Volt-derived Malibu Drivetrain Powers Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Launched in Shanghai

The 2016 Chevy Volt has had another grandchild.

Yesterday in Shanghai, General Motors introduced its Buick LaCrosse Hybrid using a high-mpg powertrain derived from the Malibu Hybrid which itself is the offspring of the second-generation Chevy Volt.

The automaker and its joint venture partner SAIC say the vehicle is a major part of SAIC-GM’s “Drive to Green” strategy. The Lacrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle as it is formally called debut was “global” though there are no plans at this time for the U.S. to get it, said Product Communications Representative, Chad Lyons.

The design of the new car is the same as the all-new Lacrosse also just introduced in China.

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Under the hood of the non-plug-in hybrid is a 1.8 SIDI engine with electric drive unit that was co-developed with the 2016 Volt. A 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery provides energy storage.

General Motors has said the Volt’s new drive unit was developed with such a purpose in mind. The Malibu was the first spin off, and the automaker revealed January 2015 it would launch more, which it now has.

Fuel economy announced is 4.7 L/100 km. Minor calibration differences and different final drive ratio were made for the LaCrosse Hybrid from the Malibu Hybrid, which in the U.S. is rated 46 mpg.

Time from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) is said to be in 8.9 seconds.

Advanced features include electronic power steering, electronic climate control compressor, and exhaust thermal energy recycling. Also, there is an active grille that opens and closes to maximize operating efficiency.

“GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Global Propulsion Systems. “In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles.”

The vehicle will be shown April 25 at the Auto China 2016 show in Beijing.