2012 Buick Regal GSEnlarge Photo
It takes a lot of money and time to develop and produce hybrid cars and electric vehicles, but that's not to say regular gasoline cars can't benefit from some of their technology.
Mild hybrid technology is a cost-effective way of improving the gas mileage of a car using a fairly simple electric motor and battery setup.
That's the approach Buick is taking, when it equips its 2013 model-year Buick Regals with eAssist.
The 2.4-liter gasoline Regal will use the system, that pairs a small lithium-ion battery pack with a small electric motor, to assist the engine. That will allow it to achieve an estimated 36 mpg on the highway, under the EPA cycle.
That's an improvement of 5 mpg over the 2012 Buick Regal 2.4, and raises combined economy from 23 mpg to 29 mpg, or enough to save around $450 in gas each year on the EPA's 45 percent highway, 55 percent city, 15,000 mile estimate.
eAssist is already available on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan. Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing, explains that “Buick is committed to increasing innovation across the lineup,"
"By making the advanced eAssist powertrain standard on a second vehicle, we are putting the spotlight on smart technology" he adds.
Buick hasn't yet announced an on-sale date. Pricing for the 2013 Buick Regal eAssist is also yet to be confirmed.