Last year we saw the return of the Buick Regal, but it surprised reviewers and consumers alike. The Regal revealed itself as being on par with cars like the Acura TSX, Nissan Maxima and Ford Focus. Maybe it was the European design or the power combined with class competitive fuel economy that made people take notice of the return of the Regal. Either way, it was apparent that this wasn’t your father’s Buick Regal. A good thing too since the age demographic prior to the redesign was probably somewhere between 55 and 65. Now, just prior to the 2011 Chicago Auto Show Buick has announced that the 2012 Regal will be the next model in its family lineup to receive the eAssist “light electrification” system.
So how much benefit will this new “light electrification” technology have on the 2012 Buick Regal? Buick claims that the fuel economy will be 26/37-mpg city/hwy. That is about a 25% improvement over the standard four-cylinder Regal equipped with the six-speed transmission. The technology, called eAssist, will also be offered on the larger Buick LaCrosse. “Buick’s eAssist technology means customers don’t have to trade a premium driving experience for efficiency”, said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. “We believe Regal and LaCrosse with eAssist provide more logical and affordable choices, compared to other hybrid midsize and full-size luxury sedans”.
The system brings together the 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder engine, a 115V lithium-ion battery and 15-kilowatt induction motor-generator. The system works to provide motor assistance and electric-generating functions while reducing fuel consumption through regenerative braking, automatic engine shut-off and fuel cut-off while the vehicle is decelerating. For those looking for the power figures, Buick claims the car will produce a combined output of 182 hp (136 kW).
What’s more, the 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist will even come with 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels. You even get a little blink with your green.
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