eAssist To Boost Buick Regal’s MPG

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.

More Hybrid News...

  • hth

    What out Buick. 36 MPG is not the best. 2013 Nissan Altima is already 38 MPG without eAssist. Nissan may apply something like this for the 2014 model and it will be 40+ MPG.

  • Van

    It looks like they are offering the E-assist (a $2000 option) as standard (included in the 29,300 MSRP. This appears to be about $4000 lower that the Avalon Hybrid, but then the Avalon gets about 40 city and 39 highway.

    On the other hand, the Camry Hybrid, which might not be as nice as the Regal, also gets about 40 city and 39 highway and sports a MSRP lower than 29,000.

    But be that as it may, I think GM is right to make E-assist a standard feature on all Regals.

  • SteveC

    I find it amusing that GM acts like “Hybrid” is a dirty word. They have Shaq in a Buick commercial dissing hybrids and praising e-assist. Isn’t e-assist a mild hybrid? I think GMs marketing people are off on this one.

    And I got a question. Anybody connected to this sight know how e-assist works. If I’m sitting at a light the engine shuts off. What about my A/C. Is the A/C run off the engine or is it electric. Just curious.

    Thank you

  • c_harnett

    The A/C won’t run without the engine, so the engine won’t shut off if the A/C needs to run. There is supposed to be an ECO button that will allow the engine to shut off even if you have the A/C on, on the supposition that you’d prefer better fuel economy to comfort.

    This is, of course, not a problem with the Ford or Toyota systems which have electric A/C. You can run the A/C in the Prius all day and it will just start the engine every once in a while to recharge the battery.

  • c_harnett

    For the same money, you can get a Camry XLE hybrid with moonroof, convenience package and leather. And far better fuel economy.