2011 Buick RegalEnlarge Photo
Here's an interesting bit of news about Buick's upcoming Regal sedan: All versions of the 2011 Buick Regal will have flex-fuel capability, starting in the fall.
For now, the early models available to consumers will have a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder. In August, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will be available. When that engine comes online, both it and the 2.4 will be capable of running on either standard gasoline or E85 ethanol. The turbo, which was originally designed for the Saab 9-5, will be GM's first production turbo that is both E85-capable and direct-injected.
E85 engines tend to be more emissions-friendly than gasoline engines, at the expense of efficiency. Typically, E85 engines are about 15 percent less fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts. GM says the new Regal engines will cut that deficit significantly.
If true, that's good for families who are on a tight budget but want to be more environmentally friendly. E85 isn't for everyone--nor is it widely available everywhere--but as technology improves and it becomes more efficient, it will become a more appealing option.