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.
Buick’s eAssist propulsion system combines a compact electric motor and an advanced 24-cell air-cooled 0.45kWh lithium-ion battery pack with the 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine to enhance efficiency and maintain refined performance through:
1. Motor Generator Unit (MGU): Replaces the traditional alternator and acts as an electric motor to assist the engine when needed. It also acts as an electric generator providing the energy stored in the lithium-ion battery pack.
2. Electric Assist: The MGU’s electric motor function provides a power boost for an extremely smooth launch from the Auto-Stop mode. It funnels additional torque to the engine when needed to optimize overall driving performance and efficiency.
3. Regenerative Braking: When braking or coasting, some of the energy normally lost is converted to electricity through the MGU and stored in the lithium-ion battery pack.
4. Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: The 86V lithium-ion battery pack, which has been repackaged to be more compact, stores energy captured during regenerative braking. This energy powers the electrical system when the vehicle is in Auto-Stop mode. It also powers the MGU to provide a smooth launch from Auto-Stop mode or additional torque to the engine as needed.
5. Seamless Stop/Start Technology: Contributes to added fuel savings3 by seamlessly turning off the engine when in Auto-Stop mode (e.g., at a stoplight or in heavy traffic) and restarting when the foot lifts off the brake pedal or presses the accelerator.
6. Aero Improvement: Upper and lower active aero shutters in the front fascia close under certain driving conditions to help maximize aerodynamics and contribute to improved fuel economy.