The 3.6-liter V6 will come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse will get an electrified punch from the addition of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an eAssist mild hybrid as the sedan’s standard powertrain. In addition, the price will drop to $30,490, versus $32,990 for the existing sedan with the 3.6-liter V6. The hybrid model will arrive at dealers this fall.

Buick isn’t revealing details about the hybrid LaCrosse’s output. However, the company reports the powertrain should boost the sedan’s fuel economy in the city by 19 percent, which would give it around 25 miles per gallon.

The mild hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder uses a motor generator unit that replaces the traditional alternator, and a 0.45 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery stores energy for the system. The powertrain supports stop/start, and the electrification offers an extra boost of torque off the line. Regenerative braking keeps the system topped up. Buick also adds active shutters in the upper and lower front fascias for further improving fuel economy.

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“By adding the eAssist system to the LaCrosse, our technology flagship, we are making electrification accessible to our customers as we chart our course to the future of mobility." Duncan Aldred, Vice President of Global Buick and GMC, said.

There will also be small upgrades elsewhere in the lineup. For example, the 3.6-liter V6 will now come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox rather than the existing eight-speed. Buick won’t disclose how this will affect the sedan’s fuel economy yet. All-wheel drive will now be an option for the Essense trim level, too. The automaker will also offer three more exterior colors: Satin Steel Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic, and Red Quartz Tintcoat.

Buick unveiled the latest generation LaCrosse at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Until now, the 305-horsepower (227-kilowatt) 3.6-liter V6 has been the only engine available in the United States, but Chinese customers have been able to get a hybrid with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder.

Source: Buick

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