At the Chicago Auto Show that is scheduled to start tomorrow, Buick will bring the 2012 Regal eAssist, a new model added to the current Regal line-up that already includes the 2.4L and 2.0L Turbo models, and the upcoming Regal GS. The new model will go on sale this fall. The same technology has been recently unveiled in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse.
"Buick’s eAssist technology means customers don’t have to trade a premium driving experience for efficiency," said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. "We believe Regal and LaCrosse with eAssist provide more logical and affordable choices, compared to other hybrid midsize and full-size luxury sedans. It’s really an extension of the conventional internal combustion engine, not a replacement for it."
The new eAssist technology combines a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a small electric motor powered by a 115-volt lithium-ion battery. The result is an improvement of 20% in fuel economy.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist.
The exterior and the interior
Compared to a standard 2012 Regal, the eAssis version only received minimal changes, including new lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels and tires with lower rolling resistance. On the interior the new model gets a powerflow readout in the 7-inch infotainment screen, which shows the flow of energy through the electric assist system, such as battery charging from regeneration and electric power directed to the engine.
The new eAssist technology combines a 2.4 liter Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder engine with a 115V lithium-ion battery and latest-generation 15-kW induction motor-generator unit that helps increase fuel economy through regenerative braking.
The eAssist system’s 115V air-cooled lithium-ion battery bolsters the 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine with approximately 11 kW (15 hp) of electric power assist during heavy acceleration and 15 kW of regenerative braking power. The system also enables the Ecotec engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, which saves additional fuel. While in fuel shut-off mode, the induction motor-generator unit continues spinning along with the engine to provide immediate and smooth take-off power when the driver presses on the accelerator. Then, as the vehicle comes to a stop, the induction motor-generator unit spins the engine, bringing it to a smooth stop – properly positioned for a smooth restart.
With a total output of 182 HP, the car’s engine is mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission.
according to BUick, the new Regal eAssist targets models like the Acura TSX and the Volkswagen Passat CC. The TSX is offered with a choice of two engines: a 2.4L inline four cylinder engine and a 3.5L V-6, while the Passat CC gets a 2.0T engine tat delivers 200hp at 5100 rpm, and 207 lb.- ft. of torque between 1800 and 5000 rpm.
The new 2012 Buick Regal eAssist will go on sale later this fall. prices will be announced at a later date.
Improved fuel economy
Not as impressive as the GS version
Less powerful than competitors