When the Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan debuted, it shook up the segment with its style, great attention to detail, craftsmanship and advanced technology, and it continued the reinvention of the Buick brand. For 2012 LaCrosse introduces an all-new 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine with eAssist™ “light electrification” technology. It gives this full-size luxury sedan the fuel efficiency of a small car: an estimated 8.3L/100km in the city and 5.4L/100km on the highway, but with no compromises in the driving experience.
The eAssist™ system is an available powertrain on four LaCrosse packages. It uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability, improving fuel efficiency 20 per cent over the previous 2.4L four-cylinder engine. The engine is paired with a next-generation six-speed automatic transmission.
For 2012, LaCrosse models are equipped with a new, more powerful and efficient version of the 3.6L V-6 direct-injected engine with 23 more horsepower (17 kW) than the 2011 model, while preserving fuel efficiency. The engine also adds E85 ethanol FlexFuel capability.
Another new feature for 2012 is Buick IntelliLink™ (interim availability). It uses Bluetooth® or USB to connect the driver’s smart phone to a new eight-inch, high-resolution, full-colour touch screen display radio. IntelliLink™ expands on Buick’s current Bluetooth® and USB capabilities to allow smart phone control via voice activation and steering wheel-mounted controls. It also enables streaming stereo audio from the phone through services like Stitcher SmartRadio®.
Most importantly, Buick IntelliLink™ enables seamless integration of stowed portable devices with each vehicle’s infotainment system, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The 2012 LaCrosse is available with 10 product equipment groups: LaCrosse Base (1SB), Convenience (1SD), Luxury (1SL), Luxury with Driver Confidence (1SH), AWD Convenience (1SN), AWD Luxury (1SP), AWD Luxury with Driver Confidence (1SV), Ultra Luxury (1SR), Ultra Luxury with Driver Confidence (1SU) and Ultra Luxury Touring (1ST). They replace the previous CX, CXL and CXS trim lines and exterior badging.
- LaCrosse is designed to represent modern elegance, and is the first Buick to be designed on three continents – Asia, Europe and North America.
- The exterior and interior are a balance of contrasts: The outside is characterized by taut lines with sensuous accents and surfaces. Inside, a flowing, uninterrupted design theme wraps around the instrument and door panels. It includes smoked chrome accents, warm wood, first-class leather and materials combined with ice-blue ambient lighting to create an inviting environment.
- Attention to detail includes tight gap tolerances, analogue instrument cluster, chrome offset by dark woodgrain accents, and contrasting stitching on the instrument panel.
- Buick’s signature QuietTuning® – a Buick-exclusive engineering process to reduce, block and absorb interior noise – provides a distraction-free cabin.
LaCrosse interior – standard and available features
- LaCrosse Base (1SB) – Includes cloth seats; dual-zone automatic climate control system and rear-seat heating and cooling outlets; AM/FM stereo with single-CD player; Bluetooth® for phone; USB port; high-resolution colour driver information centre; remote keyless entry; eight-way driver power seat adjuster; and leather-wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
- LaCrosse Convenience (1SD) – Adds auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, power driver lumbar, fog lamps, remote start and universal home remote.
- LaCrosse Luxury (1SL) – Adds leather heated seats, power passenger seat, fog lamps, memory driver seat, memory outside mirrors and LED indicators on the outside rearview mirror.
- LaCrosse Luxury Group with Driver Confidence (1SH) – Adds Driver Confidence package that includes Bi-Xenon HID adaptive headlamps, head-up display, side blind zone detection and ultrasonic rear park assist.
- LaCrosse AWD Convenience Group (1SN) – Adds AWD with Convenience Group.
- LaCrosse AWD Luxury Group (1SP) – Adds AWD with Luxury Group.
- LaCrosse AWD Luxury Group with Driver Confidence (1SV) – Adds AWD with Luxury Group and Driver Confidence Group.
- LaCrosse Ultra Luxury Group (1SR) – Adds Ultra Luxury Group that includes perforated leather appointed seats, heated and ventilated front seats, memory driver seat, auto-dimming driver outside mirror, memory outside mirrors, heated steering wheel, rear vision camera, navigation system, harmon/kardon® 11-speaker with surround sound system, SiriusXM Satellite radio, EZ-key passive entry and pushbutton start and 18’ chrome plated wheels.
- LaCrosse Ultra Luxury with Driver Confidence (1SU) – Adds Driver Confidence Group with head-up display and side blind zone detection.
