eAssist is what’s called a mild hybrid system. In a traditional hybrid, like the Toyota Prius, both the electric motor and gas engine drive the wheels, drawing power/fuel from an onboard battery pack and a tank of gas, respectively. In a mild hybrid like the LaCrosse or Regal eAssist, the electric motor is simply there to supplement the gas engine under hard acceleration or at high speeds.
Buick’s bringing a concept to the Los Angeles Auto Show, but rather than some swoopy, futuristic deal that runs on recycled rubber ducks, it’s a very plush version of the LaCrosse sedan.
To me, the LaCrosse is simply a mode of transportation. I don’t particularly feel any sense of engagement while I’m driving it. It’s numb, comfortable, and that’s about it.
Buick is showing its 2012 Regal with its new “light electrification” (read: mild-hybrid) system called eAssist. The Buick Regal eAssist uses a lithium-ion battery pack, electric motor-generator, and regenerative braking to help the car’s directly injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It is also equipped with a start-stop function to quietly shut down the engine instead of letting it idle, and smoothly restarting when it is time to move again.
Ahead of its public debut at the North American International Auto Show next week in Detroit, Buick has announced the 2012 Verano compact luxury sedan.
These are exciting times for the Buick brand, ladies and gentlemen
The Buick LaCrosse is not a driver’s car. If you are looking to tackle your favorite backroads with any measure of enthusiasm, definitely look elsewhere than this car, especially with the four-pot engine. It was not designed with this sort of driving in mind.
For all of you (ourselves included) who have lusted after the Opel Insignia, it looks like we’ll finally have the chance to see what the fuss is all about. As part of General Motors’ strategy to build up the Buick brand beyond its LaCrosse, Enclave, and (aging) Lucerne models, the 2011 Regal will be arriving on our shores next year, available only with four-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive.
On several occasions during this bleak period for General Motors, we’ve pointed out that GM has the engineering talent to go toe-to-toe with other high-volume car manufacturers (we already know they can do trucks). Exhibit A is the Cadillac CTS. Now we have Exhibit B: the Buick LaCrosse.