Powertrain Innovation Comes Standard on 2013 Regal

With 36 hwy mpg and a standard advanced eAssist powertrain, the 2013 Buick Regal luxury sport sedan will be arriving at dealerships across the country this fall. The mid-size sport sedan will have two turbocharged, four cylinder engines, making it one of Buick’s most technologically advanced engine ranges in history.

The sleek styling and aggressive attention to instrumental detail is impressive, but it’s the innovative powertrain approach that steals the show. Stephen Poulos, eAssist global chief engineer, says that Buick is redefining the term “conventional powertrain” with its’ eAssist. For new car customers, particularly the 97% not buying hybrids, this means better fuel economy without sacrificing the driving experience of a luxury vehicle. Poulos also says that eAssist will now be standard equipment for all new Buick Regals.

Electric motors and cumbersome, large batteries accompany hybrid vehicles to obtain better fuel economy. On the other hand, Buick eAssist has a much smaller electric generator/motor, a compact lithium-ion battery, and no alternator, but still gets an EPA estimated 36 hwy mpg in the Buick LaCrosse and Regal.

The eAssist system can tout three main advantages:

  • A start/stop function – cuts the engine off when the Buick is at rest.
  • An electric motor assist – reduces the work of the gas engine during climbing and acceleration.
  • Regenerative braking – stores and gathers energy otherwise expended during normal braking.

Poulos notes that Buick customers seeking, demanding the refined driving experience they’re accustomed to having with luxury Buicks can rest assured that all the new features of eAssist happen seamlessly – giving customers the combination of luxury with the best a hybrid offers.

A free option for buyers looking for better acceleration is the 220-horsepower, 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec engine (Regal Turbo) or the 270-hp Regal GS. Either option has direct injection and variable valve timing, and the GS has HiPer strut suspension technology, Brembo high-performance brakes, and inside to out unique design. Buyers can choose between manual and automatic transmissions in either the Regal Turbo or GS, but a six-speed automatic is exclusively available in the Regal.

Buick’s forward thinking approach to powertrains is the rule rather than the exception. The Buick Regal brand is soon to celebrate 40 years in business and has been a powertrain innovator since inception. Buick Regal was the only mid-sized U.S. vehicle in 1975 to simultaneously feature the more efficient V-6 vs. the standard V-8 -and- continue to be a competitor in performance.

The Buick Regal saw the turbocharger just three years later in 1978. Greg Wallace, GM Heritage Center Manager, says that Buick was alone in offering turbocharged engines at the time. While small vehicle brands, like Saab and Porsche, with a focus on performance were also experimenting with turbo technology, Buick Regal was the only mainstream brand progressive enough to offer a mid-size luxury coupe with a turbocharged V-6 at the time.

Nineteen years later, in 1997, Buick Regal powertrain engineers continued the brand’s history of innovation when the Buck Regal GS debuted with not only 28 hwy mpg, but a supercharged V-6 with 280 lb/ft of torque and 240 hp.

Fast forward to today and Buick Regal is still combining innovative powertrain technologies with handling comparable to a sport sedan. An eAssist Regal beats a Volvo S60 by six hwy mpg and an Acura TSX by five hwy mpg. Plus, the Regal Turbo and GS are both offering greater power than Audi, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder turbocharged engines.

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