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The fastest growing brand in America last year, Buick is looking to expand its offerings with a new eAssist mild-hybrid version of its new Regal model. Introduced just prior to the Chicago Auto Show the car will sit at the opposite end of the spectrum from the 255-hp Regal GS when it comes to fuel consumption. It will not, however, sit completely opposite in the lineup from the priciest model.

While Buick is making eAssist standard in the new LaCrosse, the Buick team made the decision to continue to offer a base 4-cylinder version of the Regal. That being said, the Regal will now be offered as a 4-cylinder, eAssist 4-cylinder, Turbo and high-performance GS model.

Shying away from the built-in assumptions of calling it a hybrid, the eAssist system is being marketed as simply describing what it does, with an electric assist to help improve fuel economy. The results are impressive with a 26/37-mpg rating for the car, thanks to the compact electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Compared to the old mild-hybrid system GM used in vehicles like the Malibu, this unit is 40 percent lighter, 30 percent smaller and 25 percent more powerful.

Inside the car gets a new 7-inch touch-screen display to help the driver monitor their driving habits. That screen will also now be standard equipment on all Regal models starting in 2012.

More: Chicago 2011: Buick Regal eAssist Adds Mild-Hybrid Option to Regal Lineup With 26/37-MPG on AutoGuide.com
 
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