Print 16 comment(s) - last by Wolfpup.. on Jun 14 at 9:27 AM

Grandma's car gets eAssist
New LaCrosse will start at under $30,000

Technology is allowing automakers to produce vehicles that are fuel efficient while at the same time providing impressive performance. In past years, performance and fuel economy weren't generally found in the same vehicles. One of the latest vehicles to embrace hybrid technology to deliver improved fuel economy and performance is the Buick LaCrosse with eAssist, which we have previously covered on DailyTech.

The 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist uses a new generation BAS hybrid system that was first covered in November of last year. Buick has now confirmed the price on the LaCrosse with eAssist for the 2012 model year with eAssist. The vehicle will start at $29,960 before a destination charge of $860. The eAssist tech allows the car to deliver 25% better highway fuel economy than the current LaCrosse model.

For comparison, the base 2011 LaCrosse without eAssist started at $27,130.

“LaCrosse with eAssist is the smart choice for those who want great fuel economy without sacrificing the driving dynamics and passenger comfort that have made Buick the fastest-growing major automotive brand in the United States,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing.

The eAssist tech allows the LaCrosse with eAssist to achieve 37 mpg on the highway, which is better than the Lexus HS 250h Hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Its city fuel economy of 25 mpg, however, falls well below that of those two competitors. The 2012 LaCrosse vehicle uses a new lithium-ion battery system and an electric motor-generator that allows for regenerative braking. The light electrification system inside the LaCrosse will also be offered on the 2012 Buick Regal later in the year.

The eAssist tech is paired with an 180hp 2.4-liter inline-4 engine that uses direct injection. An AWD version of the vehicle will also be offered, but the power numbers are not rated at this time.

“LaCrosse with eAssist is the most advanced LaCrosse to date,” DiSalle said. “The winning combination of advanced technology, no-compromise driving performance and luxurious style and passenger comfort stand to make LaCrosse with eAssist a must-have sedan.”

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RE: I don't understand how this works.
By Flunk on 6/10/2011 2:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's perfectly possible. I'm sure you could conceivably tune a conventional LaCrosse to get 37MPG on the highway if you optimized for fuel consumption at the cost of performance. You would be amazed the fuel consumption numbers you can get if you don't care that it takes 20 seconds to get up to 60mph.

By MrTeal on 6/10/2011 2:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose I made the assumption that they wouldn't cripple performance between the two models. Like you say, that might not be the case.

Looking at the Highway fuel economy test, it is definitely more city-like than most of the highway driving I do. Only testing for 10 miles with an average speed of 48 MPH is more like in town freeway driving.

RE: I don't understand how this works.
By soydios on 6/10/2011 4:03:50 PM , Rating: 1
Atkinson cycle engine?

RE: I don't understand how this works.
By GulWestfale on 6/10/2011 8:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
i think the worst part here s the name: 'eAssist' sounds more like a device created to help buick's geriatric customers than a mild hybrid system.

By DNAgent on 6/11/2011 1:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
that was my first thought when I saw the headline...

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