GM is continuing the deployment of the eAssist light electrification system (earlier post) as a standard across its platforms. Starting with the arrival of 2013 models, eAssist will be standard on the Regal with the discontinuation of the 2.4L base model. Both the Regal Turbo and Regal GS models will remain available.
For the 2012 model year, eAssist became standard for the larger Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan. The system has also jumped across brands to the Chevrolet line-up with its application in the new Malibu. The latest version of the eAssist system, as applied in the new Malibu, consists of:
A 32-cell, 115V, 0.5-kW Li-ion battery pack (15 kW peak power) using cylindrical power-optimized cells from Hitachi. The power electronics and the pack are packaged in the “eAssist power pack” which includes the batteries (2 parallel 16-cell modules) and the power electronics, both of which are air-cooled.
An electric motor-generator that provides 15 kW of maximum generating power @ 1570-3180 rpm; 110 lb-ft (150 N·m) maximum electric motor torque (cranking); 79 lb-ft (107 N·m) maximum electric motor torque @ 1,000 rpm (electric assist); and 15 hp (11.2 kW) @ 1,000-2,200 rpm maximum electric motor power (electric assist). The motor generator is liquid-cooled.
The eAssist system is matched to a 2.4-liter gasoline engine. The system provides an electrical boost to aid the engine at low speeds and on inclines where fuel efficiency can suffer most. The Regal with eAssist achieves an EPA-estimated 36 highway mpg (6.5 L/100 km).
Pricing and an on-sale date for the 2013 Regal with eAssist will be announced later this year.
GM engineers will present a new paper on the development of the eAssist system at the upcoming SAE 2012 World Congress & Exhibition in Detroit in April. eAssist is also one of the finalists for the SAE Environmental Excellence in Transportation (E2T) Award, to be announced at the World Congress. (The Chevrolet Volt is also a finalist.)
Regal GS. GM is offering a six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control as a no-cost option instead of the existing six-speed manual for the 270 hp (201 kW) 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec in the Regal GS.
The new Aisin AF40 automatic is calibrated specifically for the GS. With the car’s Interactive Drive Control System set to “GS” mode, the transmission delivers firmer shifts, aiding performance. Acceleration matches the manual with an estimated 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds.