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Found 14 results

  1. 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: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. View full article
  2. 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: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  3. Whenever someone brings up hybrid and GM's pickups, we're reminded of the two-mode hybrid system GM installed on the last-generation Silverado and Sierra that only delivered negligible gains in fuel economy. But GM is giving the hybrid truck another go with the introduction of an eAssist powertrain on the Silverado and Sierra. The eAssist system comprises of a small electric motor (13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque) and 0.45-kWh battery pack. This is paired with the 5.3L V8. Power figures stand at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque (no increase in horsepower, but an increase of 3 pound-feet). The system only adds an additional 100 pounds to the overall weight. In terms of overall fuel economy, GM says the eAssist boosts fuel economy from 16 City/22 Highway/20 Combined mpg to 18 City/24 Highway/20 Combined mpg. Other pluses for the eAssist include a stop-start system, the ability to run the engine on four-cylinders for a longer time, and regenerative brakes that can feed power to various accessories. The eAssist powertrain only adds $500 to the price of a Silverado or Sierra. All good news? Not exactly. The only way you can get the eAssist system is by either ordering a two-wheel drive version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1LT crew cab or GMC Sierra SLT crew cab with the SLT Premium Plus package. Also, GM is only offering this in California. Finally, GM is only building 500 Silverados and 200 Sierras with the eAssist. GM says this is test and "will monitor the market closely... and adjust as appropriate moving forward." Source: Chevrolet, GMC Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Silverado With eAssist New mild-hybrid system delivers 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, based on EPA city estimates DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that a select number of 2016 Chevrolet Silverados will be offered with eAssist technology. The new mild-hybrid electrical system leverages many of the technologies and components from Chevrolet’s lineup of innovative electric vehicles – including battery cells from the Malibu Hybrid and software controls developed for the Volt. As a result, Chevrolet can deliver a low-volume, affordably priced hybrid pickup that delivers uncompromised capability and up to 13 percent better fuel economy in city driving. “Silverado already leads the full-size truck segment in V8 fuel economy,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet Trucks. “For customers and small-business owners who use their trucks for more urban driving, the addition of eAssist can further reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing the utility they expect in a full-size truck.” The compact, lightweight system increases curb weight by approximately 100 pounds, and delivers an additional 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor. The eAssist propulsion system, including the 8-speed automatic transmission, will be a $500 premium over a comparably equipped two-wheel drive Silverado 1500 crew cab in 1LT trim. Initially, Chevrolet will offer approximately 500 Silverado eAssist trucks for the 2016 model year, exclusively through California dealers. Based on feedback from these initial customers, Chevrolet will adjust production for 2017 model year. The eAssist Silverado adds another piece to Chevrolet’s growing electrification portfolio - from all-electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV and Bolt EV (slated to begin production in late 2016), to extended-range electrics like the Chevrolet Volt, to full-hybrids like Malibu Hybrid, and mild-hybrids like Silverado eAssist. Technology developed from new Malibu Hybrid and Volt The eAssist system pairs a compact lithium-ion battery pack with the Silverado’s 5.3L EcoTech V-8 and 8-speed automatic transmission to provide: Electric Power Boost: The on-board electric motor provides up to 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of supplemental power during acceleration and passing. The electric motor also enables the Active Fuel Management system on the 5.3L V-8 engine to operate in 4-cylinder mode for longer periods, resulting in additional fuel economy benefits. Stop/Start capability: Added fuel savings are achieved by seamlessly turning the engine off when stopped at a traffic light or in congested traffic and turning the engine back on when the accelerator is pressed. Regenerative Braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system. These features deliver a 13 percent improvement in city fuel economy, based on EPA estimates. The 2016 Silverado eAssist will have an EPA estimated 18 mpg city, a 2 mpg improvement over the equivalent Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V-8 and 8-speed automatic. EPA estimated highway fuel economy for the Silverado eAssist is 24 mpg, while the combined rating is 20 mpg. Power for the eAssist system is supplied by a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the center console (or front bench seat) that uses the same battery cells as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It weighs nearly 15 percent less than the previous generation eAssist system, yet provides up to 15 kW of power to the electric motor. A reengineered power inverter module is now liquid cooled and moved underhood for improved packaging and performance. The software used to control the battery system is based off a modified version of the software for the Chevrolet Volt. The compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides peak regen capability of 15kW resulting from advanced software controls based off those used in the Volt. The motor, which features a stator design leveraged from the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, acts like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb.-ft. (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high-load situations. This new generation of eAssist is also more modular than the previous system, meaning it could be more easily used in front-wheel or rear-wheel drive drivetrain configurations and it’s capable of using more or fewer cells, based on power needs for each vehicle application. GMC Introduces 2016 Sierra with eAssist Technologically advanced premium truck offers greater efficiency, capability DETROIT – Building on GMC Sierra’s advanced powertrain technologies, new eAssist technology enhances its position as one of the industry’s most innovative and capable trucks, helping it achieve up to 13 percent greater city fuel economy – and solidifying its segment-best ranking for V8 efficiency. Starting this spring, the new eAssist system is exclusively available on the already well-equipped 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab 2WD model with the SLT Premium Plus package. For 2016, we will monitor the market closely, producing 200 Sierra eAssist models for California, and adjust as appropriate moving forward. “Innovative technology that enhances capability is at the core of everything we do at GMC and the new Sierra with eAssist takes it to a higher level,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its advantages are delivered in a compromise-free package that enables real-world fuel savings with premium content that provides a very high level of refinement, comfort and connectivity.” Compared to a comparable Sierra 1500 with a 5.3L/eight-speed powertrain, the Sierra with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city – a 2-mpg improvement – while highway fuel economy improves 2 mpg to 24 mpg. The combined estimate improves 2 mpg to 20 mpg. The 5.3L eAssist V8 has a GM estimated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The new eAssist powertrain is available in the Sierra SLT crew cab with the up-level Premium Plus package, a package that is also available with the standard 5.3L non- eAssist engine and the 6.2L V8 engine. The SLT Premium Plus package includes an extensive list of premium technologies and features: High-performance LED headlamps, LED taillamps and thin-profile LED foglamps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone) IntelliLink with navigation and 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen Bose premium audio system Wireless phone charging Heated and vented leather-appointed seats Heated steering wheel Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert IntelliBeam headlamps Front and Rear Park Assist Rear Vision camera. The max trailering rating is 9,400 lbs. and the Eaton locking rear differential is standard, for sure-footed traction on slippery surfaces. eAssist details The Sierra’s eAssist powertrain is a light electrification system leveraging General Motors’ latest electrification technologies. It builds on the advanced technologies of the 5.3L V8 engine, including direct injection, variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), complementing them with a compact lithium-ion battery pack to enhance efficiency through: Stop/Start capability: Additional fuel savings are achieved by turning off the engine when stopped at a stop light or heavy traffic and restarting the engine when the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal Electric power boost: The on-board electric motor provides a power boost during acceleration and passing, while enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, for additional fuel savings Regenerative braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system Aero enhancements: A 6 percent improvement in aerodynamics contributes to fuel economy due to a standard soft tonneau cover and automatic grille shutters, which can close at speeds over 30 mph in order to further reduce drag and fuel consumption. The eAssist system includes a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the center console (or front bench seat). It adds only about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight. A compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides 15 kW of peak regenerative capability, thanks to advanced software controls based on the Chevrolet Volt. It performs like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high load situations. There’s also a liquid-cooled power inverter module located under the hood. View full article
  4. Whenever someone brings up hybrid and GM's pickups, we're reminded of the two-mode hybrid system GM installed on the last-generation Silverado and Sierra that only delivered negligible gains in fuel economy. But GM is giving the hybrid truck another go with the introduction of an eAssist powertrain on the Silverado and Sierra. The eAssist system comprises of a small electric motor (13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque) and 0.45-kWh battery pack. This is paired with the 5.3L V8. Power figures stand at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque (no increase in horsepower, but an increase of 3 pound-feet). The system only adds an additional 100 pounds to the overall weight. In terms of overall fuel economy, GM says the eAssist boosts fuel economy from 16 City/22 Highway/20 Combined mpg to 18 City/24 Highway/20 Combined mpg. Other pluses for the eAssist include a stop-start system, the ability to run the engine on four-cylinders for a longer time, and regenerative brakes that can feed power to various accessories. The eAssist powertrain only adds $500 to the price of a Silverado or Sierra. All good news? Not exactly. The only way you can get the eAssist system is by either ordering a two-wheel drive version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1LT crew cab or GMC Sierra SLT crew cab with the SLT Premium Plus package. Also, GM is only offering this in California. Finally, GM is only building 500 Silverados and 200 Sierras with the eAssist. GM says this is test and "will monitor the market closely... and adjust as appropriate moving forward." Source: Chevrolet, GMC Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Silverado With eAssist New mild-hybrid system delivers 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, based on EPA city estimates DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that a select number of 2016 Chevrolet Silverados will be offered with eAssist technology. The new mild-hybrid electrical system leverages many of the technologies and components from Chevrolet’s lineup of innovative electric vehicles – including battery cells from the Malibu Hybrid and software controls developed for the Volt. As a result, Chevrolet can deliver a low-volume, affordably priced hybrid pickup that delivers uncompromised capability and up to 13 percent better fuel economy in city driving. “Silverado already leads the full-size truck segment in V8 fuel economy,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet Trucks. “For customers and small-business owners who use their trucks for more urban driving, the addition of eAssist can further reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing the utility they expect in a full-size truck.” The compact, lightweight system increases curb weight by approximately 100 pounds, and delivers an additional 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor. The eAssist propulsion system, including the 8-speed automatic transmission, will be a $500 premium over a comparably equipped two-wheel drive Silverado 1500 crew cab in 1LT trim. Initially, Chevrolet will offer approximately 500 Silverado eAssist trucks for the 2016 model year, exclusively through California dealers. Based on feedback from these initial customers, Chevrolet will adjust production for 2017 model year. The eAssist Silverado adds another piece to Chevrolet’s growing electrification portfolio - from all-electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV and Bolt EV (slated to begin production in late 2016), to extended-range electrics like the Chevrolet Volt, to full-hybrids like Malibu Hybrid, and mild-hybrids like Silverado eAssist. Technology developed from new Malibu Hybrid and Volt The eAssist system pairs a compact lithium-ion battery pack with the Silverado’s 5.3L EcoTech V-8 and 8-speed automatic transmission to provide: Electric Power Boost: The on-board electric motor provides up to 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of supplemental power during acceleration and passing. The electric motor also enables the Active Fuel Management system on the 5.3L V-8 engine to operate in 4-cylinder mode for longer periods, resulting in additional fuel economy benefits. Stop/Start capability: Added fuel savings are achieved by seamlessly turning the engine off when stopped at a traffic light or in congested traffic and turning the engine back on when the accelerator is pressed. Regenerative Braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system. These features deliver a 13 percent improvement in city fuel economy, based on EPA estimates. The 2016 Silverado eAssist will have an EPA estimated 18 mpg city, a 2 mpg improvement over the equivalent Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V-8 and 8-speed automatic. EPA estimated highway fuel economy for the Silverado eAssist is 24 mpg, while the combined rating is 20 mpg. Power for the eAssist system is supplied by a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the center console (or front bench seat) that uses the same battery cells as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It weighs nearly 15 percent less than the previous generation eAssist system, yet provides up to 15 kW of power to the electric motor. A reengineered power inverter module is now liquid cooled and moved underhood for improved packaging and performance. The software used to control the battery system is based off a modified version of the software for the Chevrolet Volt. The compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides peak regen capability of 15kW resulting from advanced software controls based off those used in the Volt. The motor, which features a stator design leveraged from the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, acts like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb.