Buick Unveils 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist Mild Hybrid System, Returns 37 mpg Highway

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Starting from next summer, all versions of the Buick LaCrosse with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder unit will be fitted with GM's eAssist mild hybrid technology as standard, the automaker announced today. The 2012MY LaCrosse will make its world premiere this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The eAssist system shares the same basic belt-alternator-starter configuration of previous BAS designs, but according to GM, it delivers more than three times the power and is much more capable.

More specifically, the 115V air-cooled lithium-ion battery adds approximately 11 kW (15 horsepower) of electric power assist during heavy acceleration and 15 kW of regenerative braking power, helping the base LaCrosse return 37 mpg (6.36 lt/100 km) on the highway. The system's combine output is rated at approximately 180 horsepower (134 kW).

To further improve fuel efficiency, the 2012MY LaCrosse with the 2.4-liter engine comes with a next-generation six-speed automatic transmission with faster shift times and a start-stop system.

The firm's engineers also developed a few aerodynamic aids as well. Additional panels optimize the airflow under the car, shutters in the lower grille close at high speeds pushing more air over the vehicle, thus increasing aerodynamic efficiency, and the wheels are shod in special tires.

But maybe the best thing about the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist is that the price will remain the same.

"LaCrosse was the first in its segment with a four-cylinder/six-speed powertrain, the first with HiPer Strut and is now is leading the way with the new standard eAssist technology," said Schwegman. "Importantly, LaCrosse with eAssist is the standard powertrain for four-cylinder-equipped models and there isn't a cost premium."

By Csaba Daradics


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