2017 Buick LaCrosse gets official at LA Auto Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 22, 2015

The new face of Buick has been unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show with the launch of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse. Among the major influences of this new look are the highly acclaimed Avenir concept seen at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the Buick concept that appeared during the middle of the 20th century.

Set to start selling in the early part of the summer of next year, the LaCrosse has a redesigned grille that has a big opening and bears the Buick tri-shield insignia expressed with three colors (red, blue, and silver).

It is fitted with wing-like parts that are emphasized as they’re placed against darker waterfall grille bars that are reminiscent of the 1954 Wildcat II concept. Duncan Aldred, the vice president of Global Buick, said that the new LaCrosse marks the start of the next step in the brand’s quest to conquer the international scene.

He added that this “drop-dead gorgeous” vehicle features technologies that its rivals like the Lexus ES have yet to offer. He also said that the 2017 LaCrosse is the first in its segment to have this advanced level of comfort, connectivity, and quietness. Buick added to the dimensions of the new

LaCrosse and made it wider, lower, and longer than the outgoing model. But because it uses a structure that’s stronger but lighter, it is approximately 300 pounds lighter than the existing model. Other advantages to its use of press-hardened, high-strength steels are that it improves handling and raises its efficiency.

Another factor that contributes to its lower weight is its use of lower mass sound-absorbing materials. For example, Buick removed the noise-reducing pads and replaced them with a lightweight dissipative dash mat, establishing a new milestone for the brand’s signature QuietTuning.

Efficiency is improved as the new LaCrosse is powered by a highly sophisticated second-generation 3.6L V-6 engine mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Its standard offering of the Stop/Start technology also raises efficiency during stop-and-go driving.

Its exterior has been designed and its proportions have been tweaked to exude a stronger presence. Its front wheels were shifted towards the front while its wheelbase was extended by 2.7 inches (65 mm). Meanwhile, 0.6 inch (15 mm) has been added to its overall length.

Its roofline has been modified to be 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower than the present model, adding to its dynamic character. Complementing its longer wheelbase are wheels that now protrude outward by 1.3 inches (33mm) in the front and 1.1 inches (28 mm) in the rear.

In addition, the car has become wider by 0.4-inch (10 mm), giving it a more confident stance with its wheels-at-corners look.

Details released on September 22nd: Buick confirms its plan for the 2017 LaCrosse by presenting it with a highlight on the accents derived from the Avenir Concept. The designs were first introduced on this concept, which had for its inspiration the 1954 Wildcat II.

Buick shares that this will be the face that all its models will take on by 2018. The design of the 2017 LaCrosse shows that it is indeed an evolution of the current models. The grille for instance has a new look and is improved with the tri-shield three-color emblem that is a part of a wing-shaped element.

The new design spans the width of its opening and provides a contrast to the darkened waterfall grille bars. It also connects the headlamps and grille, emphasizing further the new sculptural surfacing of the LaCrosse.

Buick vice-president Duncan Aldred shared that the Avenir concept had already changed people’s expectations of what a Buick should be and the company expects that the 2017 LaCrosse will have the same effect.

The new design is expressive and shows a break from the usual convention but also underscores the evolution for all the new models, Aldred concludes. The new design of the LaCrosse is based on the all-new chassis that is lighter but is actually stronger compared to the current model.

It also forms the basis of what will be a driving experience that is more dynamic. New technologies result to a better driving response like the five-link rear suspension.

These improvements also bring the signature quietness of the Buick to new heights. This is a premium feature not seen in any other full-size luxury cars, not even on the Lexus ES. The 2017 LaCrosse is expected to debut during the Los Angeles Auto Show this coming November.

Exterior Design

Holt Ware, exterior design director, said that it appears more “purposeful” due to its sleeker profile. He explained that by stretching the wheelbase, bringing down the roofline, and widening it a bit, they were able to achieve a more dramatic look that is emphasized by other elements like the swept headlamps.

Its sculpture was given the modern treatment, refining its signature sweepspear body-side design. Because of the split design, depth is emphasized at the body side. Furthermore, there appears to be a stylish seamless flow from the front fenders that extend to the rear from the extra body lines put in.

Supporting these body lines is a longer “daylight opening” – the part of the upper body in-between the A- and C-pillars. These are surrounded by chrome, giving it a subtle premium element to its body side. Buick also made it a point to combine form and purpose.

Rather than on the corners of the front side windows, its outside mirrors are mounted on the doors’ pedestals. By doing this, the driver gets a wider visual field. Wind noise is decreased as its mirror housings were shaped in the wind tunnel.

To improve aerodynamics, the decklid has been given a bold sweep and now functions as a spoiler. Helping lessen drag are the deflectors placed in front of the tires.

