Buick is making fuel economy a priority for its 2013 Regal lineup. Newly standard on the automaker's midsize sedan is the eAssist mild hybrid system; it was previously optional.
EAssist combines the Regal's 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with a small, 15-hp electric motor. It also uses regenerative braking, a battery pack and automatic start/stop functionality to get an EPA rating of 25/36 mpg city/highway. Unlike many hybrids, it cannot run on battery power alone, however.
This year, Buick made a similar move with its LaCrosse large sedan; the eAssist powertrain became standard on the LaCrosse for model-year 2012.
The base Regal's 2.4-liter will be discontinued for 2013, making the Regal's only other engines a 220-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a version of that engine tuned to make 270 hp in the high-performance Regal GS.
No word yet on the 2013 Regal eAssist pricing, but the 2012 model starts at $28,490 excluding an $885 destination charge.