At the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, Buick announced that the 2012 Regal will be its second vehicle to sport the eAssist mild hybrid system.
Today, the automaker announced that the 2012 Regal with eAssist will get an estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg city and 37 mpg on the highway (pending EPA certification).
Unlike the larger 2012 Buick LaCrosse, which will fit the eAssist system as standard on the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine, the 2012 Regal will offer a base 2.4-liter engine without the system, and a version of the same engine with the fuel-saving powertrain as well.
eAssist essentially pairs a small electric motor with the Regal’s 182 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic gearbox to boost acceleration during high load situations and help reduce fuel consumption.
The Regal eAssist comes with a lithium-ion battery pack in the compartment between the rear seat and the trunk. It tips the scales at only 65 pounds, but trunk space is reduced slightly by the batteries presence. A quiet electric fan cools the power pack, drawing air from a vent located in the package tray, behind the rear seat.
The eAssist system’s electric induction motor-generator is mounted to the engine in place of the alternator to provide both motor assist and electric-generating functions through a unique engine belt-drive system. The induction motor-generator is a high-performance, compact induction motor that is liquid-cooled for increased performance and efficiency.
– Regenerative braking, which provides up to 15 kW of electricity to charge the battery
– Providing up to 11 kW (15 hp) of electric power assistance during acceleration
– Automatic engine shut-off when the vehicle is stopped
– Aggressive fuel cut-off during deceleration down to zero vehicle speed, enabled by the torque smoothing provided by the induction motor-generator unit
– Intelligent charge/discharge of the high-voltage battery.