It's no doubt
impressive when today's compact sedans -- which are loaded down with
hundreds of pounds of safety gear and chassis reinforcements not
found on vehicles from decades past -- top the 40 mpg mark. However,
it's even more impressive when midsize sedans approach that mark as
You know about
the compact 2011
Chevrolet Cruze and 2011
Hyundai Elantra which can hit 40+ mpg on the highway. Hyundai's
2011 Sonata midsize sedan can achieve 35 mpg on the highway in its
base configuration. GM is now flaunting its 2012 LaCrosse which will
come standard with eAssist technology (which will provide up to 37
mpg on the highway) and will be priced at roughly $30,000.
“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. “We believe this
combination points to the future of vehicles powered primarily by an
internal combustion engine.”
will be powered by a traditional 2.4-liter direct injection
four-cylinder engine which generates 180 hp. The engine is mated to a
6-speed automatic transmission. However, GM also includes its next
generation "mild hybrid" system which it calls eAssist. On
the LaCrosse, the eAssist electric motor provides an additional 15 hp
and 79 pound-feet of torque during acceleration. Other features to
improve fuel economy include an engine start/stop function and
lithium-ion battery mounted in the trunk powers the electric motor,
but it encroaches on cargo-hauling capabilities. Maximum cargo
capacity drops from an already lackluster 13.3 cu ft to just 10.9 cu
benefits in fuel economy are huge. EPA ratings jump from 19/30 mpg
(city/highway) to an impressive 25/37 mpg. The city rating falls
short of Lincoln's
MKZ Hybrid which pulls in an impressive 41 mpg, but that vehicle
is priced higher at $35,180.
system is more than just the next-generation BAS system. The ability
to integrate regenerative braking with the latest lithium-ion battery
technology creates a system that delivers significant fuel-efficiency
gains that customers will enjoy,” said Steve Poulos, global chief
engineer of the eAssist system. “Being able to provide electric
boost to the powertrain system during heavy acceleration and grade
driving enables the LaCrosse transmission to operate more
efficiently, while the added functionality of engine start-stop and
fuel shut-off during deceleration provides added fuel savings.”
and availability of the Buick LaCrosse with eAssist should be
available closer to its launch later next year.
quote: Try the Cadillac CTS. RWD?
quote: What exactly is your point?...Buick is more value-oriented"
quote: But then again, maybe you are right afterall when stating Buick is right where it needs to be with the LaCrosse: for middle aged and old fuddies.
quote: But who knows - maybe by then we'll all be driving ecoboxes and the point will be moot.
quote: I'd seriously consider the bad-ass CTS-V over the M5 if ever in that high level sedan market. Unfortunately, my current pricing range for sedans is in the $35-$40 range, not $60k + range. Nothing GM has in that price range tickles my fancy.
quote: I wouldn't buy a g37 or 370z at all, but then again I think its asinine to spend that much cash (35k+) when you can just get a c6 z06 for the same money used.
quote: The only late model 335i I've driven was a 6-speed manual (2009 coupe model). Yeah it's that good of a driver.
quote: Maximum 255hp from a turbo 4? I don't care how much power you can crank out of a blown 4-banger: it will not come close to the smoothness and refinement of a V6 with equivalent power.
quote: Gonna have to do better than this.