Published August 30, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
General Motors has announced the 2013 Buick Regal luxury sport sedan will arrive at dealerships this fall with a standard advanced eAssist powertrain.
“With eAssist, Buick is redefining what a ‘conventional powertrain’ means to customers,” said eAssist global Chief Engineer Stephen Poulos. “It changes the fuel economy – but not the experience – for the 97 percent of new car buyers who aren’t buying hybrids.”
GM says where a hybrid requires a complex system of large, heavy batteries and electric motors, the eAssist setup uses a compact lithium-ion battery and a small electric motor/generator in place of an alternator to achieve an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city, 36 highway mpg for both the Regal and the LaCrosse luxury sedans.
The three main advantages of the eAssist system are its stop/start functionality, which turns the engine off when the vehicle is at rest; regenerative braking that gathers and stores energy that would otherwise be lost during braking, and an electric motor assist that reduces the gas engine’s work during acceleration or on inclines.
“It takes advantage of the best parts of a hybrid, and eAssist is now standard equipment for Regal,” said Poulos. “These new functions happen seamlessly, a requirement for Buick drivers who demand a refined driving experience. They’ll really only notice a difference at the pump.”
Regal with eAssist is available exclusively with a six-speed automatic.
GM says the Buick Regal name, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013, is a powertrain innovation pioneer. In 1975, it was the only mid-size vehicle in the United States to forego a standard V8 engine for a more efficient V6, while remaining competitive in performance. Three years later, the Regal employed a turbocharger.
Today the company says Buick Regal combines sport sedan handling with intelligent powertrain technologies. GM notes the Regal with eAssist offers five more highway mpg than an Acura TSX and six more than a Volvo S60.