Interior Design

Its interior has been designed to be a space that passengers will have a pleasant time in because of its connectivity, luxurious appointments, and relaxing atmosphere. Only top-quality materials were used for its stunning structure.

This LaCrosse is the first model from Buick to feature a single cockpit design, which consists of a horizontal form that goes across the instrument panel and past into the doors. In addition, it has a “floating” center console that puts the controller for the new Electronic Precision Shift at a higher level and nearer to the driver. At the same time, a storage space is created under the console that could fit a device like a tablet or maybe even a purse.

Interior design director Liz Wetzel said that a certain “fluidity” is observable inside the vehicle and that she sees beauty in how the interior functions. She also applauded its use of the finest genuine materials as well as Buick’s meticulousness with the details. For example, only soft materials are used for most, if not all, of the touch points.

Other examples of this love for detail include its seats’ French stitching and the use of wood trim and aluminium sill plates. She cited its “inviting” handicraft and its refreshing and inspiring environment. Potential customers have been very excited that the new LaCrosse is one of the most technologically forward vehicles there is in its segment.

Connectivity is sure to be smooth and convenient with its array of communication features. The newest version of Buick IntelliLink is used in the LaCrosse. There’s a frameless 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen found at the middle of an instrument panel, which was designed using ergonomics.

Among the features located on the center stack is its climate system. Buick is aiming for the vehicle’s occupants to be able to intuitively use this system and to achieve that, it has much fewer buttons.

Because IntelliLink is coupled with phone integration tech, it has phone features that can be accessed on the display through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Smartphone apps can then be used via this touchscreen interface. To minimize distractions, voice commands may be used for plenty of features.

Powertrain

Powering the LaCrosse is a new 3.6L V-6 engine with direct injection and dual overhead cams. It is the second generation of the DOHC V-6 engine lineup of GM. Some of its new features include Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology.

Fuel efficiency is improved with the Active Fuel Management system that momentarily shuts down two of the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions and then reactivates them during times that full power is required.

The Stop/Start system makes the car more fuel-efficient because it deactivates the engine when the car is at a stop light and in other instances. Taking the foot off the brake pedal will instantly restart the engine seamlessly though. The LaCrosse is very quiet because it has been fitted with an all-new noise-reducing cam drive system.

GM had estimated the 3.6L to have an output of 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 lb-ft of torque (363 Nm), mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 LaCrosse has been fitted with Buick’s first twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system, raising its capabilities further.

As a result, it accelerates faster and cornering is easier as it can split the torque between the rear wheels. In addition, it uses independent clutch actuation to manage how much torque is distributed to both rear wheels. Ride and handling are better mainly because of its new five-link rear suspension.

It aids in decreasing roll center motion and allows for positive lateral control as well as makes it more stable. In other words, the tires are secure on all kinds of roads and results to a ride that’s quieter because it’s detached from the road noise. Offered as standard equipment is a MacPherson-strut suspension positioned at the front.

All front-wheel-drive models with 20-inch wheels come with Buick’s HiPer Strut suspension. This contributes to reducing torque and sustaining the negative camber in cornering. It also improves the optimum grip in all kind of road conditions as well as improves the vehicle’s direct feel. At the same time, it separates the vehicle from any unwanted feedback.

Another feature that has led to better handling and that has made the ride more comfortable is its electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control, which is an active suspension system that adjusts damping every two milliseconds.

Through the Electronic Precision Shift, the driver is able to select Touring and Sport damping modes. The electronic power steering system used in the LaCrosse is mounted on the rack and has received improvements too. By applying Lead-Pull Compensation, the steering angle is automatically adjusted to make up for circumstances such as high crosswinds or crowned roads.

Press Release

Buick Introduces All-New 2017 LaCrosse

The all-new 2017 Buick LaCrosse introduces the new face of Buick, influenced by the dramatic cues of the award-winning Avenir concept unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and inspired by a Buick concept from the mid-20th century.

The LaCrosse, which goes on sale in early summer 2016, features a new grille design with a large opening distinguished by the return of a three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements set against darkened waterfall grille bars inspired by the 1954 Wildcat II concept.

Buick revealed the 2017 LaCrosse today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“The new LaCrosse is drop-dead gorgeous and signals the next phase of Buick’s international momentum,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick. “Its quietness, comfort and connectivity were developed to set new standards in the segment, supported by technologies not offered on competitors such as the Lexus ES.”

Longer, lower and wider than the current model, the 2017 LaCrosse is built on a stronger yet lighter structure. It is about 300 pounds lighter than the current LaCrosse – largely due to the use of press-hardened, high-strength steels – which contribute to greater efficiency and more responsive handling.

The new LaCrosse’s lower weight is also due in part to new lower mass sound-absorbing materials including a lightweight dissipative dash mat in place of heavier noise-blocking pads that result in a new threshold for Buick’s signature QuietTuning.

