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GM’s New Ecotec Small Engine Family is More Fuel-Efficient

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New GM Ecotec Engine Family

General Motors has unveiled its new, redesigned EcoTec small engine family. Tasked with powering most of its upcoming vehicles, the motors promise to be significantly more refined and fuel-efficient than before.

The EcoTec lineup will initially consist of eleven three- and four-cylinder engines, ranging in displacement from 1.0 to 1.5 liters, and in power from 75 horsepower for three cylinder units to 165 hp for the turbocharged units. The incorporation of new technologies such as central direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, and variable intake manifold airflow will allow them to achieve better fuel-efficiency than their predecessors.

The new EcoTecs — more specifically, a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder — will debut this year in the Opel Adam. The range will eventually power 27 models around the world and, by 2017, will account for one in every four engines produced by GM.

“The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM’s history,” said Tom Sutter, GM’s global chief engineer. “Along with performance and efficiency targets, we’ve also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration – and we’ve hit the bulls-eye.”

In North America, the new EcoTec’s rollout will likely begin with the 2015 launch of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze.

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Buick LaCrosse Gets Avenir Treatment, Looks Good

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Buick LaCrosse Avenir, front angle

Like the Enclave crossover, the Buick LaCrosse sedan has received the Avenir treatment, offering another level of style and substance for buyers looking for a more luxurious LaCrosse.

On the outside, the Buick LaCrosse Avenir sets itself apart from the lesser LaCrosse trims with a unique three-dimensional mesh upper and lower grille with chrome wings, script badging on the front doors, and 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels. 20-inch Midnight Silver wheels are optional.

The interior boasts a Chestnut-color upholstery, embroidered first-row headrests and Avenir-scripted sill plates. Many of the optional features on the regular model, including navigation, a panoramic moonroof, and Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound premium audio, are standard on the LaCrosse Avenir.

While the base LaCrosse is now only offered as a hybrid, the Avenir model comes standard with the 310-horsepower V6 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available at an extra cost.

Buyers can also opt for the Dynamic Drive package, which adds a variable suspension and a suite of electronic driving and safety aids.

According to Buick vice president Duncan Aldred, “Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels — customers are signaling they want more from Buick,” justifying the LaCrosse Avenir’s existence.

Expect to pay at least $40,000 in the United States for one.

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Buick Getting Electric SUV Based On Chevy Bolt

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2017 Buick Encore SUV, white

Buick will reportedly get an electric SUV based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

With the small Encore (pictured) leading the way, Buick has found great sales success with its lineup of crossovers, and the company is likely betting that an electric model will increase its fortunes even further.

A source that attended a focus group for the new Buick EV crossover revealed to InsideEVs that the model looked “next-generation Buick Encore-like” but featured the same specs and 60 kWh battery as the Bolt. He was quoted as saying:

“They asked questions like: “Does this look like an SUV to you?” and “Does this change your opinion of Buick?” Most people thought Bolt EV and the Buick were different vehicle types, some completely trashed Bolt EV and loved the Buick, so I guess the designers did a good job. The proportions on the Buick look very similar to an Encore or Trax.”

As a result of sharing its mechanicals with the Bolt, the Buick EV crossover will have the same exterior dimensions as the electric Chevy hatchback, but with an extra 3-inches of rear legroom. The slight increase in size will make it tad bit slower in acceleration.

Being a crossover and offering more premium features like power controls and a larger center touch screen means it will also be about $3,000 more than the Bolt.

It wasn’t revealed when the new Buick EV crossover will be introduced.

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New, 2018 Buick Regal GS Packs More Power, Better Than Before

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New, 2018 Buick Regal GS

General Motors has revealed the all-new, 2018 Buick Regal GS, and it’s a notable improvement over the previous model.

Starting with power, the performance-tuned Regal is propelled by a retuned 3.6-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque, an extra 51HP over the previous Regal’s V6 and, according to GM, more power than an Acura TLX A-Spec or Lexus IS350 F-Sport.

A nine-speed automatic transmission transmits that power to the ground with the aid of an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that’s been tuned specifically for the GS, featuring active twin clutches that specifically manage torque split between the rear wheels.

Other notable performance highlights include Buick’s second-generation Continuous Damping Control, which can adjust damping up to 500 times per second while allowing the driver to change suspension modes from h to Sport or GS at the push of a button. Standard Brembo brakes ensure shorter stopping distances than before.

Cosmetically, the new, 2018 Buick Regal GS has a more aggressive front fascia characterized by a sportier bumper and larger air intakes, while the side boasts larger side skirts and wheel wells filled with standard 19-inch black alloy wheels covering red brake calipers.

The interior houses a flat-bottom steering wheel; AGR-certified performance seats with heating, cooling and massaging functions; bespoke pedals; and two eight-inch displays, one for the infotainment system and the other for the instrument cluster.

In the United States, the 2018 Buick Regal GS starts at $39,990 (including freight), a price point that undercuts rivals from BMW and Audi.

Do you like the Buick Regal GS? Do you want it?

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