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2012 Buick LaCrosse, with eAssist, to start at $29,960

General Motors announced that the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist will be priced starting at $29,960 before an $860 destination charge.

2012 Buick LaCrosse with e-Assist Technology. (11/15/2010) (United States)
2012 Buick LaCrosse with e-Assist Technology. GM

General Motors today announced that the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist will have an MSRP of $29,960 plus $860 destination charge.

The U.S. automaker announced the "mild hybrid" earlier this year. The new LaCrosse is expected to deliver 25 percent better highway fuel economy than the current model.

According to GM, eAssist will be the standard power train for LaCrosse. It works by using a lithium ion battery to help propel the car with up to 11 kilowatts of power from a stopped position. The eAssist system has an electric motor-generator that enables regenerative braking capability, so it stores energy from braking. This "light electrification" system also will be available on the 2012 Buick Regal later this year.

The Buick LaCrosse comes in a front-wheel-drive 3.6L model that is rated at an SAE-certified 303 horsepower (226 kW)--an improvement of 23 hp--and 264 lb.-ft. of torque (358 Nm). It boasts 37 mpg highway. An available all-wheel-drive version is yet to be rated.

The 3.6L LaCrosse has an integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design and a composite intake manifold that helps reduce its weight by more than 20 pounds (9 kg), which increases horsepower without any loss in fuel efficiency. Also, the direct-injected engine also warms up faster, which cuts emissions of unburned hydrocarbons by up to 25 percent, GM said.

The LaCrosse also features dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, full-color driver information center, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

"LaCrosse with eAssist is the smart choice for those who want great fuel economy without sacrificing the driving dynamics and passenger comfort that have made Buick the fastest-growing major automotive brand in the United States," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick marketing.