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Buick LaCrosse with eAssist priced at $30,820

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700

The freshly stickered 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist will start at $30,820, including destination costs, the brand said on Wednesday.

Buick says the 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist is rated at 37 mpg in highway driving, a 25 percent improvement over the 2011 LaCrosse.

The improvement comes from eAssist, a mild hybrid system that uses a belt-driven electric motor-generator and a lithium-ion battery pack.

Used on the LaCrosse’s 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, eAssist shuts down the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and uses the motor-generator to restart when the driver releases the brake pedal. Regenerative braking sends electricity to the battery pack, and the electric motor-generator can supplement the four-cylinder engine during acceleration.

The eAssist system will also be available on the 2012 Buick Regal later this year.

Though the eAssist powertrain will be standard for the LaCrosse, a reworked, direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 is available at no added cost on select trim levels. General Motors engineers cut 20 pounds from the engine by using an integrated exhaust manifold and plastic intake manifold. The V6 is rated at 303 hp, an improvement of 23 hp from the 2011 model.

Other standard features new for the 2012 LaCrosse include dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, a full-color driver information display, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Later in the year, the LaCrosse with eAssist will come standard with Buick IntelliLink, which uses Bluetooth or USB to sync smartphones to an eight-inch, high-resolution, touch-screen radio. The new feature adds voice activation and steering-wheel-mounted controls for streaming audio as well.

By Michelle Koueiter