-ft. (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high-load situations. This new generation of eAssist is also more modular than the previous system, meaning it could be more easily used in front-wheel or rear-wheel drive drivetrain configurations and it’s capable of using more or fewer cells, based on power needs for each vehicle application. GMC Introduces 2016 Sierra with eAssist Technologically advanced premium truck offers greater efficiency, capability DETROIT – Building on GMC Sierra’s advanced powertrain technologies, new eAssist technology enhances its position as one of the industry’s most innovative and capable trucks, helping it achieve up to 13 percent greater city fuel economy – and solidifying its segment-best ranking for V8 efficiency. Starting this spring, the new eAssist system is exclusively available on the already well-equipped 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab 2WD model with the SLT Premium Plus package. For 2016, we will monitor the market closely, producing 200 Sierra eAssist models for California, and adjust as appropriate moving forward. “Innovative technology that enhances capability is at the core of everything we do at GMC and the new Sierra with eAssist takes it to a higher level,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its advantages are delivered in a compromise-free package that enables real-world fuel savings with premium content that provides a very high level of refinement, comfort and connectivity.” Compared to a comparable Sierra 1500 with a 5.3L/eight-speed powertrain, the Sierra with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city – a 2-mpg improvement – while highway fuel economy improves 2 mpg to 24 mpg. The combined estimate improves 2 mpg to 20 mpg. The 5.3L eAssist V8 has a GM estimated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The new eAssist powertrain is available in the Sierra SLT crew cab with the up-level Premium Plus package, a package that is also available with the standard 5.3L non- eAssist engine and the 6.2L V8 engine. The SLT Premium Plus package includes an extensive list of premium technologies and features: High-performance LED headlamps, LED taillamps and thin-profile LED foglamps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone) IntelliLink with navigation and 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen Bose premium audio system Wireless phone charging Heated and vented leather-appointed seats Heated steering wheel Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert IntelliBeam headlamps Front and Rear Park Assist Rear Vision camera. The max trailering rating is 9,400 lbs. and the Eaton locking rear differential is standard, for sure-footed traction on slippery surfaces. eAssist details The Sierra’s eAssist powertrain is a light electrification system leveraging General Motors’ latest electrification technologies. It builds on the advanced technologies of the 5.3L V8 engine, including direct injection, variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), complementing them with a compact lithium-ion battery pack to enhance efficiency through: Stop/Start capability: Additional fuel savings are achieved by turning off the engine when stopped at a stop light or heavy traffic and restarting the engine when the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal Electric power boost: The on-board electric motor provides a power boost during acceleration and passing, while enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, for additional fuel savings Regenerative braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system Aero enhancements: A 6 percent improvement in aerodynamics contributes to fuel economy due to a standard soft tonneau cover and automatic grille shutters, which can close at speeds over 30 mph in order to further reduce drag and fuel consumption. The eAssist system includes a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the center console (or front bench seat). It adds only about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight. A compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides 15 kW of peak regenerative capability, thanks to advanced software controls based on the Chevrolet Volt. It performs like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high load situations. There’s also a liquid-cooled power inverter module located under the hood.
  5. William Maley

    New York Auto Show: 2014 Buick Regal

    By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 26, 2013 Alongside the 2014 LaCrosse, Buick is also showing the new 2014 Regal at the New York Auto Show this week. The 2014 Regal's exterior gets minor changes including a reworked front fascia, scalloped headlights, and a full-width chrome strip spanning between the new LED taillights. Regal GS models get a more agressive front and rear end treatments, and nineteen-inch alloy wheels as standard equipment. Inside, Buick got rid of the button-laden center stack and in its place is a eight-inch touchscreen housing Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system and and capacitive-touch controls for the Regal's climate control. The Regal and Regal Turbo models get a 4.2-inch color screen in the instrument cluster, while the Regal GS gets a eight-inch configurable gauge display. One of the Regal's powertrains has been revised for 2014. The base 2.4L eAssist mild-hybrid system carries over. The Turbo and GS get a revised 2.0L turbo-four producing 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. The Regal Turbo and GS will also get all-wheel drive as an option. The system will be able to send more than 90% of the engine's torque to the rear wheels. Like the 2014 LaCrosse, the 2014 Regal will have a list of optional safety equipment including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, Following Distance Indicator, precollision warning (with collision mitigation braking), and adaptive cruise control. The new Regal arrives at Buick showrooms later this fall. Source: Buick William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 Buick Regal Infused with New Technology -Exterior design with signature wing-shape LED lighting; revised interior designed around next-gen IntelliLink infotainment and new advanced safety features -More efficient and more refined 2.0L turbo engine delivers 18 percent more power in Regal Turbo -New all-wheel-drive system incorporates electronic limited-slip differential to help optimize traction in all driving conditions NEW YORK – Buick revealed the new 2014 Regal today, designed to be a sportier and smarter evolution of the brand's dynamic midsize sedan. New purposeful technologies enhance safety and the driving experience with a more refined turbo engine – along with the introduction of all-wheel drive. The new Regal also introduces new radar- and camera-based safety features – including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Collision Mitigation Braking – for surround protection. In-vehicle connectivity is enhanced with next-generation IntelliLink, featuring simpler, more intuitive controls and natural speech recognition. Adaptive Cruise Control is also offered. It senses traffic in front of the Regal to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. "The new 2014 Regal is more expressive, more connected and more technologically advanced," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. "Nearly half of new Regal buyers are conquests who are new to Buick and they represent the youngest median age among the brand's lineup. "The new Regal gives those discerning buyers more of the technologically advanced features they want in a modern luxury sedan, all with the style and refinement they expect from Buick." New front and rear styling, with bold, signature wing-shape LED daytime running lamps and LED taillamps were designed to give Regal a more contemporary and premium presence. The interior features a redesigned central instrument panel and console along with a new fashion interior trim combination. The new 2.0L turbo engine delivers 18 percent more horsepower in the Regal Turbo, for a greater feeling of on-demand power The available Haldex all-wheel-drive system helps make the most of traction in all driving conditions and also enhances the cornering capability of the Regal GS when driven in the GS mode of the Interactive Drive Control System. A 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology is also available on the 2014 Regal. Six-speed automatic transmissions are matched with both engines and a six-speed manual is available in the Regal GS. Electric power steering is now featured on all models. The new Regal makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display March 29-April 7. It goes on sale this fall. More expressive, inside and out New exterior styling evolves the Regal's appearance with cues that enhance a low, wide proportion and were made to convey a more upscale and contemporary presence. New headlamps with standard LED daytime running lamps and a revised grille show the new "face" of Regal, while at the rear Enclave-inspired LED wing-shape taillamps give the car a familial look. A new chrome accent bridges the taillamps to further enhance Regal's wide stance. The new headlamps are available in two versions, including halogen projector beams and xenon high-intensity discharge. The available LED daytime running lamps form a distinctive wing profile above the headlamps, designed to give the Regal an unmistakable signature on the road. Inside, the new Regal's interior blends sculptural beauty and refinement with technology, centered on Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system. A new instrument panel "center stack" houses a new, larger eight-inch color touch screen. There's also a new steering wheel that includes controls for the new safety and infotainment features. The instrument cluster is also new, with a high-resolution, 4.2-inch color display that delivers vehicle information, navigation, audio system functions, phone features and more. In Regal GS, an eight-inch configurable color instrument cluster screen is standard. It allows the driver to customize the displayed information with adjustments via steering wheel controls. This premium instrument display is framed with chrome accents and delivers chronograph-style graphics in two modes: Touring and Sport. It is also complemented with a pair of semicircle mechanical instruments for the tachometer and other vehicle functions, befitting of the GS's driver-oriented mission. While the Regal's new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The large, eight-inch color touch screen is designed for easy operation with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Dual-zone climate controls also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome. "The advanced technologies in the 2014 Regal complement its flowing passenger environment, with integrated elegance," said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer for color and trim. "The cabin's rich, tailored elements are executed in warm tones and soft-touch materials that enhance the premium ambience in a thoroughly contemporary manner." Four interior color/trim combinations are available for 2014, including a new, high-fashion two-tone leather combination: -Light Neutral seating with Cocoa accents is offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Rhythm wood décor -Ebony, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Echelon Warm décor -Saddle seating with cocoa accents, offered with two-tone Soleil Keisel leather seats and Rhythm wood décor -Ebony – exclusive to the GS – is offered with Soleil Keisel leather seats with contrast stitching and Diamond Black décor including a black headliner. "It's an inviting environment, with the warmth and expressive style that is attracting more customers to the brand," said Lai. "With new choices, such as the Cocoa/Saddle combination, we've increased the style quotient for Regal." Next-generation IntelliLink Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system is available on the 2014 Regal. It offers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality with a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options. All build on the safety and security of OnStar. In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to more safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do. The IntelliLink system can store up to 60 favorites, including radio stations (AM/FM/XM), contacts, destinations, music and other media. This feature is convenient for those who travel to the same destination regularly and want to save locations such as hotels and restaurants. On its eight-inch screen, customers can "fling" through lists, swipe and drag just as they would on a tablet or smartphone. In fact, users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. That gives customers the ability to play passengers' music or other media through the vehicle. Another feature allows customers whose Regals are equipped with available embedded navigation to enter destinations in a single step, without having to enter the state, city, street number and street name in successive efforts. City-by-city weather reports are also provided. OnStar can be accessed via the screen display as well as by the traditional Blue button. A new, nine-speaker Bose sound system is available and projects the music and radio selections made with IntelliLink. It includes strategically placed tweeters and a subwoofer that complement the Regal's acoustically optimized interior. Regal GS offers a driver-centric experience The Regal GS is designed to deliver a dynamic driving experience through sophisticated suspension technologies, premium amenities and a more expressive presence. Along with its standard turbocharged powertrain, the GS features the exclusive application of Buick's Interactive Drive Control system, which allows the driver to select different drive modes – including the GS mode and its track-oriented competitive setting. In GS mode, the Regal increases steering efforts for more direct feedback to the driver. Increased damping levels ensure ultimate wheel control and reduced body roll for better agility. GS mode also is designed to alter the shift feel of the six-speed automatic transmission. The GS's HiPer Strut front suspension – standard on FWD and AWD models – enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. It is complemented by a four-wheel-disc brake system featuring front Brembo four-piston front calipers and larger rotors. A four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing vehicle stability. Both front and rear dampers incorporate active Computer Damping Control, continuously changing damper characteristics' to make the most of vehicle ride control over varying road surfaces and profiles. More aggressive, performance-oriented damping characteristics can also be selected by the driver through the Interactive Driver Control system. Additionally, the Regal GS features a lowered ride height and 19-inch aluminum wheels to project a sporty, purposeful stance. Twenty-inch wheels with summer-rated performance tires are available. Unique front and rear fascias distinguish the GS. The front fascia incorporates prominent, vertical air intake slots. The rear fascia features a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Rocker panel extensions and a rear spoiler extension are also part of the package. More refined, efficient 2.0L turbocharged engine A new 2.0L turbo engine debuts as the standard powertrain in the 2014 Regal Turbo and Regal GS, advancing the legacy of an engine recognized as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines in 2012. Although it shares the same displacement as the previous turbo engines offered in the Regal, it is a next-generation architecture with friction-reduction technologies designed to enhance refinements on a variety of levels. Along with its estimated 259 horsepower (193 kW), the new 2.0L turbo's torque curve has been enhanced, delivering 90 percent (260 lb-ft / 353 Nm) of its peak torque from 1,700 rpm to 5,500 rpm and the full 295 lb-ft of peak torque (400 Nm) from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. That torque band is supported by boost levels as high as 24 psi (1.65 bar) in the speed range, engineered to give the Regal an assuring, exhilarating feeling of immediate power on demand. The turbocharger features a twin-scroll design that uses exhaust tuning to generate balance between maximum power and excellent turbo response, enabling the engine to deliver a broad torque band. It also supports the responsiveness associated with larger-displacement, naturally aspirated performance engines. Boost is controlled electronically with a pressure-actuated wastegate and the airflow is controlled during transients with an electronic bypass valve. Those controls enable optimal performance, throttle response and efficiency. Additional engine features include: -Pistons with jet-spray cooling -Rotocast 356T aluminum cylinder head -Sodium-filled exhaust valves -Dual Overhead Camshaft with continuously variable valve timing -Direct injection with cam-driven high-pressure fuel pump -Two-stage variable-displacement oil pump -Air-to-air intercooling system. A number of features were added to the new 2.0L turbo to reduce noise and vibration, enhancing engine smoothness and contributing to Buick's signature quietness: -Balance shafts located in the oil pan -A forged-steel crankshaft -Inverted-tooth chains for the camshaft and balance shaft drives -Two-piece oil pan design, with an aluminum upper section to provide structural support and a stamped steel lower section to dampen overall noise -Cast iron bearing cap inserts in an aluminum bedplate -Integrated sound cover on the intake manifold -Structural engine covers The 2014 Regal is also available with the 2.4L with eAssist light electrification technology, using a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability. Instead of providing all-electric propulsion, the system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine. The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration situations, which saves additional fuel. All-wheel-drive system offers optimized handling The 2014 Regal is offered with a new, all-wheel-drive system designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is an advanced, fully automatic and on-demand system that includes developments in wheel-slip management and an electronic limited-slip rear differential. Input from a variety of sensors – wheel speed, steering angle, etc. – automatically tailors the torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, for maximum traction. The eLSD enables adjustment to the torque split between the rear wheels to optimize vehicle stability and cornering capability. If the vehicle's front wheels lose traction, the AWD system is capable of sending more than 90 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels. Fine balancing of the drive torque between the axles raises the threshold at which StabiliTrak's throttle and braking interventions are triggered, enabling closer driver interaction. While engineered to offer sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, Regal's new AWD system also alters its characteristics to support performance-oriented driving when the Sport or GS driving modes are selected on Regal GS. The AWD system also comes with the HiPer Strut front suspension standard, offering more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. Regal's AWD system also contributes to a quieter and smoother ride with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel drive traction isn't required. Advanced safety features For 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Regal was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2014 Regal builds on the safety commitment with new features that use carefully developed visual and audible alerts to help drivers quickly identify and react to potential crash situations. Radar- and camera-based features are offered in two Driver Confidence packages: -Driver Confidence 1 package includes camera-based Forward Collisions Alert, Lane -Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Following Distance Indicator. -Driver Confidence 2 package adds Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking) and full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control that conveniently works in stop-and-go traffic. The Collision Mitigation Braking feature can intervene in certain crash-imminent situations, automatically triggering emergency braking if the driver fails to respond to a previous alert. With Lane Change Alert, the driver is alerted to vehicles in the blind sport during a lane-change or merging maneuver. Regal's standard safety features also include six standard air bags – with optional rear-seat thorax air bags bringing the total to eight – along with a rear-vision camera, StabiliTrak, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist. Front and Rear Park Assist is standard on GS. 2014 BUICK REGAL PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS Overview Models: 2014 Buick Regal Luxury Sport Sedan with eAssist, Regal Turbo and Regal GS Body style / driveline: four-door, five-passenger front engine transaxle. front-wheel-drive midsize vehicle Construction: steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, hood, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias EPA vehicle class: Midsize Manufacturing location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Key competitors: Acura TSX, Volkswagen CC, Volvo S60, Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 Engines 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbo Application: Regal eAssist Regal Turbo and Regal GS Displacement (cu in / cc): 145 / 2384 122 / 1998 Bore and stroke (in / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 Block material: precision sand cast aluminum cast aluminum Cylinder head material: SPM cast aluminum cast aluminum Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug individual coil-on-plug Fuel delivery: direct injection and electronic throttle control direct high-pressure fuel injection Compression ratio: 11.2:1 9.5:1 Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 182 / 136 @ 6700 rpm* 259 / 193 @ 5300 (est.) Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm) 172 / 232.2 @ 4900 rpm* 295 / 400 @ 1700 (est.) Recommended fuel: regular unleaded premium recommended, but not required Max engine speed: 7000 rpm 7000 rpm Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; positive crankcase ventilation evaporative system; supplemental air injection system, partial zero emissions vehicle capable (eAssist) close-coupled catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; wide-range O2 sensor Fuel economy (city / hwy): TBD TBD Transmissions Hydra-Matic 6T40 Hydra-Matic 6T70 GM F40-6 Type: six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive six-speed manual Application: std w/ 2.4L eAssist std. Regal Turbo / GS opt. Regal GS with FWD Gear ratios (:1): First 4.58 4.48 3.92 Second 2.96 2.87 2.04 Third 1.91 1.84 1.32 Fourth 1.45 1.41 0.95 Fifth 1.00 1.00 0.76 Sixth 0.75 0.74 0.62 Reverse 2.94 2.88 3.75 Final Drive 2.64 2.77 3.76 Electric Drive System (Regal With eAssist) Type: belt-driven, liquid-cooled motor/generator unit and lithium-ion battery system; air-cooled power electronics and battery pack Maximum electric generating power: 15 kW @ 1570-3180 rpm Maximum electric motor torque (cranking): 110 lb.-ft. / 150 Nm Maximum electric motor torque (electric assist): 79 lb.-ft. / 107 Nm @ 1,000 rpm Maximum electric motor power (electric assist): 15 hp / 11.2 kW @ 1,000-2,200 rpm Lithium-ion battery: 115V, 0.5-kWh, 15 kW peak power Chassis / Suspension Front: independent, MacPherson strut-type with dual-path mountings, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; continuous damping control; HiPer Strut suspension standard on GS and AWD models. Interactive Drive Control System standard on GS Rear: four-link independent rear; hollow stabilizer bar; continuous damping control (FWD models); Interactive Drive Control System standard on GS. H-arm suspension standard on AWD models Traction control: all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention Steering type: electric rack-and-pinion power-assisted (dual-pinion design) with eAssist and Regal Turbo with FWD; belt-driven electric power steering standard on GS and AWD models Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock: 2.68 (18- and 19-inch wheels) Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 37.4 / 11.4 Steering ratio: 15.2:1 Brakes Type: four-wheel disc w/ABS and electronic stability control Brake rotor diameter – front (in / mm): 2.4L: 11.7 / 296 vented; single-piston, cast iron caliper 2.0L (Turbo): 12.6 / 321 vented; single-piston, cast iron caliper 2.0L (GS): 13.6 / 345 vented; four-piston, aluminum Brembo caliper Brake rotor diameter – rear (in / mm): 2.4L: 11.5 / 292 solid; single-piston, aluminum caliper 2.0L (Turbo and GS): 12.4 / 315 vented; single-piston, aluminum caliper Wheels / Tires Wheel size and type: 17-inch machined alloy (eAssist) 18-inch 13-spoke painted alloy (std. on Turbo) 18-inch chrome alloy (avail. on Turbo) 19-inch alloy, 5-Twin Spoke (std. on GS) 20-inch polished alloy, 5-Twin Spoke (avail. on GS) Tires: Michelin Energy Saver P235/50R17 low rolling-resistance all season (std. on eAssist) Michelin Pilot MXM4 Primacy P235/50R18 (std. on Sedan and Turbo) Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/40R19 (std. on GS) Pirelli P-Zero P255/35-ZR20 summer rated (avail. on GS) Dimensions Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm) : 107.8 / 2738 Overall length (in / mm): 190.2 / 4831 Overall width (in / mm): 73.1 / 1857 Overall height (in / mm): 58.4 / 1483 Front track (in / mm): 62.4 / 1585 Rear track (in / mm): 62.5 / 1588 Interior Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3 Headroom (in / mm): 38.8 / 986 (front) 36.8 / 935 (rear) Legroom (in / mm): 42.1 / 1069 (front) 37.3 / 947 (rear) Shoulder room (in / mm): 56.7 / 1440 (front) 54.4 / 1382 (rear) Hip room (in / mm): 55.4 / 1407 (front) 52.3 / 1328 (rear) Capacities EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L) : 96.8 / 2741 EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 111.1 / 3146 Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 11.1 / 314 (2.4L eAssist – estimated) 14.2 / 402 (2.0L – estimated) Fuel tank (gal / L): 15.8 / 59 (2.4L eAssist) 18 / 70 (2.0L) Engine oil (qt / L): 2.4L: 5.0 / 4.7 2.0L: 6.3 / 6.0 Curb weight (lb / kg): 3600 / 1633 (2.4L) 3671 / 1665 (2.0L Turbo) 3710 / 1683 (2.0L GS) *SAE certified.
