Buick launched its mid-size Regal sedan in late 2010 as a 2011 model, with the Turbo, high-performance GS and eAssist models following suit over the past year. Now, General Motors' tri-shield arm has announced a couple of powertrain updates that will go into effect for the 2013 model year, namely the discontinuation of the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four in the base Regal.

For 2013, the Regal's standard engine is the 2.4-liter eAssit powerplant – a mill that, according to the EPA, is good for up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway. Buick pulled a similar stunt with its larger LaCrosse, killing off the base 2.4 in favor of the eAssist powertrain with a V6 available as a no-cost option. That said, Buick has not announced pricing for the updated 2013 Regal line, but we'll be interested to see if the 220-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four of the Regal Turbo will be available at no additional cost.

The 270-hp Regal GS carries over largely unchanged, though as initially promised, a six-speed automatic transmission will now be optional. Buick states that the self-shifting unit will not hinder performance (well, except for that whole shift-on-your-own-terms thing), citing that the automatic-equipped Regal GS will sprint to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds, just like manual-equipped cars.

Buick will release full pricing and availability for the 2013 Regal line later this year. In the meantime, read the full details for yourself in the press release below the fold.
Show full PR text
Drivetrain Changes Announced for Buick Regal Lineup

New automatic transmission for Regal GS and eAssist to be standard on 2013 Regal


DETROIT – Coming off strong sales year in which it outsold the Audi A4, Lexus IS250, and Acura TSX, Buick's midsize luxury sport sedan continues to evolve. The performance-oriented Regal GS has a new automatic transmission available in dealerships now. Additionally, with the introduction of the 2013 model later this year, eAssist fuel efficiency technology becomes standard.

U.S. News and World Report has named the Regal the "Best Upscale Midsize Car for Families." Last month, it was named "Best Car for the Money" in the same category. The "Upscale Midsize Car" category includes 19 different vehicles.

Self-shifting Regal GS

The 270 horses of the Regal GS' turbocharged 2.0L Ecotec – one of WardsAuto World's 2012 "10 Best Engines" for North America – can now be controlled through a second transmission. A six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control is now offered as a no-cost option instead of the existing six-speed manual.

"With the Regal GS, we made a conscious decision to go against the current trend and give enthusiasts the manual transmission they desire as standard equipment" said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. "Adding an automatic simply makes the performance of the GS even more accessible."

The new Aisin AF40 automatic is calibrated specifically for Buick's most athletic sedan. With the car's Interactive Drive Control System set to "GS" mode, the transmission delivers firmer shifts, aiding performance. Acceleration matches the manual with an estimated 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds.

EPA-estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city and 27 on the highway, standard performance components like Buick's innovative HiPer Strut front suspension and Brembo front brake calipers, and optional features are identical regardless of the transmission.

Hagerty insurance recently named the Buick Regal GS to its "2012 Hot List" of vehicles its valuation experts expect to be future collectibles.

Standard 36 Highway MPG with Regal eAssist

Starting with the arrival of 2013 models, eAssist will be standard on the Regal with the discontinuation of the 2.4L base model. Both the Regal Turbo and Regal GS models will remain available.

The eAssist uses a compact lithium-ion battery pack and a small electric motor to aid the performance of a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter gas engine. The system provides an electrical boost to aid the engine at low speeds and on inclines where fuel efficiency can suffer most. The Regal with eAssist achieves an EPA-estimated 36 highway mpg, equal to a Mini Cooper and higher than some full hybrids like the Infiniti M35h, which is rated at 32 mpg.

"Buick is committed to increasing innovation across the lineup," said DiSalle "By making the advanced eAssist powertrain standard on a second vehicle, we are putting the spotlight on smart technology."

For the 2012 model year, eAssist became standard for the larger LaCrosse luxury sedan. Offered at the same price as the V6, eAssist is already outselling its hybrid competitors and is projected to grow in popularity this year.

According to Hybridcars.com, the Buick LaCrosse with eAssist outsold the Lincoln MKZ by a 3-to-1 margin and the Lexus HS250h by a 5-to-1 margin in January 2012.

Pricing and an on-sale date for the 2013 Regal with eAssist will be announced later this year.


