General Motors displayed the all new 2011 Buick Regal just days ago in Los Angeles. The vehicle will be one of the first GM products to be propelled by their second generation mild-hybrid powertrains.
According to Wards Auto," Sources tell Ward’s a hybrid variant featuring the beefed-up version of GM’s current belt/alternator/starter (BAS) technology will follow the launch of the North American-built and traditionally propelled Regal."
Drawing additional conclusions, Wards writer James Amend also speculates that the Regal and Regal Hybrid will both be built at the Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant. Both vehicles will be built on Oshawa's "flex line" known as Oshawa 1.
GM would not confirm plans for a Regal Hybrid, but Jim Frederico, vehicle line executive for the Regal stated, "The Regal can accommodate a number of technologies, including the new BAS system and a plug-in powertrain due at the end of next year."
The new mild hybrid setup from GM is expected to arrive in 2011. In many ways, the second generation system is similar to the first-gen unit found in the Chevy Malibu, but it boasts many improvements. It incorporates the same start/stop technology, but ups the ante with a 120 volt lithium-ion battery residing in the place previously occupied by a 30 volt NiMH battery. The new battery weighs less, is smaller in size, and provides more power.
Changes to the second generation mild hybrid powerplant also include the ability to propel the vehicle at low speeds under electric power alone and the system is said to increase fuel economy of the vehicles it reside in by as much as 20%.
GM eventually expects that the second generation mild hybrid powerplant will find its way into 100,000 vehicles annually, but for now we can look forward to it to coming the Buick Regal sometime in late 2011.
Source: Wards Auto (login required)