GM revealed today, ahead of 2010 LA Auto Show, the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist, a new fuel-saving technology that promises to increase fuel economy by 25 percent when comparing it with the already fuel-efficient four-cylinder/six-speed powertrain in the 2011 LaCrosse. According to the manufacturer, the new eAssist technology will deliver an impressive class-leading highway fuel economy of 37 mpg.
Ok, so what is so special about this technology? Well, according to GM, the eAssist features the same basic belt-alternator-starter configuration of previous BAS designs, but delivers more than three times the power and is much more capable than the previous-generation BAS system.
The car is powered by a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, but the eAssist system’s 115V air-cooled lithium-ion battery bolsters its power with approximately 11 kW (15 horsepower) of electric power during heavy acceleration and 15 kW of regenerative braking power.
The old BAS system delivered only 2 kW of power assist and 5 kW of regenerative power. Furthermore, the new system can also down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions.
The eAssist power pack uses a lithium-ion battery pack (the integrated power inverter and 12V power supply), located in a compartment between the rear seat and trunk. The battery pack which has a total weight of about 65 pounds (29 kg), reduced the trunk space to 10.9 cubic feet (307 liters) of storage.
In addition, a new electric fan cools the power pack, drawing air from a vent located in the package tray, behind the rear seat. The eAssist’s electric motor-generator is mounted to the engine in place of the alternator. The new car also comes with a new Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission. The total output of the car is rated at 180 horsepower (134 kW).