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  • 72 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
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      • 2 Years Ago
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      Burabus
      • 2 Years Ago
      apparently this thing will be a collectible in the future. LOL.
      Walt
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Buick pulled a similar stunt....." Must you always use some negative connotation when you finally get around to an article on a domestic vehicle?
        Renaurd
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Walt
        Seems they can Walt, I have wondered the same thing. The domestics always take a nitpicking, while the Asians are given the Rolls Royce treatment.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Darius
        • 2 Years Ago
        Correct and now these "GM hybrids" are selling better than ever. It makes perfect sense though not calling them a hybrid. Now the cars are marketed as normal cars with slight electrical help but still operate like normal cars. The marketing department has worked wonders for GM's eAssist.
        SYJ
        • 2 Years Ago
        They dont use the term hybrid because this system isnt as powerful as a full hybrid. All that matters are the MPGs. I notice how idiots like yourself keep talking about Sonatas and Camrys but you wont talk about $30k cars like the CC, TSX, Maxima, A4, etc. Eassist regal beats all of them in mileage easily. Even the C250 which is smaller and lighter than the regal manages only 21/29.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SYJ
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        SYJ
        • 2 Years Ago
        Its not a full hybrid. Everyone knows that- or so I thought. Also, the Regal is a heavier, better equipped car than a base camry. Equip camry like a base regal and its $25k or $26k, not $22k.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SYJ
          [blocked]
        Justin
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're comparing based on a label.
      Red Dart Fever
      • 2 Years Ago
      You gotta admit though, it does look bad when your average sedans (Sonata, Camry, next gen Fusion) Have better mile age estimates than a higher end 4cylinder vehicle from GM. Even with E-assist, its not too big of a difference. I am a domestic fan but I have always noticed that GM has kind of struggled when it comes to MPG's on its 4bangers. I really hope this new 2.5 motor really turns that around.
        SYJ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Red Dart Fever
        PS: The current gen Malibu was rated at 33mpg hwy before Camry or Accord and the Altima still doesnt hit that figure. Only after Toyota and Honda made updates did they get their models to 33mpg or better.
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Red Dart Fever
        awwww, I'm not commenting to compare mpgs, however anybody who compares the Buick brand to the likes of hunday (or whatever the spelling) kia or toyota obviously has no idea about cars , brands and who competes with whom. Buick (for your edification) competes with the entry level luxury brands a la infinity, acura and lexus. Maybe you should get your categories in order before commenting stupidies left and right...
          a248
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carfan
          C'mon- how does slapping some chrome on, and installing a slightly larger motor in a Chevrolet Cruze to create the Buick Verano put Buick on par with Lexus and Infinity? I understand that the marketing folks at Buick would very much like to think they're in that league, but they're not. The Verona is not a bad car, and Buick makes nice enough cars, but on par with Acura/Lexus/Infinity? No.
        SYJ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Red Dart Fever
        First of all vehicles like Equinox and Cruze are fully competitive in terms of four cylinder mileage. The new Malibu isnt rated with the 2.5L but I would presume it also would be competitive. Regal is a $30k car- you need to compare it to other $30k cars. The TSX, S60 and A4 arent as efficient as camrys and sonatas either. Do you discount those vehicles as well? BTW, the current fusion only gets 22/31 with the 2.5L Thats only slightly better than the Regal 2.4L. Of course the NEXT GEN Fusion is far more efficient than a car like Regal which has been out for 3+ years in other markets.
      • 2 Years Ago
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        • 2 Years Ago
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      Duh
      • 2 Years Ago
      The author comes across as a little biased on this article. Why the use of the word "stunt"? That makes it seem like Buick is pulling a fast one? Seems like a legitimate business decision. Also, now that GM is giving folks the option of an automatic on the GS and is clearly indicating that it won't negatively impact acceleration, he throws in "(well, except for that whole shift-on-your-own-terms thing)". Not a big deal, but really not needed.
      legacyb442
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have loved this car from the start and where Buick is going with the entire line. The move of putting the eAssist as the standard for Regal and LaCrosse shows that Buick could be ahead of the curve on where this segment might be going. Buick is evolving and if they make eA standard across the board, as their point of entry, that would be a first for a brand that was the foundation of GM before there was a GM. Yes, the EPA numbers won't be leading across line ups segments, but I'm glad to see that Buick is now in 2012 looking towards becoming what Olds was trying to be in the 90's and not the brand you want to buy when you are in your 90s. It is not your great grand fathers Buick anymore.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @legacyb442
        "It is not your great grand fathers Buick anymore." Quite right. It's an Opel instead.
        whofan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @legacyb442
        Buick has always been a good car and the old timers had the wisdom to see it. Sure many of the older Buicks were land yachts. Comfort with the 3.8l good for 30 M.P.G. and 250,000 miles wasn`t all that hard to take.
          a248
          • 2 Years Ago
          @whofan
          You have to wonder what the smooth, reliable, and torquey 3.8l V-6 could have done with a 6 speed auto.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought GM should make this car eAssist-standard from day-one. Its nice that they are making that essentially standard now for this car, but they should really take a look at doing that for ALL Buicks... make that their (mild) Hybrid division for all models except for lower volume performance trim levels like the GS.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
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