General Motors Co. prices the new-for-’11 Buick Regal CXL sports sedan at $26,995, part of a value-oriented play putting the midsize sports sedan at a $3,125 discount to its principal competitor the Acura TSX, according to Ward’s data.

In the Buick lineup, Regal slots in under the redesigned and recently launched ’10 LaCrosse premium sedan. The LaCrosse CXL stickers for $30,395, or $3,400 more than the Regal.

The front-wheel-drive Regal arrives at U.S. dealers in second-quarter 2010 from GM’s Russelsheim, Germany, assembly plant, where it is built alongside its sister vehicle the Opel Insignia.

Initial Regal shipments are restricted to CXL models with a 2.4L 4-cyl. gasoline direct-injection engine making 182 hp and 172 lb.-ft. (233 Nm) of torque.

GM will make an optional 2.0L 4-cyl. turbocharged GDI engine with 220 hp and 258 lb.-ft. (349 Nm) of torque available in late summer. The turbocharged Regal CXL will start at $29,495.

Both engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, although an optional 6-speed manual designed to put it on more competitive footing with the TSX comes in the fourth quarter of this year.

GM does not make pricing available for the base-model Regal CX, which comes in first-half 2011 as a ’12 model, when production shifts from Germany to the auto maker’s Oshawa, ON, Canada, assembly plant. Oshawa also is expected to build a hybrid model of the Regal.

The Regal launches later this year into a segment suffering from the economic downturn, but outperforming the industry. Sales in the Upper Middle segment, where Ward’s slots Regal, fell 19.3% last year. Total U.S. sales last year slipped 21.2%.

Sales in the Lower Luxury segment, where the TSX fits and certain Regal models also would compete, declined 19.7% in 2009.

jamend@wardsauto.com