Tag Archives: ecotec

First Look – 2011 Buick Regal

All of us here at Davis were excited to hear we would be receiving one of the first 2011 Buick Regal’s in Western Canada, but we were all a little bit unsure of what we were going to be getting – seeing as we’d only been able to see a few photos from Auto Shows and spy shots from the internet. 

When it did arrive we were all blown away.

Based on (and almost an exact replica of) the 2009 ‘European Car of the Year’ Opel Insignia, you can see the obvious European flavor in the Regal. It is sporty yet sophisticated, and based on looks alone you could easily place it with the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, and Lexus IS series that it is here to compete with (albeit at a smaller price tag.) Have a look for yourself at the pictures and you’ll understand how far Buick has come in the last few years – the Regal continues the trend that the Lacrosse and Enclave have recently set in completely overhauling the Buick image.

But its not just the exterior styling that had our jaws dropping, opening the doors also showed the Regals European sport sedan heritage. The leather, heated seats are firm and supportive, not to mention nice to look at. The piano black interior inserts in our Regal are also a nice touch in a world where we’ve grown accustomed to wood grain. Every Regal comes standard with Bluetooth capability as well as XM Satellite radio, and there is also an available voice activated Navigation system with a 40GB hard drive available on every model.

Now comes the fun stuff – the base engine on the Regal is an Ecotec 4-cylinder engine with Direct Injection and Variable Valve Timing which produces a respectable 182-hp. Later this year, the Regal CXL Turbo will arrive, sporting a 220-hp 2.0L Ecotec with a dual-scroll turbo and intercooler for those of us who always need just a little bit more power. The CXL Turbo will also come with an available Interactive Drive Control System – which allows you to select Normal, Tour, or Sport mode depending on your current driving conditions. Each setting automatically tunes the suspension, steering, throttle and stability control systems to match your driving style.

The best part about the Regal? It’s price. It may be an Audi/Lexus/BMW fighter, but its far from the wallet hit you would expect from a European sport sedan. The CXL starts at $31,990 (our particular Regal has a price tage of $34,935) and the soon-to-arrive CXL Turbo will start at $34,990.

Think you already have a perception of what a Buick is? Come on in, we’d love to let the Regal change your mind.

Changes For The 2011 Buick LaCrosse

GM recently announced that the 2011 Buick LaCrosse will incur an engine change, as the 3.0L V6 currently offered will be replaced by an Ecotec 2.4L I4 as the base engine for the car. The Ecotec 2.4 with direct injection puts out a respectable 182 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque with EPA ratings of 19 mpg in the cityand 30 mpg on the highway, and Buick expects approximately 25% of LaCrosse buyers to opt for the 2.4L.

Additionally – 2011 LaCrosse’s with the 3.6L V6 will have the option of adding all-wheel drive. During the 2010 model year, AWD was only available on cars equipped with the 3.0L V6. The 3.6 required a few modifications to be mated to the AWD system, and it looks like GM has listened to consumers and made the necessary changes.

On a side note, US sales figures were just released (still haven’t seen anything from this side of the border) and Buick and GMC dealers reported sales 54% higher than March of last year. Susan Docherty, GM vice president of marketing had this to say

“Our March results show continued progress toward our growth plan. By investing in our brands and remaining disciplined in our approach to the U.S. market, we posted solid results. Our new vehicles, like the Chevrolet Equinox, Buick LaCrosse, GMC Terrain, and Cadillac SRX, are being well-received by customers for many good reasons, including quality, safety, excellent fuel economy, and higher resale values.”


Davis Buick GMC

Next generation Ecotec engine getting $500 million of R&D support

General Motors has announced that it will be investing $494 million into the next generation Ecotec engine. There has yet to be an announcement as to what form the engines will take, but the engine is currently offered in 2.0L, 2.2L and 2.4L variants that come standard in many of GM’s current vehicles – inluding the new Terrain/Equinox and the Buick LaCrosse.

Most of the money – $425 million to be exact – is going to the Tonawanda, NY engine plant, and that investment will also create 470 new jobs at that plant alone. The remaining cash will be split up between GM plants in Defiance, Ohio and Bay City, Michigan – with $59 million and 80 new jobs at the Defiance plant and $10 million with 15 new jobs in Bay City.

The investment includes facility renovation, new machinery, equipment and special tooling to support this engine program at the three plants. Here’s the press release from GM:

“GM is transforming its product portfolio to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and the next generation Ecotec engine is an integral part of that transformation,” said Denise Johnson, vice president – labor relations. “The investment in state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines is another example of GM’s commitment to replace larger-displacement engines with more compact, advanced four-cylinder engines that optimize fuel savings and performance. We look forward to working with our union partners at these three plants to make this investment a success.”

The investment in Tonawanda, supported by the investments at Defiance and Bay City, will go toward producing two next-generation Ecotec engines. The new engines will have additional capabilities to improve fuel efficiency and improve performance through advanced design and by adding technology.

The Ecotec engine family is known for its reliability, fuel efficiency and performance. GM Ecotec engines have been on the forefront of delivering leading edge technology including direct injection, variable valve timing and turbocharging. Direct fuel injection, a hallmark of many Ecotec engines since 2007, is just now becoming mainstream technology in the industry.

The current Ecotec 2.4L with direct injection and variable valve timing in the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain was recently recognized as one of Ward’s Auto World magazine’s 2010 “Ten Best Engines” for North America based on several factors, including power, fuel efficiency and new technology. The Ecotec is currently available in 2.0L, 2.2L and 2.4L displacements.

“This investment is important because it supports manufacturing in the United States,” said Cal Rapson, vice president and director, UAW International Union. “All three plants have a strong reputation for building quality and focusing on the needs of our customers.”

For competitive reasons, specifics about the engine capabilities as well as product applications will be shared at a later date.