  6. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 26, 2013 Alongside the 2014 LaCrosse, Buick is also showing the new 2014 Regal at the New York Auto Show this week. The 2014 Regal's exterior gets minor changes including a reworked front fascia, scalloped headlights, and a full-width chrome strip spanning between the new LED taillights. Regal GS models get a more agressive front and rear end treatments, and nineteen-inch alloy wheels as standard equipment. Inside, Buick got rid of the button-laden center stack and in its place is a eight-inch touchscreen housing Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system and and capacitive-touch controls for the Regal's climate control. The Regal and Regal Turbo models get a 4.2-inch color screen in the instrument cluster, while the Regal GS gets a eight-inch configurable gauge display. One of the Regal's powertrains has been revised for 2014. The base 2.4L eAssist mild-hybrid system carries over. The Turbo and GS get a revised 2.0L turbo-four producing 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. The Regal Turbo and GS will also get all-wheel drive as an option. The system will be able to send more than 90% of the engine's torque to the rear wheels. Like the 2014 LaCrosse, the 2014 Regal will have a list of optional safety equipment including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, Following Distance Indicator, precollision warning (with collision mitigation braking), and adaptive cruise control. The new Regal arrives at Buick showrooms later this fall. Source: Buick William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 Buick Regal Infused with New Technology -Exterior design with signature wing-shape LED lighting; revised interior designed around next-gen IntelliLink infotainment and new advanced safety features -More efficient and more refined 2.0L turbo engine delivers 18 percent more power in Regal Turbo -New all-wheel-drive system incorporates electronic limited-slip differential to help optimize traction in all driving conditions NEW YORK – Buick revealed the new 2014 Regal today, designed to be a sportier and smarter evolution of the brand's dynamic midsize sedan. New purposeful technologies enhance safety and the driving experience with a more refined turbo engine – along with the introduction of all-wheel drive. The new Regal also introduces new radar- and camera-based safety features – including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Collision Mitigation Braking – for surround protection. In-vehicle connectivity is enhanced with next-generation IntelliLink, featuring simpler, more intuitive controls and natural speech recognition. Adaptive Cruise Control is also offered. It senses traffic in front of the Regal to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. "The new 2014 Regal is more expressive, more connected and more technologically advanced," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. "Nearly half of new Regal buyers are conquests who are new to Buick and they represent the youngest median age among the brand's lineup. "The new Regal gives those discerning buyers more of the technologically advanced features they want in a modern luxury sedan, all with the style and refinement they expect from Buick." New front and rear styling, with bold, signature wing-shape LED daytime running lamps and LED taillamps were designed to give Regal a more contemporary and premium presence. The interior features a redesigned central instrument panel and console along with a new fashion interior trim combination. The new 2.0L turbo engine delivers 18 percent more horsepower in the Regal Turbo, for a greater feeling of on-demand power The available Haldex all-wheel-drive system helps make the most of traction in all driving conditions and also enhances the cornering capability of the Regal GS when driven in the GS mode of the Interactive Drive Control System. A 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology is also available on the 2014 Regal. Six-speed automatic transmissions are matched with both engines and a six-speed manual is available in the Regal GS. Electric power steering is now featured on all models. The new Regal makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display March 29-April 7. It goes on sale this fall. More expressive, inside and out New exterior styling evolves the Regal's appearance with cues that enhance a low, wide proportion and were made to convey a more upscale and contemporary presence. New headlamps with standard LED daytime running lamps and a revised grille show the new "face" of Regal, while at the rear Enclave-inspired LED wing-shape taillamps give the car a familial look. A new chrome accent bridges the taillamps to further enhance Regal's wide stance. The new headlamps are available in two versions, including halogen projector beams and xenon high-intensity discharge. The available LED daytime running lamps form a distinctive wing profile above the headlamps, designed to give the Regal an unmistakable signature on the road. Inside, the new Regal's interior blends sculptural beauty and refinement with technology, centered on Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system. A new instrument panel "center stack" houses a new, larger eight-inch color touch screen. There's also a new steering wheel that includes controls for the new safety and infotainment features. The instrument cluster is also new, with a high-resolution, 4.2-inch color display that delivers vehicle information, navigation, audio system functions, phone features and more. In Regal GS, an eight-inch configurable color instrument cluster screen is standard. It allows the driver to customize the displayed information with adjustments via steering wheel controls. This premium instrument display is framed with chrome accents and delivers chronograph-style graphics in two modes: Touring and Sport. It is also complemented with a pair of semicircle mechanical instruments for the tachometer and other vehicle functions, befitting of the GS's driver-oriented mission. While the Regal's new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The large, eight-inch color touch screen is designed for easy operation with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Dual-zone climate controls also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome. "The advanced technologies in the 2014 Regal complement its flowing passenger environment, with integrated elegance," said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer for color and trim. "The cabin's rich, tailored elements are executed in warm tones and soft-touch materials that enhance the premium ambience in a thoroughly contemporary manner." Four interior color/trim combinations are available for 2014, including a new, high-fashion two-tone leather combination: -Light Neutral seating with Cocoa accents is offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Rhythm wood décor -Ebony, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Echelon Warm décor -Saddle seating with cocoa accents, offered with two-tone Soleil Keisel leather seats and Rhythm wood décor -Ebony – exclusive to the GS – is offered with Soleil Keisel leather seats with contrast stitching and Diamond Black décor including a black headliner. "It's an inviting environment, with the warmth and expressive style that is attracting more customers to the brand," said Lai. "With new choices, such as the Cocoa/Saddle combination, we've increased the style quotient for Regal." Next-generation IntelliLink Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system is available on the 2014 Regal. It offers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality with a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options. All build on the safety and security of OnStar. In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to more safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do. The IntelliLink system can store up to 60 favorites, including radio stations (AM/FM/XM), contacts, destinations, music and other media. This feature is convenient for those who travel to the same destination regularly and want to save locations such as hotels and restaurants. On its eight-inch screen, customers can "fling" through lists, swipe and drag just as they would on a tablet or smartphone. In fact, users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. That gives customers the ability to play passengers' music or other media through the vehicle. Another feature allows customers whose Regals are equipped with available embedded navigation to enter destinations in a single step, without having to enter the state, city, street number and street name in successive efforts. City-by-city weather reports are also provided. OnStar can be accessed via the screen display as well as by the traditional Blue button. A new, nine-speaker Bose sound system is available and projects the music and radio selections made with IntelliLink. It includes strategically placed tweeters and a subwoofer that complement the Regal's acoustically optimized interior. Regal GS offers a driver-centric experience The Regal GS is designed to deliver a dynamic driving experience through sophisticated suspension technologies, premium amenities and a more expressive presence. Along with its standard turbocharged powertrain, the GS features the exclusive application of Buick's Interactive Drive Control system, which allows the driver to select different drive modes – including the GS mode and its track-oriented competitive setting. In GS mode, the Regal increases steering efforts for more direct feedback to the driver. Increased damping levels ensure ultimate wheel control and reduced body roll for better agility. GS mode also is designed to alter the shift feel of the six-speed automatic transmission. The GS's HiPer Strut front suspension – standard on FWD and AWD models – enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. It is complemented by a four-wheel-disc brake system featuring front Brembo four-piston front calipers and larger rotors. A four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing vehicle stability. Both front and rear dampers incorporate active Computer Damping Control, continuously changing damper characteristics' to make the most of vehicle ride control over varying road surfaces and profiles. More aggressive, performance-oriented damping characteristics can also be selected by the driver through the Interactive Driver Control system. Additionally, the Regal GS features a lowered ride height and 19-inch aluminum wheels to project a sporty, purposeful stance. Twenty-inch wheels with summer-rated performance tires are available. Unique front and rear fascias distinguish the GS. The front fascia incorporates prominent, vertical air intake slots. The rear fascia features a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Rocker panel extensions and a rear spoiler extension are also part of the package. More refined, efficient 2.0L turbocharged engine A new 2.0L turbo engine debuts as the standard powertrain in the 2014 Regal Turbo and Regal GS, advancing the legacy of an engine recognized as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines in 2012. Although it shares the same displacement as the previous turbo engines offered in the Regal, it is a next-generation architecture with friction-reduction technologies designed to enhance refinements on a variety of levels. Along with its estimated 259 horsepower (193 kW), the new 2.0L turbo's torque curve has been enhanced, delivering 90 percent (260 lb-ft / 353 Nm) of its peak torque from 1,700 rpm to 5,500 rpm and the full 295 lb-ft of peak torque (400 Nm) from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. That torque band is supported by boost levels as high as 24 psi (1.65 bar) in the speed range, engineered to give the Regal an assuring, exhilarating feeling of immediate power on demand. The turbocharger features a twin-scroll design that uses exhaust tuning to generate balance between maximum power and excellent turbo response, enabling the engine to deliver a broad torque band. It also supports the responsiveness associated with larger-displacement, naturally aspirated performance engines. Boost is controlled electronically with a pressure-actuated wastegate and the airflow is controlled during transients with an electronic bypass valve. Those controls enable optimal performance, throttle response and efficiency. Additional engine features include: -Pistons with jet-spray cooling -Rotocast 356T aluminum cylinder head -Sodium-filled exhaust valves -Dual Overhead Camshaft with continuously variable valve timing -Direct injection with cam-driven high-pressure fuel pump -Two-stage variable-displacement oil pump -Air-to-air intercooling system. A number of features were added to the new 2.0L turbo to reduce noise and vibration, enhancing engine smoothness and contributing to Buick's signature quietness: -Balance shafts located in the oil pan -A forged-steel crankshaft -Inverted-tooth chains for the camshaft and balance shaft drives -Two-piece oil pan design, with an aluminum upper section to provide structural support and a stamped steel lower section to dampen overall noise -Cast iron bearing cap inserts in an aluminum bedplate -Integrated sound cover on the intake manifold -Structural