BUICK LACROSSE

 

The controversial name of this Buick was probably inspired by that of the 1951 LeSabre concept car, named after the F86 Sabre jet fighter, with a definite (masculine) article in front of the French noun.  This time, crosse with the feminine article in front means crosier, though several other meanings exist.

The first generation was inspired by the LaCrosse concept car, revealed at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show and replaced the Century/Regal in North America in the autumn of 2004.  This LaCrosse was sold as  Buick Allure in Canada, where this generation was built, as were the Century and Regal.  Sales of the LaCrosse dwindled to two-third within two years, while those of its Pontiac Grand Prix sibling, just as the Pontiac marque on a much higher level, stayed on four-fifth level, but (Chinese?) Government Motors decided to opt for Buick, rather than Pontiac, once the auto industry leader in styling, image, innovation, and performance. 

The Chinese apparently didn’t like the rounded appearance of the body, and let it redesign at PATAC with help of the Italian I.De.A. Institute, to be released in the winter of 2006, with a 2.4 or a 3-litre engine.  Its Chinese name is Junyue.  The bold looks of this car were also appreciated in Taiwan where it was assembled by Yulon GM.  The 4-speed automatic in the 2.4 changed into a 6-speed in February 2008, but not for the ECO-hybrid model that arrived a half year later.

Buick LaCrosse China (E11/16) July 2009, USA August/September 2009, South Korea (Alpheon) August 2010

The second generation Buick LaCrosse was developed from the Invicta concept car, displayed at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2008.  It was unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and designed at PATAC by Justin Thompson, and in America also succeeded on the LeSabre’s successor Lucerne.   

This generation sold in China some 92,000 per month vs 53,000 in the United States.  In China, one out of every eight was a 2-litre turbo, the rest a 2.4, of which 700 hybrids, and another 3% were 3-litre models, that stopped in 2014. 

The American LaCrosse was now built in Kansas, USA, and some weeks after its introduction it was decided to abandon the Allure name for Canada, allowing them to use the same marketing tools as in the USA, and regrettably resulting in halving its production share.

This time, Roewe, one of the Chinese marques of SAIC, straightened the outer panels, eliminating the sweepspear and of course the waterfall grille and hood portholes, and sold it as Roewe 950.  The entry-level model initially used the GM alloy 2-litre engine without a turbo.  With a couple of thousands per year, this car is selling much less than the LaCrosse.  When the plug-in Roewe e950 was introduced in May 2016, it sold better than the pure gasoline model.

In South Korea, some 33,000 Alpheon (a make on its own) were sold from 2010 until 2015, when it was superseded by the imported Chevrolet Impala.  The 2.4 model without eAssist comprised half of this number, with one out of every seven of the remaining the 2.4 with eAssist, the others the 3.0 engine.

platform:

Epsilon II

LaCrosse

 

rear suspension:

4-link independent, coil springs

Opel/SAIC

GM

GM

GM

GM

GM

GM

awd, optional fwd:

5-link independent, coil springs

SGE

L850

L850

L850

L850

HF6

HF6

curb weight from:

1695

kg

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

V6

V6

wheelbase (cm):

283.7

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

length from (cm):

500.1

cc:

1399

1998

1998

2384

2384

2997

3564

cc

width (cm):

185.7

dir. inj.

injection

dir. inj.

injection

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

turbo

turbo

market:

USA/CDN

August 2009

10-16

09-10

09-16

export to Mexico

fwd

fwd/awd

fwd/awd

6A

6A

6A

136+11

188-190

209-227

kW

182+15

252-255

280-304

hp

11: eAssist

China

July 2009

10-16

09-10

11-16

09-14

fwd

fwd

fwd

fwd

6A

6A

6A

6A

162-184

125

134+15

190

kW

220-250

170

182+20

258

hp

12-15 + eAssist

South Korea

Alpheon

August 2010

10-15

10-15

fwd

fwd

6A

6A

136, 133+17

193

kW

185, 181+24

263

hp

11: + eAssist

China

Roewe 950

May 2012

16-

12-16

12-15

12-15

length from (cm):

499.7

fwd

fwd

fwd

fwd

ECVT

6A

6A

6A

kW

112+56

108

137

190

kW

hp

152+76

147

186

258

hp

e950

replaced by SAIC engines

 

Buick LaCrosse China (E2LB) March 2016, USA August/September 2016

Developed from the Buick Avenir concept by GM Australia’s lead exterior designer Warrack Leach, unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, this generation LaCrosse came from PATAC design executive director Holt Ware, and was restricted to three markets worldwide, and nowadays limited to China only, as its American production stopped in 2019 after sales halved there, possibly due to its fastback shape (without a hatchback).  Buick had experienced this forty years earlier with their downsized Century model. 

When the Chinese wouldn’t have liked Buick, GM (Government Motors) better had saved Pontiac in April 2009, selling about twice in the preceding years, and offering more economical cars.

Plush Avenir models were added to the LaCrosse, Regal and Enclave line in the United States, and to the LaCrosse and GL8 in China.

This generation sold in China almost five times better than in the United States.  In China in 2017, the 1.5 turbo sold twice the 2-litre turbo, but in 2018, sales were equally divided with the share of the hybrids increasing from 2% to over 5%.  In early 2019, the active fuel management long-stroke (tri-power) 2-litre turbo was released selling for the price of the 1.5 turbo, superseding this engine that was mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.  The 1.3 turbo as offered in the Malibu is expected to take its place later in 2019.

platform:

E2LB

LaCrosse

 

rear suspension:

5-link independent, coil springs

Opel/SAIC

Opel

GM

GM

GM

GM

wheelbase (cm):

290.5

SGE

MGE

E-Tec

L850

L850

HF6

length from (cm):

501.7

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

4 cyl.

V6

width (cm):

186.7

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

DOHC

cc:

1490

1796

1998

1998

2457

3649

cc

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

dir. inj.

turbo

hybrid

turbo

turbo

eAssist

market:

USA/CDN

August 2016

17-19

16-19

curb weight from:

1583

kg

fwd

fwd/awd

6A

17: 8A>9A

145+20

231

kW

194+27

310

hp

China

March 2016

20T

30H

28T

28T

curb weight from:

1510

kg

16-19

16-

19-

16-19

fwd

fwd

fwd

fwd

7DCT

EVT

9A

17: 6A>9A

kW

120

91+114

172

187

kW

hp

163

124+155

234

254

hp

l/100 km

6.2

4.7

6.9

7.5

l/100 km

 

 

Output data are approximate.

                                                        

                                                         with thanks to carsalesbase.com and www.goodcarbadcar.net

 

For recent specifications on Buick cars built in China, see:
On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International                                                         

 

Malibu vs Regal vs LaCrosse

Far East Auto Literature

19 September, 2019