Some functional changes lie ahead for the 2013 Buick Regal line as the division seeks to further enhance the popularity of its highly-regarded mid-size sedan. When the 2013 lineup is introduced later this year, the base Regal will feature GM's efficiency-enhancing eAssist technology as standard equipment rather than as an option. Replacing the current 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine with this mild-hybrid eAssist alternative will see the mean the entry-level Regal will earn stellar 25/36 mpg city/highway EPA numbers -- a combined 25-percent increase over the non-eAssisted engine. 

This CAFE-bolstering change follows Buick's decision to make eAssist a no-cost standard on the larger 2012 LaCrosse model, move that has proven to be extremely well received by customers. "Buick is committed to increasing innovation across the lineup," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing, "By making the advanced eAssist powertrain standard on a second vehicle, we are putting the spotlight on smart technology."

The other key powertrain enhancement for the 2013 Regal line involves the addition of a new six-speed automatic transmission for the hot Regal GS. To be offered as a no-cost option in place of the existing six-speed manual, this Aisin-designed autoshifter features Driver Shift Control and has been specifically calibrated to match up with the GS's 270-horsepower/2.0-liter turbocharged four. Integrated into the Drive Control System, it also will deliver firmer shifts when the vehicle is set to the high-performance "GS" mode. As for performance, Buick claims the new GS automatic will produce an identical 6.7-second 0-60 mph sprint time.

"With the Regal GS, we made a conscious decision to go against the current trend and give enthusiasts the manual transmission they desire as standard equipment" said DiSalle. "Adding an automatic simply makes the performance of the GS even more accessible."

Buick has yet to issue pricing or on-sale dates for the base 2013 Regal, the Regal GS or the mid-range Regal Turbo model that is expected to carry over largely unchanged.

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