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    William Maley

    Buick LaCrosse Adds eAssist, Lowers Price for 2018

      Nine-Speed Automatic arrives for the V6


    Buick is rolling out some big changes for the 2018 LaCrosse, including a new eAssist mild hybrid system.

    The eAssist system is said to be smaller and powerful than the previous system used in the last-generation LaCrosse and Regal eAssist models. A 2.5L four-cylinder is paired with a small electric motor and a 0.45-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that work together to improve acceleration and bump fuel economy - Buick says the system improves city fuel economy by 19 percent when compared to the 3.6L V6.

    The eAssist powertrain will become the LaCrosse's base powertrain and will lower the price to $30,490 (no mention if this includes destination or not). 

    As for the 3.6L V6, it will get a new nine-speed automatic for 2018. Buick will also expand the availability of all-wheel drive to the Essence trim.

    Source: Buick
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Light Electrification Leads 2018 Buick LaCrosse Updates

    • Buick’s technology flagship just got more sophisticated

    DETROIT — The Buick LaCrosse expands its technological credentials by adding eAssist light electrification for the 2018 model. The combination of an electric motor with Buick’s latest 2.5L four-cylinder engine delivers quiet, refined and spirited efficient performance backed by the value and customer experience expected of Buick.

    This new eAssist system, when coupled with the four-cylinder engine, has a 19 percent increase in city fuel economy compared to the LaCrosse’s advanced V-6 and leverages a compact lithium-ion battery pack to provide select benefits found in fully electric vehicles, such as torque-assisted launch, energy-saving regenerative braking and exceptionally smooth stop/start. It will be the standard powertrain for the 2018 LaCrosse, which goes on sale this fall.

    “Executing innovative technologies in an approachable and meaningful way is core to Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “By adding the eAssist system to the LaCrosse, our technology flagship, we are making electrification accessible to our customers as we chart our course to the future of mobility."

    Compared to previous Buick eAssist executions, this newest iteration is more sophisticated, powerful and compact. 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.

    About eAssist

    Buick’s eAssist propulsion system combines a compact electric motor and an advanced 24-cell air-cooled 0.45kWh lithium-ion battery pack with the 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine to enhance efficiency and maintain refined performance through:

    1. Motor Generator Unit (MGU): Replaces the traditional alternator and acts as an electric motor to assist the engine when needed. It also acts as an electric generator providing the energy stored in the lithium-ion battery pack.
    2. Electric Assist: The MGU’s electric motor function provides a power boost for an extremely smooth launch from the Auto-Stop mode. It funnels additional torque to the engine when needed to optimize overall driving performance and efficiency.
    3. Regenerative Braking: When braking or coasting, some of the energy normally lost is converted to electricity through the MGU and stored in the lithium-ion battery pack.
    4. Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: The 86V lithium-ion battery pack, which has been repackaged to be more compact, stores energy captured during regenerative braking. This energy powers the electrical system when the vehicle is in Auto-Stop mode. It also powers the MGU to provide a smooth launch from Auto-Stop mode or additional torque to the engine as needed.
    5. Seamless Stop/Start Technology: Contributes to added fuel savings3 by seamlessly turning off the engine when in Auto-Stop mode (e.g., at a stoplight or in heavy traffic) and restarting when the foot lifts off the brake pedal or presses the accelerator.
    6. Aero Improvement: Upper and lower active aero shutters in the front fascia close under certain driving conditions to help maximize aerodynamics and contribute to improved fuel economy.

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    1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    For me it would be V6 or no deal in that size of a car...

    Agreed, while a Turbo 4 would be better than the 4 they are putting in there, the turbo would probably negate any improvement the e-assist would give.

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    There's no way in hell I would sacrifice the sweet new 3.6L V6 (21/31 mpg) for a mild-hybrid 4-banger for the sake of fuel economy similar to the last gen system (24/35 mpg). It would need to be more like 27/37 to make a solid FE argument.

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    2 minutes ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    There's no way in hell I would sacrifice the sweet new 3.6L V6 (21/31 mpg) for a mild-hybrid 4-banger for the sake of fuel economy similar to the last gen system (24/35 mpg). It would need to be more like 27/37 to make a solid FE argument.

    Most modern cars punch above their EPA weight when it comes to fuel economy anyways....V6 please!

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    16 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Most modern cars punch above their EPA weight when it comes to fuel economy anyways....V6 please!

    Exactly. The Impala with the previous gen LFX V6 and 6-speed auto (with a 3800 lb curb weight) is widely reported to get low 30s MPG highway, and that was rated 18/28. The Lacrosse has the new V6, 9-speed, start/stop, cylinder deactivation, and is about 100 lbs lighter. If you're not getting low-mid 30s on the highway, you're doing something wrong.

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    1 hour ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    Exactly. The Impala with the previous gen LFX V6 and 6-speed auto (with a 3800 lb curb weight) is widely reported to get low 30s MPG highway, and that was rated 18/28. The Lacrosse has the new V6, 9-speed, start/stop, cylinder deactivation, and is about 100 lbs lighter. If you're not getting low-mid 30s on the highway, you're doing something wrong.

    Real world experience with people I know would bear these numbers out quite well.  Neighbor behind me just bought a new V6 LaCrosse and he was really astonished at the fuel economy gains he was getting over his previous Buick Century. His numbers were right in line with what you were giving...

    Not that he could complain about his Century, he drove it 20 years and it has 300,000 miles on it trouble free...and is going to his son to drive for a first car.

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    i think if Buick really downplays the eAssist aspect and just markets it as the replacement base engine, then people may just think of it more as an extended stop start and not something that is supposed to compete with a full hybrid.  So i hope they do not ever use the word hybrid.

    That said, I can't see wanting this in the LaCrosse.  This is just to get the price down for base models.  My guess is this will end up at the rental car place or fleets.

    This would be a better base mill in the Impala.  I actually test drove a current gen eAssist 2.4 Impala and I sort of believed it was better than the 2.5 regular.  Hopefully the addition of eAssist here makes the 2.5 implementation better than the plain 2.5.

    Try as they may, with the new LaCrosse, the styling is the problem they have to work around the most.  The last gen was a sexy car and the new one flat out isn't.

     

    ---edit---- there is finally some huge cash on the hoods of the 17 LaCrosses now.  Big discounts.  If you like the car, we're talking 7, 8, 10 grand off some of them.

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    I think for the last of the Grandpa market the new base engine is fine. I hope the eAssist smooths out the 2.5 though, it's not a great sounding or feeling engine. The old LaX with the 2.4 eAssist was decent.

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    Biggest issue with LaCrosse is its suspension tuning.  Wish it had a firmer, more sporting yet still luxurious ride & handling like the 2001 Aurora.  Haven't had a chance to test one with the dynamic driving package, but dealerships don't seem to be ordering that option on any trim level, at least going by what's on the lot.

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