Buick Regal to get mild hybrid as standard powertrain for '13
Buick is positioning Regal as its performance model.
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DETROIT -- General Motors is expanding its eAssist mild hybrid technology by making it standard on the base-model 2013 Buick Regal.
The eAssist powertrain, introduced as an option on the 2012 Regal, delivers 25 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. GM will phase out the base 2.4-liter engine, which delivers 19/31.
The eAssist powertrain uses a lithium ion battery and a small electric motor to boost power to the 2.4-liter engine at slow speeds and on inclines. It's also standard on the 2012 Buick LaCrosse.
"Buick is committed to increasing innovation across the lineup," Tony DiSalle, vice president of marketing for Buick, said in a statement. "By making the advanced eAssist powertrain standard on a second vehicle, we are putting the spotlight on smart technology."
GM won't disclose pricing until later this year. On the 2012 Regal, eAssist is a $2,000 option.
Moving the base price of the 2013 Regal higher with standard eAssist could help create more space between the Regal and the recently launched Buick Verano compact. Some dealers have said that Verano sales will eat into sales of the Regal because their pricing and size are too close.
The base Regal with the 2.4-liter engine is $27,940, including destination charges. The Verano starts at $23,470 with destination charges.
To differentiate the two sedans, Buick is positioning Regal as its performance model. It also offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 220 hp. The high-performance Regal GS's 2.0-liter produces 270 hp.
GM also has added a six-speed automatic transmission as a no-cost option to Buick's Regal GS, which was launched last autumn with only a six-speed manual gearbox.
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