engine covers The 2014 Regal is also available with the 2.4L with eAssist light electrification technology, using a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability. Instead of providing all-electric propulsion, the system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine. The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration situations, which saves additional fuel. All-wheel-drive system offers optimized handling The 2014 Regal is offered with a new, all-wheel-drive system designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is an advanced, fully automatic and on-demand system that includes developments in wheel-slip management and an electronic limited-slip rear differential. Input from a variety of sensors – wheel speed, steering angle, etc. – automatically tailors the torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, for maximum traction. The eLSD enables adjustment to the torque split between the rear wheels to optimize vehicle stability and cornering capability. If the vehicle's front wheels lose traction, the AWD system is capable of sending more than 90 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels. Fine balancing of the drive torque between the axles raises the threshold at which StabiliTrak's throttle and braking interventions are triggered, enabling closer driver interaction. While engineered to offer sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, Regal's new AWD system also alters its characteristics to support performance-oriented driving when the Sport or GS driving modes are selected on Regal GS. The AWD system also comes with the HiPer Strut front suspension standard, offering more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. Regal's AWD system also contributes to a quieter and smoother ride with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel drive traction isn't required. Advanced safety features For 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Regal was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2014 Regal builds on the safety commitment with new features that use carefully developed visual and audible alerts to help drivers quickly identify and react to potential crash situations. Radar- and camera-based features are offered in two Driver Confidence packages: -Driver Confidence 1 package includes camera-based Forward Collisions Alert, Lane -Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Following Distance Indicator. -Driver Confidence 2 package adds Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking) and full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control that conveniently works in stop-and-go traffic. The Collision Mitigation Braking feature can intervene in certain crash-imminent situations, automatically triggering emergency braking if the driver fails to respond to a previous alert. With Lane Change Alert, the driver is alerted to vehicles in the blind sport during a lane-change or merging maneuver. Regal's standard safety features also include six standard air bags – with optional rear-seat thorax air bags bringing the total to eight – along with a rear-vision camera, StabiliTrak, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist. Front and Rear Park Assist is standard on GS. 2014 BUICK REGAL PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS Overview Models: 2014 Buick Regal Luxury Sport Sedan with eAssist, Regal Turbo and Regal GS Body style / driveline: four-door, five-passenger front engine transaxle. front-wheel-drive midsize vehicle Construction: steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, hood, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias EPA vehicle class: Midsize Manufacturing location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Key competitors: Acura TSX, Volkswagen CC, Volvo S60, Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 Engines 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbo Application: Regal eAssist Regal Turbo and Regal GS Displacement (cu in / cc): 145 / 2384 122 / 1998 Bore and stroke (in / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 Block material: precision sand cast aluminum cast aluminum Cylinder head material: SPM cast aluminum cast aluminum Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug individual coil-on-plug Fuel delivery: direct injection and electronic throttle control direct high-pressure fuel injection Compression ratio: 11.2:1 9.5:1 Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 182 / 136 @ 6700 rpm* 259 / 193 @ 5300 (est.) Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm) 172 / 232.2 @ 4900 rpm* 295 / 400 @ 1700 (est.) Recommended fuel: regular unleaded premium recommended, but not required Max engine speed: 7000 rpm 7000 rpm Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; positive crankcase ventilation evaporative system; supplemental air injection system, partial zero emissions vehicle capable (eAssist) close-coupled catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; wide-range O2 sensor Fuel economy (city / hwy): TBD TBD Transmissions Hydra-Matic 6T40 Hydra-Matic 6T70 GM F40-6 Type: six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive six-speed manual Application: std w/ 2.4L eAssist std. Regal Turbo / GS opt. Regal GS with FWD Gear ratios (:1): First 4.58 4.48 3.92 Second 2.96 2.87 2.04 Third 1.91 1.84 1.32 Fourth 1.45 1.41 0.95 Fifth 1.00 1.00 0.76 Sixth 0.75 0.74 0.62 Reverse 2.94 2.88 3.75 Final Drive 2.64 2.77 3.76 Electric Drive System (Regal With eAssist) Type: belt-driven, liquid-cooled motor/generator unit and lithium-ion battery system; air-cooled power electronics and battery pack Maximum electric generating power: 15 kW @ 1570-3180 rpm Maximum electric motor torque (cranking): 110 lb.-ft. / 150 Nm Maximum electric motor torque (electric assist): 79 lb.-ft. / 107 Nm @ 1,000 rpm Maximum electric motor power (electric assist): 15 hp / 11.2 kW @ 1,000-2,200 rpm Lithium-ion battery: 115V, 0.5-kWh, 15 kW peak power Chassis / Suspension Front: independent, MacPherson strut-type with dual-path mountings, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; continuous damping control; HiPer Strut suspension standard on GS and AWD models. Interactive Drive Control System standard on GS Rear: four-link independent rear; hollow stabilizer bar; continuous damping control (FWD models); Interactive Drive Control System standard on GS. H-arm suspension standard on AWD models Traction control: all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention Steering type: electric rack-and-pinion power-assisted (dual-pinion design) with eAssist and Regal Turbo with FWD; belt-driven electric power steering standard on GS and AWD models Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock: 2.68 (18- and 19-inch wheels) Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 37.4 / 11.4 Steering ratio: 15.2:1 Brakes Type: four-wheel disc w/ABS and electronic stability control Brake rotor diameter – front (in / mm): 2.4L: 11.7 / 296 vented; single-piston, cast iron caliper 2.0L (Turbo): 12.6 / 321 vented; single-piston, cast iron caliper 2.0L (GS): 13.6 / 345 vented; four-piston, aluminum Brembo caliper Brake rotor diameter – rear (in / mm): 2.4L: 11.5 / 292 solid; single-piston, aluminum caliper 2.0L (Turbo and GS): 12.4 / 315 vented; single-piston, aluminum caliper Wheels / Tires Wheel size and type: 17-inch machined alloy (eAssist) 18-inch 13-spoke painted alloy (std. on Turbo) 18-inch chrome alloy (avail. on Turbo) 19-inch alloy, 5-Twin Spoke (std. on GS) 20-inch polished alloy, 5-Twin Spoke (avail. on GS) Tires: Michelin Energy Saver P235/50R17 low rolling-resistance all season (std. on eAssist) Michelin Pilot MXM4 Primacy P235/50R18 (std. on Sedan and Turbo) Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/40R19 (std. on GS) Pirelli P-Zero P255/35-ZR20 summer rated (avail. on GS) Dimensions Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm) : 107.8 / 2738 Overall length (in / mm): 190.2 / 4831 Overall width (in / mm): 73.1 / 1857 Overall height (in / mm): 58.4 / 1483 Front track (in / mm): 62.4 / 1585 Rear track (in / mm): 62.5 / 1588 Interior Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3 Headroom (in / mm): 38.8 / 986 (front) 36.8 / 935 (rear) Legroom (in / mm): 42.1 / 1069 (front) 37.3 / 947 (rear) Shoulder room (in / mm): 56.7 / 1440 (front) 54.4 / 1382 (rear) Hip room (in / mm): 55.4 / 1407 (front) 52.3 / 1328 (rear) Capacities EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L) : 96.8 / 2741 EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 111.1 / 3146 Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 11.1 / 314 (2.4L eAssist – estimated) 14.2 / 402 (2.0L – estimated) Fuel tank (gal / L): 15.8 / 59 (2.4L eAssist) 18 / 70 (2.0L) Engine oil (qt / L): 2.4L: 5.0 / 4.7 2.0L: 6.3 / 6.0 Curb weight (lb / kg): 3600 / 1633 (2.4L) 3671 / 1665 (2.0L Turbo) 3710 / 1683 (2.0L GS) *SAE certified. 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  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 30, 2012 Last year, a base Buick Regal started at $27,055. For 2013, the base Regal will now start at $29,015, a jump of almost $2,000. Why the $2,000 increase? Well, the Regal will be following in the LaCrosse's footsteps and offer the eAssist powertrain as standard equipment. eAssist was a $2,000 option on the Regal for 2012 and it has been rolled into pricetag. eAssist will improve the base Regal's fuel economy from 19 City/31 Highway to 25 City/36 Highway. Source: Buick William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. William Maley

    Why The 2013 Buick Regal Is More Expensive

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 30, 2012 Last year, a base Buick Regal started at $27,055. For 2013, the base Regal will now start at $29,015, a jump of almost $2,000. Why the $2,000 increase? Well, the Regal will be following in the LaCrosse's footsteps and offer the eAssist powertrain as standard equipment. eAssist was a $2,000 option on the Regal for 2012 and it has been rolled into pricetag. eAssist will improve the base Regal's fuel economy from 19 City/31 Highway to 25 City/36 Highway. Source: Buick William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. Drew Dowdell

    2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

    Now that the Sonic and Cruze have launched, by all accounts, successfully, Chevy is eager finish up the upper two models in its family car lineup. This 2013 Malibu Eco marks the three quarter mark on this refresh project while the Impala awaits its turn for 2014. The outgoing Malibu was on the large end of the mid-size scale, nearly approaching big brother Impala in overall size. And, while not the most feature laden of family cars, it offered a good combination of space, performance, efficiency, and value. In fact, even when viewed next to more modern designs like the Kia Optima and Toyota Camry, the 2012 Malibu was still an attractive and handsome car, especially in upper trims. That generation of Malibu had fairly good reports for build quality and reliability as well. Chevy could likely have gotten away with a minor styling refresh with some power train updates and kept that model on sale for another two years. Instead, Chevy decided to push the new Malibu out sooner in spite of not all of the engines being ready at launch. So instead of a full Malibu lineup, the car was launched in only the Eco trim which comes only with a mild hybrid setup GM called eAssist. I sampled the eAssist set up in the 2012 Buick Lacrosse back in January where I achieved an astounding 36mpg highway and 27mpg city. I was impressed with the performance of the eAssist because it gave the 4-cylinder gasoline engine more of a smooth V6 feel while rolling around town yet was still able to get to those fuel efficiency numbers without employing one of the more expensive full-hybrid configurations in a car that is not at all light weight. So the 2013 Malibu has two main tasks to convince me of: First prove that it is better than the outgoing Malibu and second perform at least equal or better than the bigger and heavier Buick Lacrosse eAssist. A few weeks ago, you got William Maley’s review on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco and now it is my turn. Is the new Malibu up to the two tasks I have set out for it? Next up: How is the Malibu inside? As GM’s value brand, it is Chevy’s job to offer good value for the money. Clocking in at an eye popping $29,380 as tested, this Malibu has a number of nice features, but a notably absent one at this price being a full navigation system instead of just OnStar turn-by-turn. In the prior model, the only navigation option was OnStar, but the rest of the car upped the value quotient with a lot of car for your dollar with good passenger space and plenty of trunk room. With the new Impala coming, Chevy had to kick the Malibu down a notch in size and shaved 4.5 inches out of the wheelbase while trimming exterior length by just 2/10ths of an inch. I know we usually start our tour with the driver’s position, but this 4.5 inch drop has the largest impact on rear seat passengers. Chevy claims it was able to keep rear legroom about the same by the numbers, but I wasn't able to find it. Rear leg room is on the tight side and even though I’m only 5’10”, my knees were almost in the back of the front seat. In fact, knee room feels