I’m also thinking he should know cars before he starts acting aggressive like that.

The 2011 Buick Regal Turbo, which is what I’m nearly certain his car was, is a turbo, granted, but that doesn’t mean it will kick any other car to the curb. Let’s look at some numbers. According to Motor Trend, the Regal has a 2.0 liter in-line 4 cylinder turbo engine producing 220 hp and 258 ftlbs of torque in a 3,773 lb car. It has a blisteringly fast 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 15.7 at 92.8 mph. Okay, so it’s not as impressive as I would expect when I see “Turbo” as part of a car’s specifications.

Now let’s look at the car I’m driving – it’s not a turbo but she is fast. The 2000 BMW E39 M5 (‘nough said) I’m driving may be nearing 12 years old with over 100,000 miles on her but she will still hold her own. According to Motor Trend (so I’m comparing apples to apples), the 2000 M5 has a 5.0 liter (it’s actually 4,941 cc but what’s 59 cc among friends?) V8 that cranks out 400 hp and 395 ftlbs of torque in a 3,792 lb car. The M5’s 0-60 is an impressive 4.7 seconds (BMW’s official 0-60 is 5.2 seconds but every other independent review I have read has come up with either 4.7 or 4.8 and I am comparing one Motor Trend Review to another so…) with a quarter-mile time of 13.2 seconds at 102.4 mph.

I don’t think I really need to say more, especially when you consider the 2000 M5 has nearly twice the horse power to weight ratio and nearly twice the torque to weight ratio that the Buick Regal Turbo has, never mind the M5 is 2.4 seconds faster from 0-60 and 2.5 seconds faster in the quarter-mile at nearly 10 mph faster (9.6 mph to be exact).

My point in all this being that you should be very careful of the car you choose to bug, if the driver is in the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) state of mind and you may well be put to shame.

Here are links to the two Motor Trend Reviews if you’re interested in them:
Buick Regal Turbo
BMW M5

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