GM renames the hybrid eAssist.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Mar. 25, 2011
Sharp looking 2012 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid will provide its owners with a 29 mpgUS combined rating per the 08 EPA.
Between the 12 Regal and 12 LaCrosse Hybrids, GM has a pair of winners from an interior/exterior point of view. On the marketing front however, repackaging a belt-driven IMA with a small Li-Ion pack and calling it e-Assist vs. a hybrid sounds so Machiavellian?
Between 2011 and 2012, Buick updated the LaCrosse with an external hybrid drivetrain mated to the 2.4L ICE providing a slight boost in performance, much improved fuel economy and another $3,000 USD tacked onto the asking price. Please keep in mind that hybridization is not free no matter how minor or major and I will let you the reader decide if the additional $'s is worth the price of entry.
Not only is the luxury sedan expected to be more fuel efficient than competitors like the Acura TL, Lexus ES350 and Lincoln MKS, it also expects to beat smaller hybrids, including the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Lexus HS Hybrid on the highway, while offering more rear leg room than any of them.
Looking over some of the specs however revealed some glaring omissions and interesting comparisons with vehicles not discussed in Buick’s own PR
Midsize Segment Comparisons
|Year||Make||Model||MSRP ($USD)||EPA passenger volume (cu. ft.)||EPA cargo volume (cu. ft.)||EPA total volume (cu. ft.)||mpgUS (city/highway/combined)|
| || || || || || || || |
The 2012 Buick LaCrosse is the first in its segment with HiPer Strut suspension for improved ride and handling and includes the Hybrid drivetrain as standard equipment. Is it not about time all manufacturers follow Buick’s lead?
Tony DiSalle, U.S. VP, Buick Marketing:
“LaCrosse with eAssist is an excellent value, costing thousands less than competitors with similar technologies, and its fuel-efficient powertrain comes standard on four-cylinder-equipped models.”
Maybe Tony was misquoted or was only considering the Lincoln MKZ full hybrid possibly?
GM’s e-Assist Hybrid Drivetrain Detail
GM improved the fuel economy of last year’s LaCrosse by 25 percent by hybridizing the direct injected 2.4L and tweaking the six-speed AT with taller ratios.
The eAssist add-on hybrid system uses a 115V Li-Ion battery pack and belt driven 15-kW electric motor-generator to enable Start/Stop and regenerative braking.
Steve Poulos, Global Chief Engineer of the eAssist System:
“The additional 15 hp provided by electric assist allowed us to lower LaCrosse’s gear ratios without sacrificing reserve acceleration and performance.”
eAssist also enables LaCrosse’s 2.4L engine to more aggressively enter fuel cut including all the way to a stop which as we all know, results in a nice bump in fuel economy
Other LaCrosse enhancements can be found with new underbody aero panels, LRR Tires and an electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds improving aerodynamics and enhancing fuel economy during engine warm-up.
The eAssist system will be standard on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid this summer.