The balance of the efficiency equation comes from a technologically advanced, second-generation 3.6L V-6 engine paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard Stop/Start technology improves efficiency in stop-and-go driving.

Additional new and enhanced features include:

New five-link rear suspension and available HiPer Strut front suspension
Available electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control active suspension with selectable Touring and Sport modes
Driver-selectable Electronic Precision Shift
An available advanced, all-new dual-clutch all-wheel drive system
Efficiency-enhancing low-drag disc brakes with Duralife rotors
Electric power steering system with Lead/Pull Compensation
Easier rear-seat entry/egress
More usable storage space
Technologies including available wireless charging, available Teen Driver and configurable, LED driver information center with 8-inch-diagonal color display
Perforated leather-appointed front seats with new lumbar massaging feature
IntelliLink with frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot integration.
The 2017 LaCrosse also features extensive active and passive safety including:

Ten standard air bags – including two knee air bags for front passengers
Front Pedestrian Braking, which alerts drivers to and can automatically apply the brakes for pedestrians detected directly ahead in some driving conditions
Lane Keep Assist, which provides gentle steering wheel turns – and Lane Departure Warning alerts, if necessary – to help drivers avoid crashes due to unintentionally drifting out of their lane
Automatic Park Assist, which helps the driver parallel park/perpendicular park by automatically steering the vehicle into a detected parking space while the driver applies the brakes
Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Automatic Braking
Forward Collision Alert
Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear Vision Camera
Safety Alert Seat.
“We’ve blended sophisticated technologies and advanced safety systems to offer a more enjoyable and engaging driving experience,” said Aldred. “It’s a rewarding sedan for those who seek luxurious appointments, style and quality.”

New face of Buick
The new LaCrosse’s expressive exterior design creates a new proportion for a more dramatic road presence. The front wheels have been pulled forward and the wheelbase stretched 2.7 inches (65 mm), while the overall length is only 0.6-inch longer (15 mm). The dynamic proportion is further enhanced by a roofline that’s 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower than the current model.

The longer wheelbase is matched by wheels pushed outward 1.3 inches (33 mm) in the front and 1.1 inches (28 mm) in the rear, while the car’s width has grown only 0.4-inch (10 mm), creating a wheels-at-corners stance intended to convey road confidence.

“It’s a sleeker design that looks confident and purposeful,” said Holt Ware, exterior design director. “Stretching the wheelbase, lowering the roofline and making it slightly wider creates a dramatic effect that is enhanced by the design’s supporting elements such as the swept headlamps.”

The signature sweepspear body-side design element has been reinterpreted in a modern fashion, enhancing the car’s sculpture. The split design gives the body side a greater perception of depth, while picking up additional body lines for an elegant, uninterrupted flow from the front fenders to the rear.

The 2017 LaCrosse’s body lines are reinforced by a longer “daylight opening” – the portion of the upper body between the A- and C-pillars. They’re ringed with chrome, intended to add a tastefully restrained premium accent to the body side.

Other details blend form and function. Outside mirrors are mounted on pedestals on the doors rather than the corners of the front side windows. The design offers a greater field of view while the mirror housings were shaped in the wind tunnel to help reduce wind noise.

Aerodynamic considerations also drove the dynamic sweep of the decklid, which acts as a spoiler to make the most of airflow over the LaCrosse. Deflectors in front of the tires help reduce drag.

Additional exterior elements include:

Standard high-intensity discharge headlamps, LED signature lighting and LED taillamps are standard
Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are available
Active grille shutters, which open and close automatically to control airflow, reducing aerodynamic drag and improving fuel efficiency.
Capless fuel filler on all models.
Seamless ambience, authentic craftsmanship
The new LaCrosse’s interior is designed to offer an open and inviting space for passengers – one that is relaxing, luxurious and well-connected. Sculpturally beautiful form and premium materials complement technologies developed for effortless interfacing.

It is the first Buick with a single cockpit design aesthetic, characterized by a horizontal form that sweeps across the instrument panel and into the doors. It also incorporates a “floating” center console that positions the controller for the new Electronic Precision Shift high and close to the driver, while creating storage space below the console for items such as a handbag or tablet.

“There is fluidity in the interior forms – a seamless ambience that flows throughout the cabin,” said Liz Wetzel, interior design director. “Like the exterior, there is sculptural beauty in the interior’s functionality, complemented with high-quality, authentic materials and exceptional attention to detail.”

That attention to detail includes soft materials for practically every touchpoint; French stitching on the seats, instrument panel and more, aluminum sill plates and wood decorative trim, depending on the model.

“There is a handcrafted essence that is inviting and rewarding,” said Wetzel. “It is a clean environment designed to refresh and inspire.”

