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2012 Buick Regal eAssist
EAssist technology to filter down to the Buick Regal

GM is moving forward with its "tweener luxury" Buick brand and is looking to further expand its appeal with more fuel-efficient models. Late last year, Buick announced that it would bring its LaCrosse eAssist to market this year that will achieve 25/37 mpg (city/highway).

Today, Ward's Auto reports that the hybrid system will also be filtering down to the slightly smaller Buick Regal. The Regal eAssist will be powered by the same 180hp four-cylinder engine, 15hp electric motor (fed by a trunk-mounted lithium-ion battery pack), and 6-speed automatic transmission.

Ward’s reports that the Regal eAssist will also achieve the same fuel economy as the LaCrosse eAssist. However, the powertrain will not come as standard equipment as it will on its more expensive big brother. 

“It’s a very integrated powertrain system, with no compromises in driving performance, shift quality or ride and handling,” said Daryl Wilson, LaCrosse lead development engineer of the eAssist system in November 2010. “We believe this combination points to the future of vehicles powered primarily by an internal combustion engine.”

The standard 2011 Buick Regal starts at $26,245 and gets an unremarkable 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway from its 182hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The eAssist model will no doubt cost at least a few thousand dollars more pushing it closer to the $30,000 price point.

For comparison, other midsize hybrids on the market like the Ford Fusion Hybrid ($28,990) and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ($26,545) offer greater fuel economy ratings of 41/36 and 35/40 respectively.

Updated 2/8/2011

General Motors has officially unveiled the Buick Regal eAssist, and the vehicle is officially rated at 26/37 (city/highway). It will go on sale later in the fall.



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Not for me, but...
By Souka on 2/1/2011 6:41:23 PM , Rating: 1
I guess this gives the Buick fans a "green" option. Green as in you spend more $$$ to say you're "Green".

Of course you can spend less GREEN and be more GREEN and just go get a Ford or Hyundai... but it won't be a Buick (which is a problem for some).

Not sure what my point is... but it would really help Buick if they could somehow hook some tax credit to help bring the price down.

I guess of the three brands, I'd go for Ford personally...I dont' really have a favorite motor company brand, but some like Buick are not in my prefered class.

My $.02




RE: Not for me, but...
By GulWestfale on 2/1/2011 7:48:37 PM , Rating: 1
you can't get a tax credit for sticking the equivalent of a couple of AA batteries under the hood and then claiming it's a hybrid.


RE: Not for me, but...
By FITCamaro on 2/1/2011 8:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
The Buick would clearly cost more since it is a bit more of a luxury brand vs. the Ford or the Hyundai. But yeah that is a pretty big difference in mileage.


RE: Not for me, but...
By Jeremy87 on 2/1/2011 8:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
What's your definition of "green"? Surely 37mpg doesn't qualify...?


RE: Not for me, but...
By jharper12 on 2/8/2011 3:27:31 PM , Rating: 1
Actually 37 MPG qualifies as exceptionally green. What most people fail to realize is that MPG is a miserable way to compare fuel efficiency, what you need to use is gallons consumed per 100 miles. So, now let's actually compare these three vehicles.

Ford Fusion Hybrid: 39 MPG Highway. Which is 2.439 gallons per 100 miles.
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: 37 MPG Highway. Which is 2.5 gallons per 100 miles.
Buick Regal eAssist: 30 MPG Highway. Which is 2.703 gallons per 100 miles.

Let’s say the average new car driver will put 100k miles on their car. Today’s national current gas average price: $3.117. Total cost for fuel:

Ford Fusion Hybrid: $7,602.44
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: $7,792.50
Buick Regal eAssist: $8,424.32

Greatest difference is $821.89. Assuming one puts 15k miles on their new car a year, that works out to be: $10.27 more in fuel per month. Granted, this is for Highway mileage, but you are the one who chose to criticize the 37 MPG figure. I'm certain the eAssist system is far cheaper to implement than a full hybrid system with extra engineering for weight reduction, cheaper by at least $822.

This is exactly why I tell people considering the Prius they are wasting their money. 48 City, 51 Highway… big whoop. It starts at $23,050. The Chevrolet Cruze Eco gets 33 combined, and starts at $18,175. I would say it looks better, and it’s certainly a comparable or better interior with more space up front and similar space in back. Now, let’s run the numbers.

