Buick LaCrosse buyers will be gaining an additional powertrain option for 2018. According to General Motors own fleet order guide, the 2018 model year will bring back the company’s mild hybrid system to the LaCrosse nameplate. Additionally, the car’s V-6 model will again an additional gear.
The order guide states that the LaCrosse will offer the 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with a 20 kW parallel hybrid system and a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can switch to this powertrain on three different trim levels of the LaCrosse, while the 309 horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 will remain as the standard engine on every LaCrosse trim level.
Although the order guide is not explicitly calling it eAssist, this appears to be the next-generation version of the previous mild hybrid system Buick utilized on the last-generation LaCrosse. Internally the system is referred to as the Belt Alternator Start (BAS) system. In the former car the system utilized GM’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 15 kW electric motor to boost fuel efficiency in the large sedan.
Given that GM has phased out the old 2.4-liter ECOTEC four-cylinder, it comes as little surprise the company has apparently switched to the newer 2.5-liter. It also appears that the bigger engine has been paired with an electric motor that’s 5 kW beefier than the previous one.
It’s too early to tell what impact the system will have on fuel economy figures. The 2016 LaCrosse eAssist wore EPA ratings of 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Given the new LaCrosse is slightly lighter and the electric motor is larger on this version, perhaps the fuel economy figures will be enhanced on the 2018 car.
The order guide does state that the 2.5-liter option will not be available at start of production, which means the mild hybrid model will launch later in the 2018 model year. It is also worth noting that the order guide is corroborating with GM’s 2018 VIN card, which is also showing the 2.5-liter engine in the 2018 LaCrosse.
In addition to the hybrid powertrain, Buick is also swapping out the V-6’s eight-speed automatic for GM’s new nine-speed unit.