2013 Buick Regal gets standard eAssist, GS model optional automatic transmission

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 8, 2012

Buick’s midsize luxury sport sedan’s sales last year had been so strong that it outperformed the Audi A4, Lexus IS250, and Acura TSX. However, it continues to evolve. The performance-oriented Regal GS is equipped with a new automatic transmission that’s already available in dealerships. In addition, the eAssist fuel efficiency technology would be considered standard after athe presentation of the 2013 model later in 2012.

The Regal has been named the “Best Upscale Midsize Car for Families” by U.S. News and World Report. Just last month, it was recognized as the “Best Car for the Money” in the same category. The “Upscale Midsize Car” category includes 19 different vehicles.

This means that a second transmission could now control the 270 horses of the Regal GS’ turbocharged 2.0L Ecotec, which was named in WardsAuto World’s 2012 “10 Best Engines” for North America. Rather than the existing six-speed manual, it now has a six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control as a no-cost option.

The new Aisin AF40 automatic has been calibrated just for Buick’s most athletic sedan. Performance is aided with the transmission offering firmer shifts due to the car’s Interactive Drive Control System being set to “GS” mode. It could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, matching that of the manual.

It has a fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway as estimated by the EPA. It comes with standard performance parts such as Buick’s innovative HiPer Strut front suspension and Brembo front brake calipers. Its optional features are identical no matter what the transmission is. The eAssist will be standard on the Regal starting with the 2013 lineup with the discontinuation of the 2.4L base model.

Both the Regal Turbo and Regal GS models will stay available. The eAssist features a compact lithium-ion battery pack and a small electric motor to enhance the performance of a fuel-efficient 2.4-liter gas engine. The system offers an electrical boost to help the engine at low speeds and on inclines where fuel efficiency would be at its worst. The Regal with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 36 highway mpg, equivalent to a Mini Cooper and higher than several full hybrids such as the Infiniti M35h, which has a rating of 32 mpg.

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