roughly on par with the Malibu’s little brother Cruze. The Cruze get there by having cutouts in the rear of the front seat. It seems to me this same trick could have been employed to get a little more room for the Malibu, but no such luck. Even the Jetta, a car that should not even be playing in this size class, has a good bit more leg room than the Malibu. Headroom in back is merely acceptable, but don’t be much taller than I am. Those wishing for a rear center armrest that the previous model lacked finally get their wish fulfilled. The rear seats themselves are firmly supportive and comfortable. Moving up to the pilot’s position, we are greeted with a new take on Chevy’s dual cowl dashboard. The design is now split horizontally with black plastic ribbing inside the split and a thin chrome strip running through the center. No one’s pictures (especially mine) do the design justice, but it does look very attractive in person especially when the night time ambient lighting kicks on. The plood on the steering wheel, doors, and center console looks especially fake with the dark veins of grain looking printed on almost to the point of being pixilated. The large oval center stack dominates and the camaro-esque instrument panel gives a nod to the Malibu’s sportier cousin. Controls on the center stack are laid out logically and have a high quality feel to them. An attractive addition is the active backlight behind the controls that gives a swooshing lighting effect when you make adjustments on certain dials. Chevy’s MyLink system is here and it is simple enough to use for even the most technically inept. I did find the response from the touch screen to be rather laggy, but otherwise I experienced no bugs. There is a compartment under the MyLink screen which would be useful for storing your MP3 player or smart phone if Chevy had included a USB port inside. Without that, the smart phone was relegated to the center console. The only thing I found the compartment useful for was storing my toll transponder. The HVAC system is more than up to the task of cooling the cabin rapidly. There are two modes for the system : Eco and Comfort. Eco will allow the eAssist system to stop the gas engine when the car has come to a stop, in effect stopping the cooling ability of the A/C compressor. The Comfort setting will continue to run the engine to keep the cabin cool. Being somewhat eco conscious, I kept the setting in Eco, however the car seemed to want to override my selection from time to time and bump back into Comfort. If outside temperatures are over about 85 degrees Fahrenheit you will probably want to keep the car in Comfort as cabin temperature can rise rapidly at a long light. Interior build quality is not one of the new Malibu’s strong suits. I found numerous assembly defects in my test vehicle. Frankly, given the great strides GM has made on its interiors lately, the number and severity of the defects in this Malibu was shocking. Hitting heavy turbulence, I noticed the instrument pod had a bit of extra shake to it. After poking at that I found the cover just peels back. Even just small amounts of pressure was able to move part of the dash on the passenger side around, and just a one handed small tug pulled the whole piece off. The carpet on the passenger side was not installed correctly, leaving a large gap in the foot well. Interior panel gaps were misaligned all over. I’m not sure how this particular car ever passed Q/C much less end up in the press fleet. Next up: Can we judge a book by its cover? With a new model comes new exterior styling as well. Personally, I felt the dearly departed previous generation Malibu to be one of the most handsome vehicles in the segment. If I were in the market, I could have written a check for the LTZ without remorse. Out front Chevy butched up the face of the Malibu with a lot more creases and folds. Rather than one subtle crease in the hood like the previous model, Chevy upped the ante with no less than 7 folds of the metal making up just the hood. It has to be a very expensive part to produce and on my example it did line up perfectly. In fact, all of the body panels lined up well with tight gaps. Around back, Chevy incorporated more Camaro into the tail lights. Taken as a whole, I like the overall more masculine effect. It’s not better or worse than the previous body, just a different style. If I had any specific complaint about the exterior, it is that the 17” aluminum wheels look too small, but that is likely a compromise for Eco’s sake. If you’re expecting to need to haul a lot in the trunk, just wait for a non-Eco model. The battery pack takes up so much room back there you end up with one of the smallest trunks in the class and again bested by Cruze and Jetta. Next up: Yes, but how does the Malibu Eco drive? In spite of the Camaro cues incorporated into various parts of the Malibu design, it isn't especially sporty out on the road. The suspension is more concerned with providing comfort than strong cornering abilities. Out on the highway, the Malibu is a comfortable long distance cruiser soaking up road imperfections before they infiltrate the cabin. One of the reasons you can buy a 2013 Malibu today rather than having to waiting till the fall is because GM management at the highest levels decided to push the car out early in spite of not all engines being ready for production. Since the 2.4 liter Ecotec with eAssist was the only engine ready to go at launch time desired by management. This put Chevy in the disadvantage of having its new midsize entry come with an initial base price thousands of dollars above the competition. Functionally, the eAssist starts and runs like any other engine out there available. During light acceleration conditions, the 15 horsepower electric motor adds some twist to the wheels to help out the gas engine and save some fuel. The additional power mostly comes on at lower speeds, giving the 4-cylinder a more torquey feel that one might expect from a V6. On the highway, the system will give slight boost to crest light waves in the highway while regenerating the battery on the downside of the hill. The transition between assist and regeneration is absolutely seamless and, unless you have one of the power train displays up, you will have no idea what is going on under the hood. When stopping at a light, the eAssist will also stop the gasoline engine unless the HVAC system is set to Comfort as mentioned above or if the engine is not yet at operating temperature. Full throttle acceleration is not what I would call brisk. Swing the tach too far past the 4,000 mark and the engine seems to run out of breath. Don’t expect much help from the electric motor at that point either, its 15 horsepower only goes so far. While I appreciated the eAssist in the Buick Lacrosse back in January, the lack of Buick’s quiet tuning was quite apparent here with much more engine noise entering the cabin. Brake feel has the same lack of feedback that nearly every hybrid I've driven has. There were a couple of times when coming to a stop that I rolled out further than I expected to due to this lack of feel. Fuel economy for an “Eco” midsize was terrible. As I mentioned earlier, I left the climate control in Eco mode as much as possible and averaged just 23.7 mpg combined for the week. On one longer trip I hyper-miled it and still was only able to manage 28mpg. There are circa 300 horsepower V6es in heavier cars that can do better than that, Chevrolet’s own Camaro V6 being the most obvious example and Chrysler 300 is another. At first I thought the atrocious fuel economy was a problem limited to one car as I had done substantially better in the Buick Lacrosse eAssist review, however William Maley experienced similar terrible fuel economy during his review of the 2013 Malibu Eco a few weeks ago. In the end, it just reinforces the idea that if Chevrolet went through the hassle of fitting batteries into the car, shouldn't it get substantially better fuel economy than those cars without? Next Up: What it all boils down to... In the end, the 2013 Malibu Eco failed the two tasks I set out for it. The unacceptable build quality of my example ruined any chance of it being judged better than the prior model. The diminish rear seat room that has the Malibu matching with the Jetta and Cruze, the class smallest trunk space, the real world fuel economy below a larger Buick with the same power train, and higher-than-competition base price tag remove the value proposition. About the only thing this Malibu has going for it at the moment is its looks and a decent entertainment system. It is abundantly clear that this was a rush job on GM’s part, a rush job that wasn't even necessary with the already competent, though aging, previous generation Malibu out there for sale and doing good for GM’s reputation. Sorry GM, this one wasn't done cooking before you took it out of the oven. Better see what you can do to salvage things. General Motors provided the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, one tank of fuel, and insurance. Make: Chevrolet Model: Malibu Model Year: 2013 Trim: Eco 2SA Engine: Transversely mounted 2.4 liter 4-cylinder with eAssist Transmission: Front Wheel Drive, 6-speed manual Max horsepower @ RPM: 182 hp @ 6200 rpm Max torque @RPM: 171 lb-ft of torque @ 4900 rpm EPA Fuel Economy: 25 City / 37 Highway Exterior color as tested: Crystal Red Tintcoat Interior color as tested: Cocoa Location of Manufacture: Kansas City, Kansas, USA MSRP as tested: $29,380.00 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears View full article
  10. Drew Dowdell

    2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

    Now that the Sonic and Cruze have launched, by all accounts, successfully, Chevy is eager finish up the upper two models in its family car lineup. This 2013 Malibu Eco marks the three quarter mark on this refresh project while the Impala awaits its turn for 2014. The outgoing Malibu was on the large end of the mid-size scale, nearly approaching big brother Impala in overall size. And, while not the most feature laden of family cars, it offered a good combination of space, performance, efficiency, and value. In fact, even when viewed next to more modern designs like the Kia Optima and Toyota Camry, the 2012 Malibu was still an attractive and handsome car, especially in upper trims. That generation of Malibu had fairly good reports for build quality and reliability as well. Chevy could likely have gotten away with a minor styling refresh with some power train updates and kept that model on sale for another two years. Instead, Chevy decided to push the new Malibu out sooner in spite of not all of the engines being ready at launch. So instead of a full Malibu lineup, the car was launched in only the Eco trim which comes only with a mild hybrid setup GM called eAssist. I sampled the eAssist set up in the 2012 Buick Lacrosse back in January where I achieved an astounding 36mpg highway and 27mpg city. I was impressed with the performance of the eAssist because it gave the 4-cylinder gasoline engine more of a smooth V6 feel while rolling around town yet was still able to get to those fuel efficiency numbers without employing one of the more expensive full-hybrid configurations in a car that is not at all light weight. So the 2013 Malibu has two main tasks to convince me of: First prove that it is better than the outgoing Malibu and second perform at least equal or better than the bigger and heavier Buick Lacrosse eAssist. A few weeks ago, you got William Maley’s review on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco and now it is my turn. Is the new Malibu up to the two tasks I have set out for it? Next up: How is the Malibu inside? As GM’s value brand, it is Chevy’s job to offer good value for the money. Clocking in at an eye popping $29,380 as tested, this Malibu has a number of nice features, but a notably absent one at this price being a full navigation system instead of just OnStar turn-by-turn. In the prior model, the only navigation option was OnStar, but the rest of the car upped the value quotient with a lot of car for your dollar with good passenger space and plenty of trunk room. With the new Impala coming, Chevy had to kick the Malibu down a notch in size and shaved 4.5 inches out of the wheelbase while trimming exterior length by just 2/10ths of an inch. I know we usually start our tour with the driver’s position, but this 4.5 inch drop has the largest impact on rear seat passengers. Chevy claims it was able to keep rear legroom about the same by the numbers, but I wasn't able to find it. Rear leg room is on the tight side and even though I’m only 5’10”, my knees were almost in the back of the front seat. In fact, knee room feels roughly on par with the Malibu’s little brother Cruze. The Cruze get there by having cutouts in the rear of the front seat. It seems to me this same trick could have been employed to get a little more room for the Malibu, but no such luck. Even the Jetta, a car that should not even be playing in this size class, has a good bit more leg room than the Malibu. Headroom in back is merely acceptable, but don’t be much taller than I am. Those wishing for a rear center armrest that the previous model lacked finally get their wish fulfilled. The rear seats themselves are firmly supportive and comfortable. Moving up to the