Buick Making eAssist Mild-Hybrid Tech Standard On 2018 Buick LaCrosse

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In an interesting bit of news, it’s been revealed that the 2018 Buick LaCrosse will feature the firm’s eAssist mild-hybrid (light-electrification) system as standard when it goes on sale this autumn. This system will reportedly (when coupled with the 4-cylinder engine option) result in a 19% increase to city fuel economy (as compared to the V6) — as a result of the 86V lithium-ion battery pack allowing for effective regenerative braking.

In addition to the fuel economy benefits of the system, many benefits associated with electric vehicles will accompany the change as well, including torque-assisted launch and a very smooth stop/start experience.

Notably, the new Buick eAssist system is comparatively much more powerful and sophisticated than earlier iterations, according to the company.

Buick provides more: “With its 9 percent increase in overall torque, drivers get the responsiveness expected from a full-size sedan. In addition, the newest eAssist system is discreetly packaged to maintain the LaCrosse’s fold-down rear seat and ample trunk space.

“The new standard 2.5L four-cylinder with eAssist is the perfect complement to the powerful V-6 that launched on the 2017 LaCrosse last September. With the introduction of this new standard powertrain, the 2018 LaCrosse starting price will be lowered to $30,490. The 3.6L V-6 will be an available option on select trims.

“Other notable updates to the 2018 Buick LaCrosse include expanded availability of AWD and an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission for V-6 models that will provide customers with a smooth and refined shifting experience. By this time next year, five Buick models will offer this advanced transmission. In response to customer demand, Buick’s intelligent AWD with active twin clutch is now available on the Essence trim level.

“In addition, the 2018 LaCrosse will have three new exterior color options: Satin Steel Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic and Red Quartz Tintcoat.”

As mentioned above, the system also provides extra power to create a smoother stop/start experience whereby stored electricity can be used to crawl through traffic jams without having to rely on the engine so much — thereby improving city fuel economy notably. This kind of small, fairly subtle electrification advancement may help to broadly raise awareness about electric transport — and, more importantly, an addiction to the smooth, quiet, more peaceful drive of an electric-powered drivetrain.

That said, couldn’t Buick have done a bit better to offer a real electric drivetrain by now?

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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