Prius: $6,361.22
Cruze: $9,445.45
Difference: $3,084.23
Premium for Prius: $4,875.

Not to mention the fact that you’ll never have to worry about replacing batteries with the Cruze, and the Cruze actually has a 100k mile warranty with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation.

Don’t be so transfixed with MPG numbers, do the math, hybrids won’t make much sense once small displacement turbos are mainstream and perfected. The extra cost of the drive train and batteries will eliminate the benefit.

When we have cheap, high capacity batteries... well, then we'll all be driving Volts, because hybrids won't make much sense then either. Hybrids served their purpose as a bridge technology, their time has passed. eAssist systems, hydraulic systems, and small displacement turbos are the way of the future. We really just need 35 MPG combined, and then to focus entirely on finding the perfect cheap high capacity battery. We'll hit that without using hybrid drive trains on cars... so yeah, maybe they are still useful on SUVs and trucks, although I'd rather see diesels in those anyways.


RE: Not for me, but...
By jharper12 on 2/9/2011 5:35:58 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure what happened here:

"Ford Fusion Hybrid: 39 MPG Highway. Which is 2.439 gallons per 100 miles.
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: 37 MPG Highway. Which is 2.5 gallons per 100 miles.
Buick Regal eAssist: 30 MPG Highway. Which is 2.703 gallons per 100 miles."

But the figures I actually used were slightly off. I used 41 MPG for Ford, which is City, 40 MPG for Hyundai which is highway, and 37 MPG for Buick which is also highway. When I write articles like this, I do them in Excel with CONCATENATE... so I probably just forgot to update something as I was initially comparing combined mileage. Sorry guys.


RE: Not for me, but...
By theapparition on 2/1/2011 9:10:00 PM , Rating: 4
By that same logic, I should buy a Hyundai instead of a Ferrari. The Hyundai costs way less and gets much better fuel economy. No brainer, right?

Obviously it's a stupid comparison, but while a car like the Ford Fusion is very nice, the Buick Regal is more luxurious. That's what some are willing to pay for.

If that's not you, then fine. But try to understand that there are people (so GM hopes) willing to pay for that. And some are willing to pay 100k for that Lexus Hybrid that's only marginally more efficient than the non-hybrid version.


RE: Not for me, but...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Not for me, but...
By Flunk on 2/2/2011 9:14:13 AM , Rating: 1
You're ignoring that more than half the Cadillac models are mechanically identical to their Chev equivalents with uglier trim and bodywork plus a little tuning. At least the Buick is built on a different (Opel) platform.


RE: Not for me, but...
By MrFord on 2/3/2011 9:58:13 AM , Rating: 2
Half their models like... the Escalade?
Maybe the SRX if you stretch the definition of same platform.
But definitely not the case for the DTS, STS and CTS.


RE: Not for me, but...
By theapparition on 2/2/2011 12:15:49 PM , Rating: 3
It is compared to the other models mentioned.

Drive them all and then tell me which is the better car, all other points aside. Quite frankly, not really even in the same class.

Again, I wasn't trying to make a point that the Regal or hybrid version is a good deal, or priced right or whatever. I was merely stating that the Regal does not attract the same buyers as the other models mentioned.


RE: Not for me, but...
By donxvi on 2/2/2011 1:58:23 PM , Rating: 3
Get a Lincoln MKZ hybrid if you want luxury and MPG, then.
Same MPG as the Fusion with Lincoln appointments.


RE: Not for me, but...
By bjacobson on 2/1/2011 10:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
buick fans?


RE: Not for me, but...
By stimudent on 2/2/2011 6:30:02 AM , Rating: 2
37 mpg is almost acceptable. They could do better if they wanted.


RE: Not for me, but...
By Kiffberet on 2/2/2011 8:02:28 AM , Rating: 2
If it's mgp they're aiming for, then all they have to do it ditch the monster 2.4ltr engine and plug in a 1.4ltr.

2.4ltr engines are for performace cars, not eco cars!!