New and enhanced available luxury features amplify the LaCrosse’s comfort:

Three fashion-inspired interior trim choices: Jet Black, Dark Atmosphere and Shale, and Jet Black and Brandy
Contemporary Moon White ambient lighting
Eight-way-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with improved heating for quicker warm-up on cold mornings and a new massage feature
Perforated leather-appointed seats
Heated steering wheel with power tilting/telescoping steering column
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Power rear sunshade
Premium Bose® audio system.
It also offers greater, more practical storage space and easier access. The rear doors, for example, open wider and offer easier entry/egress. The trunk offers approximately 7 percent more storage space than the current model, and was configured to accommodate four golf bags.

Sophisticated, intuitive technologies – including phone integration
As one of the segment’s most technologically advanced vehicles, the new LaCrosse offers a host of communication and convenience features designed for effortless connectivity.

The central technology is the latest edition of Buick IntelliLink, which is displayed in a new, frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen located at the center of an ergonomically optimized instrument panel. Along with the climate system and other features on the “center stack,” it was designed with fewer buttons and controls for more intuitive use.

Phone integration technology is paired with IntelliLink and is designed to display phone features users would want while driving and put them on the 8-inch display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The features allow customers to use select smartphone apps through the touchscreen interface. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Additional LaCrosse technology highlights include:

All-new Electronic Precision Shift – Rather than a traditional shifter, gears are chosen and engaged via a simple toggle pull. It provides smooth, precise and responsive shifting while enabling added storage in the center console.
Configurable, high-definition driver information center – Located in the center of the gauge cluster and flanked by round instrument binnacles, it has a large, 8-inch-diagonal full-color display.
Head-up display – This available feature offers four page views: speed, audio, navigation and performance. It also offers alerts for certain active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert.
Available Teen Driver Technology – It encourages safe driving habits for new drivers by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. It also provides audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling over predetermined speeds – and offers a driving “report card” for parents.
Wireless charging – When equipped with this available feature, the phone storage slot in the center console enables inductive charging without plug-ins or cables.
Buick QuietTuning process
The new LaCrosse builds on the reputation of the current model to offer an even quieter driving experience.

Additional quieting features include:

New five-link rear suspension for greater isolation from road noise than the current four-link design
Active noise cancellation is standard on all models
Acoustic wheelhouse liners
Acoustic-laminated windshield and front side windows
Triple-sealed doors
Improved body noise-path sealing
Windshield wipers “park” below the hood line to reduce wind noise.
Next-generation powertrain
LaCrosse’s all-new 3.6L V-6 engine with direct injection and dual overhead cams is the second generation of GM’s DOHC V-6 engine family and incorporates new features such as Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology.

The Active Fuel Management system temporarily deactivates two of the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions to enhance fuel efficiency and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is needed.

With the efficiency-enhancing Stop/Start system, the engine shuts down in certain driving conditions such as at a stop light to reduce fuel consumption. It automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal.

An all-new noise-reducing cam drive system contributes to the LaCrosse’s benchmark quietness.

The 3.6L is General Motors-estimated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 lb-ft of torque (363 Nm); and it’s matched with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Balanced, efficient driving experience
The 2017 LaCrosse offers enhanced capability with Buick’s first twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system. It offers better performance during acceleration and cornering by splitting torque between the rear wheels for optimal performance and uses independent clutch actuation to determine and control the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel.

A new five-link rear suspension is the central component of the improved ride and handling characteristics. It helps reduces roll center motion, enables positive lateral control and promotes dynamic stability. In short, it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces – and contributes to a quieter ride through greater isolation from road noise.

At the front, a MacPherson-strut suspension is standard and Buick’s HiPer Strut suspension is used on front-wheel-drive models with 20-inch wheels. It helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering, improving maximum grip in all road conditions. It also improves the direct feel of the vehicle, while isolating undesirable feedback.

Available, electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control further optimizes ride comfort and handling capabilities over varying road surfaces and profiles. It’s an active suspension system that can adjust damping every two milliseconds, with Touring and Sport damping modes selected by the driver through the Electronic Precision Shift.

Also contributing to LaCrosse’s more-direct driving experience is an enhanced, rack-mounted electronic power steering system, which incorporates Lead-Pull Compensation, automatically adjusting the steering angle to account for factors like
crowned roads or high crosswinds.

Additional chassis and driver control features on the 2017 LaCrosse include:

Low-drag four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors, which offer up to double the service life of conventional rotors
Hill Start Assist with Automatic Vehicle Hold, which can hold the brakes up to five minutes, depending on conditions
Electronic park brake
Shear-type suspension mounts that offer greater ride, handling and noise isolation attributes.

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