Buick Regal To Get Doubly Hybridized

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

Crank up production of the big green Hybrid stickers, ’cause the Regal is going to sport some serious hybrid regalia. No less then two of GM’s raft of hybrid systems may find their way into the Opel/Buick. gm-volt.com cites a report in Ward’s Auto [subscription] that GM will start production of an updated version of their not-even mildly successful mild-hybrid belt/alternator/starter BAS system in late 2011. The current version of that hybrid in name only system was available on the Malibu, but its economics compared to the four cylinder/six speed automatic made it irrelevant, as in canceled. But this new version has a plus symbol attached, so its going to really fly this time:

The new BAS+ has a 120 V li-ion pack, so it takes up less space and has 33% more belt yanking ability. But that’s not all: The Regal’s line director, Jim Frederico, told Ward’s that the Regal is just the right size to also host the upcoming 2-mode transverse plug-in drivetrain as well. You haven’t forgotten about that one yet, have you. It’s the one that was intended for the Saturn VUE. After the VUE’s demise, GM said it would have its second coming in a similar-sized small Buick SUV. Negative public feedback killed that plan stat, and GM has been mum about where the drivetrain would re-appear. Since Buick is going to take on Lexus and California, it’s going to bring its HS 250 killer to the hybrid shootout.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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  • Celebrity208 Celebrity208 on Nov 13, 2009

    re: sitting@home, +1 for "hype-brid"!

  • Brian E Brian E on Nov 13, 2009

    Buick taking on Lexus? Hah. I can't believe TTAC isn't calling GM on this one more often. They're talking the same game they've always talked, and playing the same game they've always played. The LaCrosse is marketed against the ES350 at introduction, but within a year the volume seller will be a four cylinder model with cloth seats and steel wheels that's really competing with the Camry - or worse, relegated to rental duty. If they actually wanted to compete with Lexus, they would actually be making focused near-luxury cars, not fleet queen specials. They're talking a good game again with the Regal, but no details have been announced on the lower trim levels that will be available when production shifts to the US. I'm guessing that it will really be competing with the Corolla, or at best the Jetta. The hybrid systems could be an interesting differentiator for upper-level trims, but they won't get anywhere as long as they're trying to sell them as luxury cars.

    • See 2 previous
    • Brian E Brian E on Nov 13, 2009

      Steven02, It's the same trick that GM has played multiple times in the past. The press fleet models are top trim levels. I can't find one review of a base, four cylinder, cloth seat, steel wheel CX model. Once again, if this is really an ES competitor, what are they doing making a model that competes with the Camry? Or which is destined for rental duty in massive quantities? It's the only reason I can think of for the existence of the CX model at all. They're doing it again with the Regal. It comes with a high level of standard content now - because they want to limit the number of trim levels they're exporting from Germany, and they need to maximize selling price in order not to be a complete loss on the exchange rate. But this is the top trim level, CXL. What will the Regal CX look like? I think this fairly clearly demonstrates why the talk of Buick competing with Lexus is just BS. GM obviously knows better with Cadillac: you can't get a CTS in a fleet-queen special configuration; even the base model is very well equipped. They know that offering a stripped base model would just dilute the brand, and Cadillac can't take much more dilution. Obviously they're not serious about making Buick into a near-luxury competitor. If they were, they would match or beat the level of standard content trim-for-trim with the competition. Instead, they're playing the lowest-price game, which is the same game that Hyundai played when they talked up the Veracruz as a RX350 competitor. Nobody who wasn't paid to (*cough* Motor Trend) took that seriously.

  • Akear Akear on Nov 13, 2009

    Since Buick sells only a 150,000 vehicles a year in the states most of what they do here is irrelevant. It is only a matter of time before they fade away in the North American market. Even Oldsmobile in 2000 managed to sell 300,000 cars.

    • Steven02 Steven02 on Nov 13, 2009

      With the new models, GM will be increasing sales in Buick. Remember, the luxury market isn't that big. Lexus last year only sold about 260,000 units. While that is significantly more than Buick, is it less than what Oldsmobile sold in 2000, if your 300k number is correct.

  • Thinx Thinx on Nov 14, 2009

    if ( percentChinesePartsContent >= 0 ) { return "no thanks"; } else { return "I may think about it"; }