pilot’s position, we are greeted with a new take on Chevy’s dual cowl dashboard. The design is now split horizontally with black plastic ribbing inside the split and a thin chrome strip running through the center. No one’s pictures (especially mine) do the design justice, but it does look very attractive in person especially when the night time ambient lighting kicks on. The plood on the steering wheel, doors, and center console looks especially fake with the dark veins of grain looking printed on almost to the point of being pixilated. The large oval center stack dominates and the camaro-esque instrument panel gives a nod to the Malibu’s sportier cousin. Controls on the center stack are laid out logically and have a high quality feel to them. An attractive addition is the active backlight behind the controls that gives a swooshing lighting effect when you make adjustments on certain dials. Chevy’s MyLink system is here and it is simple enough to use for even the most technically inept. I did find the response from the touch screen to be rather laggy, but otherwise I experienced no bugs. There is a compartment under the MyLink screen which would be useful for storing your MP3 player or smart phone if Chevy had included a USB port inside. Without that, the smart phone was relegated to the center console. The only thing I found the compartment useful for was storing my toll transponder. The HVAC system is more than up to the task of cooling the cabin rapidly. There are two modes for the system : Eco and Comfort. Eco will allow the eAssist system to stop the gas engine when the car has come to a stop, in effect stopping the cooling ability of the A/C compressor. The Comfort setting will continue to run the engine to keep the cabin cool. Being somewhat eco conscious, I kept the setting in Eco, however the car seemed to want to override my selection from time to time and bump back into Comfort. If outside temperatures are over about 85 degrees Fahrenheit you will probably want to keep the car in Comfort as cabin temperature can rise rapidly at a long light. Interior build quality is not one of the new Malibu’s strong suits. I found numerous assembly defects in my test vehicle. Frankly, given the great strides GM has made on its interiors lately, the number and severity of the defects in this Malibu was shocking. Hitting heavy turbulence, I noticed the instrument pod had a bit of extra shake to it. After poking at that I found the cover just peels back. Even just small amounts of pressure was able to move part of the dash on the passenger side around, and just a one handed small tug pulled the whole piece off. The carpet on the passenger side was not installed correctly, leaving a large gap in the foot well. Interior panel gaps were misaligned all over. I’m not sure how this particular car ever passed Q/C much less end up in the press fleet. Next up: Can we judge a book by its cover? With a new model comes new exterior styling as well. Personally, I felt the dearly departed previous generation Malibu to be one of the most handsome vehicles in the segment. If I were in the market, I could have written a check for the LTZ without remorse. Out front Chevy butched up the face of the Malibu with a lot more creases and folds. Rather than one subtle crease in the hood like the previous model, Chevy upped the ante with no less than 7 folds of the metal making up just the hood. It has to be a very expensive part to produce and on my example it did line up perfectly. In fact, all of the body panels lined up well with tight gaps. Around back, Chevy incorporated more Camaro into the tail lights. Taken as a whole, I like the overall more masculine effect. It’s not better or worse than the previous body, just a different style. If I had any specific complaint about the exterior, it is that the 17” aluminum wheels look too small, but that is likely a compromise for Eco’s sake. If you’re expecting to need to haul a lot in the trunk, just wait for a non-Eco model. The battery pack takes up so much room back there you end up with one of the smallest trunks in the class and again bested by Cruze and Jetta. Next up: Yes, but how does the Malibu Eco drive? In spite of the Camaro cues incorporated into various parts of the Malibu design, it isn't especially sporty out on the road. The suspension is more concerned with providing comfort than strong cornering abilities. Out on the highway, the Malibu is a comfortable long distance cruiser soaking up road imperfections before they infiltrate the cabin. One of the reasons you can buy a 2013 Malibu today rather than having to waiting till the fall is because GM management at the highest levels decided to push the car out early in spite of not all engines being ready for production. Since the 2.4 liter Ecotec with eAssist was the only engine ready to go at launch time desired by management. This put Chevy in the disadvantage of having its new midsize entry come with an initial base price thousands of dollars above the competition. Functionally, the eAssist starts and runs like any other engine out there available. During light acceleration conditions, the 15 horsepower electric motor adds some twist to the wheels to help out the gas engine and save some fuel. The additional power mostly comes on at lower speeds, giving the 4-cylinder a more torquey feel that one might expect from a V6. On the highway, the system will give slight boost to crest light waves in the highway while regenerating the battery on the downside of the hill. The transition between assist and regeneration is absolutely seamless and, unless you have one of the power train displays up, you will have no idea what is going on under the hood. When stopping at a light, the eAssist will also stop the gasoline engine unless the HVAC system is set to Comfort as mentioned above or if the engine is not yet at operating temperature. Full throttle acceleration is not what I would call brisk. Swing the tach too far past the 4,000 mark and the engine seems to run out of breath. Don’t expect much help from the electric motor at that point either, its 15 horsepower only goes so far. While I appreciated the eAssist in the Buick Lacrosse back in January, the lack of Buick’s quiet tuning was quite apparent here with much more engine noise entering the cabin. Brake feel has the same lack of feedback that nearly every hybrid I've driven has. There were a couple of times when coming to a stop that I rolled out further than I expected to due to this lack of feel. Fuel economy for an “Eco” midsize was terrible. As I mentioned earlier, I left the climate control in Eco mode as much as possible and averaged just 23.7 mpg combined for the week. On one longer trip I hyper-miled it and still was only able to manage 28mpg. There are circa 300 horsepower V6es in heavier cars that can do better than that, Chevrolet’s own Camaro V6 being the most obvious example and Chrysler 300 is another. At first I thought the atrocious fuel economy was a problem limited to one car as I had done substantially better in the Buick Lacrosse eAssist review, however William Maley experienced similar terrible fuel economy during his review of the 2013 Malibu Eco a few weeks ago. In the end, it just reinforces the idea that if Chevrolet went through the hassle of fitting batteries into the car, shouldn't it get substantially better fuel economy than those cars without? Next Up: What it all boils down to... In the end, the 2013 Malibu Eco failed the two tasks I set out for it. The unacceptable build quality of my example ruined any chance of it being judged better than the prior model. The diminish rear seat room that has the Malibu matching with the Jetta and Cruze, the class smallest trunk space, the real world fuel economy below a larger Buick with the same power train, and higher-than-competition base price tag remove the value proposition. About the only thing this Malibu has going for it at the moment is its looks and a decent entertainment system. It is abundantly clear that this was a rush job on GM’s part, a rush job that wasn't even necessary with the already competent, though aging, previous generation Malibu out there for sale and doing good for GM’s reputation. Sorry GM, this one wasn't done cooking before you took it out of the oven. Better see what you can do to salvage things. General Motors provided the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, one tank of fuel, and insurance. Make: Chevrolet Model: Malibu Model Year: 2013 Trim: Eco 2SA Engine: Transversely mounted 2.4 liter 4-cylinder with eAssist Transmission: Front Wheel Drive, 6-speed manual Max horsepower @ RPM: 182 hp @ 6200 rpm Max torque @RPM: 171 lb-ft of torque @ 4900 rpm EPA Fuel Economy: 25 City / 37 Highway Exterior color as tested: Crystal Red Tintcoat Interior color as tested: Cocoa Location of Manufacture: Kansas City, Kansas, USA MSRP as tested: $29,380.00 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 14, 2012 During an event in San Francisco, GM's product chief Mary Barra announced the company their green-car will focus on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. "A major focus for GM's electrification strategy will center on the plug," said Barra. She went onto say that plug-ins offer "a unique opportunity to change the way people commute.” GM's original strategy for green cars included the development of different powertrains, including hybrids. That plan has proven to be too expensive and not efficient. "We need to make educated bets on which technologies hold the most potential for creating values for our customers and our company," said Barra. GM's mild-hybrid system, branded the eAssist system will be sticking around. GM is hoping by 2017 to sell 500,000 vehicles with some sort of electrification. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 14, 2012 During an event in San Francisco, GM's product chief Mary Barra announced the company their green-car will focus on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. "A major focus for GM's electrification strategy will center on the plug," said Barra. She went onto say that plug-ins offer "a unique opportunity to change the way people commute.” GM's original strategy for green cars included the development of different powertrains, including hybrids. That plan has proven to be too expensive and not efficient. "We need to make educated bets on which technologies hold the most potential for creating values for our customers and our company," said Barra. GM's mild-hybrid system, branded the eAssist system will be sticking around. GM is hoping by 2017 to sell 500,000 vehicles with some sort of electrification. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. William Maley

    Review: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

    William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com June 13, 2012 All of us have had the experience of something not meeting our expectations. Whether it’s an expensive hotel that provides the same service of a Motel6, a nice restaurant that serves the equivalent of Burger King, or a highly recommended mechanic that somehow charges $650 for an oil change. This happened to me with the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco. When it arrived onto my driveway for a few days, I was excited at the premise of the Eco model. However when my time with the Malibu Eco was up, I was a bit deflated. Onward to the exterior Exterior When I first saw the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the North American International Auto Show in earlier this year, I was a bit disappointed. Compared to the outgoing Malibu, the new one didn’t have the presence and the sexy curves. Instead, it went for a mishmash of Cruze and Camaro, giving it an unpleasant look. However, when you drop the bright lights of an auto show and bring it into the real world, the Malibu design begins to grow on you Up front, there is a lot of Cruze influence. The front end juts out, putting the double grille opening with chrome accents running around the edge as the main focus. A pair of projector headlights extends up into the front fenders. The side profile shows off the Malibu’s beltline going up a slight angle. The back end features a Camaro inspired trunk lid and taillights. Also, the Malibu Eco includes a Camaro inspired narrow rear window view. Thankfully, this Malibu Eco was equipped with a rear-view camera, making it easier to back up. Now Meet The Malibu Eco's Interior Interior One place where the new Malibu runs rings around the old one is in the interior. Stepping into the Malibu Eco for the first time, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how much effort GM put into the Malibu’s interior design. Organic curves, HVAC vents molded into the dash, soft touch materials used throughout the cabin, and some impressive build quality. The Malibu Eco is one the first vehicles in Chevrolet’s lineup to come equipped with the MyLink infotainment system. A five-inch touch screen radio takes center stage in the dash, providing controls and information for whatever you’re playing (AM/FM/XM/iPod/Aux). MyLink also includes Pandora and Stitcher internet radio that uses your smartphone to play though. The system had its hiccups though. From time to time when using Pandora, no sound would come out. That was remedied by unplugging and plugging my iPhone back into the system. Also, MyLink froze up on me, causing me to turn off the car and turn it back on. Now, this is a first generation product and I expected some bugs to come with it, but hopefully GM has some fixes on the way to squash them. As for passengers, those sitting in the front won’t find much to complain about as the optional leather wrapped seats provide enough comfort and support. Passengers sitting in the back will complain about the claustrophobic feelings they’re having. Headroom and legroom is on the short end, especially when compared to other midsize sedans. The space deficiency is even more apparent when you compare the Malibu Eco to its little brother, the Cruze. Trunk space is also on the small size, measuring in at 14.3 cubic feet. That’s due to the Eco having a battery in its trunk. If you want more trunk space in your Malibu, you’re going have to wait till later this year when the 2.5L four comes out. What's Under The Hood Ride & Drive Underneath the Malibu Eco’s hood lies GM’s eAssist mild-hybrid system. eAssist is comprised of a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder producing 182 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque, and a electric motor producing 15 kW and either 110 (cranking) or 79 (electric assist) lb-ft of torque hooked up to a 115V lithium-ion battery. eAssist differs from a regular hybrid on how the electric and gas powertrains deliver their power. In a regular hybrid, the electric motor can power the vehicle alone at low speeds. eAssist cannot do that at all. Instead, eAssist uses the electric motor to help the gas engine in acceleration. Also, eAssist allows stop/start tech to be used. Driving with the eAssist system was an interesting experience. Pulling away from a stop, it gives you the illusion of having a more powerful engine. You can thank the gas and electric motors working together. After the initial acceleration, the electric motor switches off and the 2.4L provides adequate power for most driving. If you need to make a pass, the electric motor kicks back on to provide extra power. The transition from hybrid to gas power is seamless; the only way to know when it happens is when you have the hybrid powertrain screen up. But all is not perfect with the eAssist powertrain. Like most hybrids, the Malibu Eco’s brakes don’t give the kind of reassurance you want. Also, the stop/start system doesn’t stop all of time. At most stoplights, the system would leave the engine idling. Part of that was due to the Air Conditioning running in what is called comfort mode, which needs the engine to run. But when the Air Conditioner was off, the engine still would not turn off. I was left wondering if I was doing something wrong with braking or if this was a problem with this particular Malibu Eco. And that leads me to the biggest disappointment of the Malibu Eco; the fuel economy. The EPA rates the Malibu Eco at 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the Malibu Eco was 26.5 MPG. Now, I am going to put a good amount of blame on the Stop/Start system possibly not working. But even with 29 MPG combined in the EPA cycle, cars like the Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat with their base engines can meet or exceed that average. It left me wondering why GM went forward with the eAssist mild hybrid and not a regular hybrid system or something else. Those problems with the powertrain are a big shame since the Malibu’s ride shines as a long distance cruiser. The suspension does a great job of providing a very comfortable ride, soaking up many road imperfections. The steering weighted perfectly for what the Eco is built for. Also, Chevrolet must have stolen a few of Buick’s quiet tuning engineers since the Malibu Eco is very, very quiet. And The Verdict Verdict As my time with the Malibu Eco was coming to a close, I was getting more and more disappointed. The Malibu Eco has some very positive points: a comfortable and quiet ride, good looking exterior, impressive interior, and the new MyLink infotainment system. But those positive points cannot hide some very glaring problems of the Malibu Eco: the smallest back seat in the class, the stop/start system that didn’t stop, and the not so impressive fuel economy of the eAssist system. And there is one thing I haven’t brought up yet. The Malibu was originally waiting on the new 2.5L four-cylinder to go into production. However, GM CEO Dan Akerson wanted the Malibu out sooner and the decision was made to start building the Eco early since it the closest to being ready. My question is this: if GM had kept the original date, could this have made the Malibu Eco a better car? The Malibu Eco is a car full of hopes and dreams, but sadly cannot reach all of them. Cheers: Comfortable Ride Interior and Exterior Design MyLink Infotainment System Jeers: Fuel Economy Non Auto Stop/Start System Interior Space Year - 2013 Make - Chevrolet Model - Malibu Trim - Eco Engine - 2.4L DOHC Four-Cylinder with eAssist Driveline - Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 182 @ 6200 Torque @ RPM - 172 @ 4900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/37/29 Curb Weight - 3620 lbs Location of Manufacture - Kansas City, Kansas Base Price - $26,845.00 As Tested Price - $29,380.00 (Includes $760.00 Destination Charge)
  14. William Maley

    Review: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

    William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com June 13, 2012 All of us have had the experience of something not meeting our expectations. Whether it’s an expensive hotel that provides the same service of a Motel6, a nice restaurant that serves the equivalent of Burger King, or a highly recommended mechanic that somehow charges $650 for an oil change. This happened to me with the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco. When it arrived onto my driveway for a few days, I was excited at the premise of the Eco model. However when my time with the Malibu Eco was up, I was a bit deflated. Onward to the exterior Exterior When I first saw the new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the North American International Auto Show in earlier this year, I was a bit disappointed. Compared to the outgoing Malibu, the new one didn’t have the presence and the sexy curves. Instead, it went for a mishmash of Cruze and Camaro, giving it an unpleasant look. However, when you drop the bright lights of an auto show and bring it into the real world, the Malibu design begins to grow on you Up front, there is a lot of Cruze influence. The front end juts out, putting the double grille opening with chrome accents running around the edge as the main focus. A pair of projector headlights extends up into the front fenders. The side profile shows off the Malibu’s beltline going up a slight angle. The back end features a Camaro inspired trunk lid and taillights. Also, the Malibu Eco includes a Camaro inspired narrow rear window view. Thankfully, this Malibu Eco was equipped with a rear-view camera, making it easier to back up. Now Meet The Malibu Eco's Interior Interior One place where the new Malibu runs rings around the old one is in the interior. Stepping into the Malibu Eco for the first time, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how much effort GM put into the Malibu’s interior design. Organic curves, HVAC vents molded into the dash, soft touch materials used throughout the cabin, and some impressive build quality. The Malibu Eco is one the first vehicles in Chevrolet’s lineup to come equipped with the MyLink infotainment system. A five-inch touch screen radio takes center stage in the dash, providing controls and information for whatever you’re playing (AM/FM/XM/iPod/Aux). MyLink also includes Pandora and Stitcher internet radio that uses your smartphone to play though. The system had its hiccups though. From time to time when using Pandora, no sound would come out. That was remedied by unplugging and plugging my iPhone back into the system. Also, MyLink froze up on me, causing me to turn off the car and turn it back on. Now, this is a first generation product and I expected some bugs to come with it, but hopefully GM has some fixes on the way to squash them. As for passengers, those sitting in the front won’t find much to complain about as the optional leather wrapped seats provide enough comfort and support. Passengers sitting in the back will complain about the claustrophobic feelings they’re having. Headroom and legroom is on the short end, especially when compared to other midsize sedans. The space deficiency is even more apparent when you compare the Malibu Eco to its little brother, the Cruze. Trunk space is also on the small size, measuring in at 14.3 cubic feet. That’s due to the Eco having a battery in its trunk. If you want more trunk space in your Malibu, you’re going have to wait till later this year when the 2.5L four comes out. What's Under The Hood Ride & Drive Underneath the Malibu Eco’s hood lies GM’s eAssist mild-hybrid system. eAssist is comprised of a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder producing 182 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque, and a electric motor producing 15 kW and either 110 (cranking) or 79 (electric assist) lb-ft of torque hooked up to a 115V lithium-ion battery. eAssist differs from a regular hybrid on how the electric and gas powertrains deliver their power. In a regular hybrid, the electric motor can power the vehicle alone at low speeds. eAssist cannot do that at all. Instead, eAssist uses the electric motor to help the gas engine in acceleration. Also, eAssist allows stop/start tech to be used. Driving with the eAssist system was an interesting experience. Pulling away from a stop, it gives you the illusion of having a more powerful engine. You can thank the gas and electric motors working together. After the initial acceleration, the electric motor switches off and the 2.4L provides adequate power for most driving. If you need to make a pass, the electric motor kicks back on to provide extra power. The transition from hybrid to gas power is seamless; the only way to know when it happens is when you have the hybrid powertrain screen up. But all is not perfect with the eAssist powertrain. Like most hybrids, the Malibu Eco’s brakes don’t give the kind of reassurance you want. Also, the stop/start system doesn’t stop all of time. At most stoplights, the system would leave the engine idling. Part of that was due to the Air Conditioning running in what is called comfort mode, which needs the engine to run. But when the Air Conditioner was off, the engine still would not turn off. I was left wondering if I was doing something wrong with braking or if this was a problem with this particular Malibu Eco. And that leads me to the biggest disappointment of the Malibu Eco; the fuel economy. The EPA rates the Malibu Eco at 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the Malibu Eco was 26.5 MPG. Now, I am going to put a good amount of blame on the Stop/Start system possibly not working. But even with 29 MPG combined in the EPA cycle, cars like the Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat with their base engines can meet or exceed that average. It left me wondering why GM went forward with the eAssist mild hybrid and not a regular hybrid system or something else. Those problems with the powertrain are a big shame since the Malibu’s ride shines as a long distance cruiser. The suspension does a great job of providing a very comfortable ride, soaking up many road imperfections. The steering weighted perfectly for what the Eco is built for. Also, Chevrolet must have stolen a few of Buick’s quiet tuning engineers since the Malibu Eco is very, very quiet. And The Verdict Verdict As my time with the Malibu Eco was coming to a close, I was getting more and more disappointed. The Malibu Eco has some very positive points: a comfortable and quiet ride, good looking exterior, impressive interior, and the new MyLink infotainment system. But those positive points cannot hide some very glaring problems of the Malibu Eco: the smallest back seat in the class, the stop/start system that didn’t stop, and the not so impressive fuel economy of the eAssist system. And there is one thing I haven’t brought up yet. The Malibu was originally waiting on the new 2.5L four-cylinder to go into production. However, GM CEO Dan Akerson wanted the Malibu out sooner and the decision was made to start building the Eco early since it the closest to being ready. My question is this: if GM had kept the original date, could this have made the Malibu Eco a better car? The Malibu Eco is a car full of hopes and dreams, but sadly cannot reach all of them. Cheers: Comfortable Ride Interior and Exterior Design MyLink Infotainment System Jeers: Fuel Economy Non Auto Stop/Start System Interior Space Year - 2013 Make - Chevrolet Model - Malibu Trim - Eco Engine - 2.4L DOHC Four-Cylinder with eAssist Driveline - Front Wheel Drive, Six Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM - 182 @ 6200 Torque @ RPM - 172 @ 4900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/37/29 Curb Weight - 3620 lbs Location of Manufacture - Kansas City, Kansas Base Price - $26,845.00 As Tested Price - $29,380.00 (Includes $760.00 Destination Charge) View full article

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