Buick and General Motors Luncheon
The General Motors South East PR team invited me to a luncheon on Wednesday to showcase Buick’s eAssist technology and the 2013 lineup. I was never exposed to Buick before this event, so it was very interesting. Katie Maltais from Buick started lunch with some surprising facts: Buick outsold both Audi and Acura in 2011, and their best selling vehicle is an SUV. Buick’s three sedan options (from largest to smallest) are the Lacrosse, Regal, and Verano. Buick’s SUV options are the Enclave and the Encore.
Stephen Poulos took floor after Katie to explain how the eAssist hybrid system works. Stephen is the Global Chief Engineer for General Motors and a car nut! The big difference between Buick’s hybrid system is that the gasoline engine is the primary motor and the electric motor secondary motor. eAssist functions more like a supercharger than a hybrid, which is why you won’t find the word “hybrid” anywhere on the car. Buick developed a way to combine the alternator and electric motor into one piece without using permeant magnets, which is very unique. The electric motor adds 15 HP to the car when accelerating from a stop or when passing a car on the highway.
After lunch we visited the Verano, Regal, and Lacrosse in the parking lot. The interiors were surprisingly nice and the cars had a solid feel to them. I then had the amazing opportunity of taking a test drive with Stephen. We drove the Regal around the streets of Miami for about 20 minutes. It took a few minutes to charge the battery, but once changed, eAssist made a big difference. It added a nice little boast of power when needed and allowed the engine to shutoff when completely stopped. I had never driven a car with auto start and stop technology, it was pretty neat. Whenever we came to a stop the engine would turn off and instantly turn back on once I took my foot off the brake. At one point I stopped car in the middle of a side street, waited for the engine to turn off, then peeled out when I slammed on the gas pedal.
I use to think Buick was a car for grandfathers. Their image is changing… It is becoming a cool brand.
Check out Buick’s full lineup here http://www.buick.com/flash.html