The 2015 model year Buick Regal eAssist is set to improve upon GM’s eAssist hybrid technology, which was first seen in cars like the previous Regal eAssist. It features second-generation eAssist technology and is intended by the carmaker to improve upon the technology that it innovated earlier in the decade.
Unlike a traditional hybrid that uses a battery to drive the wheels and assist the engine (as well as be recharged by it), the eAssist mild hybrid format utilizes a belt driven generator that is bolted to the engine to provide energy to a 0.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. The battery-pack, which is stowed in the trunk, weighs 65 pounds and delivers 115 Volts. Here comes the clever part; the battery drives an electric motor which pushes out 15 horses and 79 pound-feet of torque (which is referred to as power assist in mild hybrids).
To the untrained ear, the eAssist system doesn’t sound like that brilliant idea. Not until one hears that it improves the fuel economy by 25 percent. This figure is no doubt attained with the help of regenerative braking which is found in the 2015 Buick Regal eAssist. Also, the motor improves vehicle performance by assisting the gas engine with acceleration. The engine management system cuts off fuel supply to the cylinders during deceleration and shuts the engine down altogether when the car comes to a complete stop.
2015 Buick Regal eAssist MPG
However, these are basically the only features that the eAssist Buick will share with traditional hybrids – such as the prolific Prius. The hybrid 2015 Buick Regal eAssist cannot run on the power provided by the electric motor alone. Therefore, its drivers won’t quite experience the awesome city driving fuel economy numbers that traditional hybrid drivers are accustomed to seeing.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. You see, hybrids typically are known for being overly radical, excessively complicated and heavy. The Buick avoids this image by trading off for a simpler, lighter and far less expensive mild hybrid system. Die-hard hybrid fans and green energy enthusiasts may view the car as a half-baked, incomplete eco-friendly car. In some ways they may be right, but for a company that has for so long been known almost exclusively for its high-power V8 power plants to branch into the hybrid market and introduce so well thought out a car is commendable at the least. After all, GM have proven their forward-thinking intentions in vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt. Therefore, the options are available. But for anyone who craves a traditional driving experience (good old internal combustion) yet cares about things like the environment and fuel economy, this is the right car.
Review Of 2015 Buick Regal eAssist
The performance figures attest to this. The 2.4 liter motor has a maximum of 182 horsepower at 6,700 revs per minute and torque figures stand at 172 at 4,900 rpm. The 0-60 mph time is 8.2 seconds. This is attained through the use of a six-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy figures stand at approximately 36 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city. A standard Buick Regal costs roughly $33,660. Those who want the eAssist package will pay an extra $2,000, but will save roughly $378 a year in fuel expenses over the owner of a standard Regal 2.4 liter.
Overall, the 2015 Buick Regal eAssist is a winner. A tasteful interior, a well-implemented hybrid idea by GM and a comfortable and adequate driving experience all contribute to making it a wonderful compromise of a car that has very few, if any, real faults. This vehicle certainly should allow Buick to attract slightly younger buyers.