Will it run on pure electricity?
Probably in late 2011, as a 2012 model, GM will launch the Buick LaCrosse hybrid.
Not many details are yet available, but based on actions in China regarding Buick hybrids, a mild hybrid powertrain is probably the most probable powertrain for the LaCrosse hybrid.
Will that be electric enough?
While GM has now been in the hybrid market for a while, they still haven’t had a hybrid hit, even a mild one – no pun intended. GM’s first hybrids were so called ‘mild’ hybrids, and unable to drive purely on electricity. In fact, some even dispute the term “mild” when discussing GM’s Belt Alternator Starter, or BAS hybrids. Likewise, GM’s dual mode hybrid cars, while full hybrids very well positioned and intentioned, simply cause sticker shock for most consumers.
By 2012 GM has promised to offer a new mild hybrid powertrain, more sophisticated than its first go at mild hybrids, including a new lithium-ion battery pack. Additionally, GM has suggested the possibility of a scaled down dual mode hybrid powertrain for larger sedans and crossovers. So, a full hybrid offering for the LaCrosse hybrid is still possible.