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Buick to launch its next generation BAS hybrid system

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 well.

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.”

The LaCrosse 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 regenerative braking.

A 115V 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 ft.

However, the 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.

“The eAssist 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.” 

Official pricing and availability of the Buick LaCrosse with eAssist should be available closer to its launch later next year.

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RE: But it's a GM....
By torpor on 11/15/2010 6:03:03 PM , Rating: -1

This isn't rocket science.

Where do you think that number comes from, that "they" post on every car? Let me lead you into....a world of your imagination.....

(diddle-oop diddle-oop diddle-oop) </Wayne and Garth>

Imagine, if you will, a person in a white lab coat holding a clipboard.
Further imagine he's standing next to a car. Your car. He has been given the task of establishing a final, for-all-time, ultimate, world-beating, THE TRUTH DOODS!!!!, number that tells how fuel efficient your car is, compared to all other cars, ever.

Is he just going to climb in, drive around for half an hour, top off the tank and see what the 3rd grade math shows?

Probably not. He would probably set up a space to execute a standardized series of manuvers at standardized speeds so that things are equal for every car he tests.

This would seem like common sense, yes? Something someone could guess without having it spoon fed?

So you could debate whether this test had much meaning if you, say, drove only in New York City rush hour traffic. Or if you only drove across Montana at 3am. Or if you towed heavy stuff. Or if there were more passengers in the car. Or fewer. Or fatter. And so on.

Now, let's say some dudes in Detroit spy on this guy, and figure out what the test is. They could do things. Change stuff. Make changes that worked great for the test but might not mean dick in the real world of you and I

Now, come back to Reality.

(diddle-oop diddle-oop diddle-oop) </Wayne and Garth>

Woah. Dude.
So that's what they mean by Your Mileage May Vary

See also

Now please lead your next post with, "Thank you for doing my 10 minutes of googling for me".

RE: But it's a GM....
By theapparition on 11/15/2010 6:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
That tinfoil hat on securely?

The manufacturers don't have to spy. The EPA divulges the conditions of the test directly to them. They use that data to optimize thier designs.

Well whooptie-frickn-doo.

You have your panties in a bunch over this? Get a life and worry about more signifigant problems.

While not perfect, would you prefer the wild west of every manufacturer rating things to thier own internal cycle? That used to happen (on both power and fuel economy) and it was regulated. All for the better.

Take a look at unregulated markets such as LCD panels. Apparently, 10ns GTG times and 1bazillion:1 contrast ratios are commonplace.

Standardized testing is a good thing. Can't believe you are that daft.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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