• Feb 8, 2011
2012 Buick Regal eAssist – Click above for high-res image gallery

We received the first details about Buick's new Regal eAssist earlier today, but we've just returned from seeing the car in person before the Chicago Auto Show officially kicks off tomorrow. Visually, the more fuel-efficient Regal looks no different than the standard car, save the addition of eco-friendly 17-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires.

What's most important about this car is what's under the hood – a 15-kilowatt electric motor that offers 15 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of torque for initial acceleration thrust, matched with Buick's 2.4-liter direct-injected inline-four. Combine that with regenerative braking and a start/stop system for the engine, and the end result is a Regal that's capable of achieving 26 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg highway.

Buick's new eAssist system first debuted on the larger LaCrosse sedan, where it will serve as the base powertrain for 2012 model year vehicles. With the Regal, however, the eAssist model will slot just above the base 2.4-liter car and below the Regal Turbo, which uses the automaker's 220-horsepower 2.0-liter Ecotec inline-four. Pricing will be announced closer to the eAssist's official launch later this year.



Photos copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a 20+% net mileage improvement for relatively low cost.

      It's excellent, invisible technology which gives a clear benefit without significant sacrifice in utility or increase in cost to the customer.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Its actually more like 25+%... but until the price structure is revealed, its is going to be tough to say if its really "low cost" or not.

        I do have to disagree on the "invisible" part though
        ... I think GM is making a big mistake for not touting its eAssist name much more than it is now and making it a very visible part of their marketing.

        There are a few cars already with this technology, and yet I've never seen a commercial telling people about how this technology works and how little it costs. GM is not really known for being a cutting edge company, nor a very fuel efficient automaker to the average consumer, so having something like this tech should be advertised much more.
        • 3 Years Ago
        By "invisible", I meant that the driver doesn't need to do anything special, and they just get the benefit.

        Obviously, GM throwing their trademarked "eAssist" name at it, instead of just calling it generic "efficiency" / "hybrid" / "eco", means they have some intent for the technology.
        • 3 Years Ago
        GM is smart to call this eAssist instead of a hybrid. If you call it a hybrid people will expect Prius-like fuel efficiency. But this thing actually has better technology than prius, crz or fusion hybrid - namely direct injection and a lithium ion battery. There's a lot of potential with this powertrain if GM wants to go full hybrid and compete with prius, but will that be stepping into Volt territory?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I knew about the 15 additional horsies, but is very impressed with the 110lbs. ft. of torque. That's massive, I have to drive one of these.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not tech related, but I think Buick has one of the prettiest front ends I have seen on any car in recent years. Acura could learn a thing of two from these guys.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "A 15kW electric motor that offers 15 horsepower..."

      Since when does 1kW equal 1hp?
        • 3 Years Ago
        While a 15kw electric motor could theoretically produce ~20hp, actual output of the system could be and usually is less... The battery system is unlikely able to provide more than 12kw... Leading to lower maximum system output. Often oversized electric motors are chosen for efficiency, durability, cost, regen ability, etc. This is similiar to the Prius Hybrid... The electric motor is capable of far more than the battery pack+control systems.
      • 3 Years Ago
      By not claiming it as a "hybrid" they are really doing themselves a favor. It would conjure up images of the Vue 'mild hybrid' with the giant stickers on the sides advertising it as a HYBRID!
        • 3 Years Ago
        However, we both know that it IS a hybrid, don't we?
      • 3 Years Ago
      They could still use a coupe. If I did this chop today, I might make it more "exciting" and change more of the body. This is a straight up coupe-from-sedan Regal GS coupe. The E-Assist is an excellent technology I think. It's relatively straightforward and adds considerably better mileage into the equation:
      http://artandcolour.blogspot.com/2010/05/fewer-doors-part-2-today-regal-gs-coupe.html
        • 3 Years Ago
        That is really quite lovely.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Buick Astra, in eAssist & GS versions, please
        • 3 Years Ago
        This is a very nice coupe design. GM should consider a design such as this.
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