RE: Not for me, but...
By mdogs444 on 2/2/2011 8:26:38 AM , Rating: 3
$oewiurj^klamc@fmdai!ojrewk

...Sorry, i just spit out my coffee all over my keyboard from laughter...

That's the first time I've seen anyone refer to a 2.4 liter engine as a "monster", then saying its for "performance cars".


RE: Not for me, but...
By MGSsancho on 2/9/2011 1:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure he meant 2.4L... per cylinder ;P


RE: Not for me, but...
By Pneumothorax on 2/2/2011 9:58:20 AM , Rating: 2
My "performance" 3.0 liter diesel gets me 34-36 mpg all day long. Don't see the point of this overpriced car.


Resale value?!
By headbox on 2/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: Resale value?!
By Pneumothorax on 2/2/2011 10:00:49 AM , Rating: 1
Buicks and re-sale "value?" ROTFLMAO.
Maybe in "Buy only UAW Made Cars" states like Michigan, but here on the west coast, Buicks depreciate just as fast if not faster than the Koreans.


RE: Resale value?!
By mindless1 on 2/8/2011 4:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between resale value and inherent value. For example, nobody wants to drive a 15 year old korean car, it is trashed by then, but a 15 year old midsized or larger buick, if cared for, garage kept so it isn't rusting out, is still a nice ride for those old enough they don't pretend to be a race car driver (over 30 yo). The engine and transmission tends to outlast the life of the car so they ultimately end up in the junkyard only after a collision that totals them, or years later when everything is rusting out like the exhaust, fuel, and brake lines. Same can be said about midsized and larger pickup trucks.

Is a newer european or japanese car nicer? Yes, but it is a much worse value too to keep rebuying new cars before you need to. That doesn't make it a "bad" decision though, everyone has the freedom to buy whatever they want.


RE: Resale value?!
By Dr of crap on 2/2/2011 10:35:32 AM , Rating: 1
NO,
Reasle value is nothing.
I'm so tired of people talking about resale value.

If you are one of those that get a new car every 4-5 years than by all means go ahead a talk about the mighty resale value. But I'd guess you wouldn't be buying a Hyundai then would you?

Me, and I'd guess a vast majority now with the economy, buy a car and keep it until it's not worth more than a few hundred bucks.


RE: Resale value?!
By Souka on 2/2/2011 11:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you buy only Hyundai

;)


RE: Resale value?!
By bah12 on 2/2/2011 1:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Crash your Korean car and your insurance won't cover the cost you owe to the bank.
Incorrect almost all loans require you carry comprehensive coverage that will pay for the entire amount owed, not worth. Granted you pay more in premiums, but very few (if any) banks will let you get by without full coverage.


RE: Resale value?!
By chick0n on 2/8/2011 2:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
Buick & Re-sale value in the same line ????? WOW U f-king FAILED

Not to mention the Korean car might outlast your *COUGH* luxury WANNABE.

I don't even have a Hyundai but sorry I just have to say ANY GM made cars are prone to failure shortly after the b2b warranty is over, and they will find every excuse to deny the powertrain warranty. so yeah go ahead buy GM ! Yay !


By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/2/2011 1:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it will have more than a mile or two electric range. How can adding 500 pounds of extra hardware result in an increased highway mileage? Maybe if you stop at every rest stop and greasy spoon on the way?




By FITCamaro on 2/8/2011 7:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
Smaller engines use less fuel and I'm sure the top gear ratio is a taller ratio to run at a lower rpm. Hybrids also usually use lower rolling resistance tires.


By Pneumothorax on 2/8/2011 9:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't this car have the same size engine as the regular Regal? Don't see the point to this car as many other competitors without hybrid complexity come pretty close in MPG (Sonata/Camcord) Looks to be a CAFE booster for Buick only.


one small step...
By EddyKilowatt on 2/8/2011 11:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
Kind of a Ford guy myself, but I do applaud GM for the "e-Assist" drivetrain, which strikes me as a good implementation of KISS engineering. Hopefully they'll be able to sneak it into a bunch of garages that wouldn't be caught dead with a Prius in them. 37 mpg ain't anything world-beating, but compared to Detroit's current CAFE, it's a significant step in the right direction.




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