A Sort of Homecoming

2012 Buick Regal eAssist 9

There is nothing like recalling past triumphs.

At the Chicago Auto Show, I had the great opportunity to present the 2011 Vehicle of the Year award to Tony DiSalle, Vice President of Marketing for Buick and GMC. The Buick Regal won this award by virtue that it was an absolutely superb premium midsized sedan. It did everything well – all I could ask from a globally-developed, German-made car.

My personal editorial policy states that I do not review the same vehicle twice. In this instance, there is an exception. While the Regal I reviewed last year had a 220 horsepower 2.0litre turbocharged engine, this one came with something completely different – an additional electric motor. As is the case with most automakers these days, the push to improve fuel economy includes taking steps to find ways to alleviate the stress on the standard internal combustion engine or find another energy source to power the vehicle.

General Motors already had a hybrid system in place that appeared in the Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura. After a couple of years off the market, GM dusted off the system, made some improvements, and installed it into three new models for 2012 and 2013. One of these new models just happens to be the Buick Regal.