Continuing the momentum of new products for the Buick brand, General Motors plans to unveil a mild hybrid variant (e-Assist) of the Buick Regal at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show next week, following its larger stablemate — the Buick LaCrosse. But unlike the 2012 LaCrosse, the Regal (we’re assuming for the ’12 model year) will not offer e-Assist as a standard feature.
For those unfamiliar with e-Assist, it’s essentially a revised take on GM’s belt alternator starter (BAS) system that was first introduced in 2006 and consists of a 115V lithium-ion battery pack, a 15kW electric motor that adds 15 horsepower to assist acceleration, an intelligent engine stop-start system, and regenerative braking. The result is a 25 percent increase in fuel economy — at least for the 2012 LaCrosse, which engineers say will hit 37 mpg on the highway.
Additionally, with the Regal GS also on the way, sales numbers will finally tell us how consumers perceive the Regal, answering our never-ending question of whether the Epsilon II-based sedan is is a “sport-injected” fun machine or more of a laid back cruiser.
Source: Ward’s Auto