GM’s Buick brand, unlike Chevy, hasn’t seen much in the way of green car love. A plug-in crossover hybrid was announced last year, only to quickly have the plugged pulled on it. Fast forward to the Los Angeles Auto Show, however, and it looks like green is back in Buick’s future via a mild hybrid integration into the 2012 LaCrosse.
GM said the 2012 Buick LaCrosse would be getting an eAssist “light electrification” system which produces a 25 percent increase in fuel economy. The system uses a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability and get 37 MPG highway and 25 MPG city. This system, which will become the standard powertrain on LaCrosse starting next summer, is mated to a 2.4L Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission.
LaCrosse with eAssist, said GM, includes an ECO gauge on the instrument panel that continuously responds to driving behavior, enabling the driver to drive with maximum efficiency. It also features a hill-assist system that captures brake pressure “to help the driver more comfortably accelerate from a stop on a moderate or steep grade. It does this by greatly reducing the tendency of the vehicle to roll backward with the engine in shut-down mode.”
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