2017 Buick Lacrosse Unveiled
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.
“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 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.
- 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.
- Ten standard air bags – including two knee air bags for front passengers
- Adaptive Cruise Control
“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.”
“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.
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.”
Sophisticated, intuitive technologies – including phone integration
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.
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. Active grille shutters, which open and close automatically to control airflow, reducing aerodynamic drag and improving fuel efficiency.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Is the 2017 LaCrosse what Buick needs to reinvigorate the large car market? It’s a beautiful car, and we can’t wait to see it on the lot!
FAST FACT: Sales of the Buick LaCrosse have exceeded 900,000 globally since it went on sale in 2009.