With all the Volt excitement, we haven’t really talked a lot about what other electric offerings GM has planned. GM has a new hybrid system they think can raise fuel economy about 25% higher. It’s called eAssist and it’s somewhat a mild hybrid modifier for existing vehicles. GM already plans to offer this technology in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse and now, they’ve announced it for the Buick Regal.
eAssist is a power management system that aids a gasoline engine. Normal power comes from a 180 hp 2.4-liter Ecotec delivered through a 6-speed auto. Also, there is a 115V lithium-ion battery that powers a 15 KW motor-generator unit to provide up to 15 hp and nearly 80 lb-ft torque of assist during acceleration. Having a motor-generator also allows for recuperation during braking and the battery allows for auto start-stop of the engine at idle.
Unlike the LaCrosse, the eAssist system won’t be available on the base Regal and instead will be an option. “It’s a cost issue,” GM insiders told WardsAuto.