- LaCrosse Ultra Luxury Touring 1ST) – Adds Touring Group with 19” 9-spoke painted aluminum wheels, all season tires, H-Arm rear suspension, sport mode selectivity and continuously variable real-time damping chassis.
Options include rear-seat mounted thorax air bags, sunroof, premium audio system, navigation, rear-seat DVD, side blind zone alert technology, and the Driver Confidence Package, which includes an Overtaking sensor, Xenon headlights with projector beam lenses and main dashboard display with head-up display.
Chassis and suspension
All LaCrosse models are equipped with technologies that help enable exceptional ride-and-handling and vehicle control.
- An available, intelligent all-wheel-drive system (available on the V-6) provides full-time function. The system automatically decides how to distribute torque based on vehicle speed, throttle position and individual wheel slip, and it is integrated with the electronic traction control system to provide outstanding capability in inclement weather.
- Variable-effort power steering delivers greater assistance at low speeds, such as parking manoeuvres, and reduced effort at higher speeds, for a greater feeling of control.
- Four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS include large front discs and solid rear discs with lightweight, aluminum-body callipers at each corner.
- Electronic brake force distribution helps ensure optimum braking force is applied under heavy braking; the system senses the severity of a braking situation and applies additional pressure when needed.
- StabiliTrak® electronic stability control is a crash-avoidance technology that helps drivers maintain directional stability in the event of a loss of control, such as during emergency manoeuvres.
- HiPer Strut on 1SR, 1SU and 1ST equipment packages is a unique front suspension design that improves ride and handling by reducing torque steer; improving vehicle sensitivity to tire irregularities and wheel balance; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
- The LaCrosse Touring Package also includes real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity, which uses four electronically controlled dampers to constantly “read” the road and make adjustments within milliseconds.
Efficient, proven powertrains
The LaCrosse is equipped with two efficient engines: the standard, all-new 2.4L four-cylinder engine with eAssist™ technology; and an available 3.6L V-6 that receives E85 ethanol FlexFuel capability for 2012. Both engines are mated to efficient six-speed transmissions.
LaCrosse with eAssist
- All-new eAssist™ “light electrification” system is available on four LaCrosse models. It uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability that improves fuel efficiency by 20 per cent over the previous 2.4L engine.
- The 115V air-cooled battery boosts the 2.4L Ecotec® engine with about 11 kW (15 horsepower) of electric power assist and 15 kW of regenerative braking power.
- LaCrosse with eAssist™ is rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW). Fuel efficiency is rated at 8.3L/100km City and 5.4L/100 km Highway.
- The system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine rather than providing all-electric propulsion.
- The powerful electric motor enables the engine to be shut off at stops and seamlessly restarted when the driver steps off the brake.
- The eAssist™ system also allows the Ecotec engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, which saves additional fuel. While in fuel shut-off mode, the motor-generator unit continues spinning along with the engine to provide immediate and smooth take-off power when the driver presses the accelerator.
- The eAssist™ system’s electric motor-generator is mounted to the engine in place of the alternator to provide both motor assist and electric-generating functions through a new engine belt-drive system.
- A next-generation six-speed transmission is paired with the Ecotec® 2.4L engine with eAssist™. Changes to clutch controls and hardware provide reduced spin losses while improving shift response and time. An auxiliary, electric-driven oil pump keeps the transmission primed and fluid flowing when the engine shuts down at a stop.
LaCrosse with 3.6L V-6
A new, more powerful and more efficient version of the 3.6L direct-injected V-6 is available for the LaCrosse. It delivers an SAE-certified 303 horsepower (226 kW) at 6,800 rpm – 23 horsepower (17 kW) more than 2011 models. It is also 9.3 kilograms (20.5 lbs) lighter than the previous engine, which enhances efficiency and driving dynamics. Highlights include:
- New cylinder head design with integrated exhaust manifold
- Improved intake port design and larger intake valves within the cylinder heads
- Longer-duration intake camshafts
- Composite intake manifold
- New fuel pump and isolated fuel rail
- New, optimized-flow fuel injectors
- Structural front cover and cylinder block enhancements
- Stronger and lighter-weight connecting rods
- Camshaft cap and throttle body design enhancements
- Can operate on E85 ethanol, regular unleaded fuel or a combination of both
Safety and crash-avoidance features
LaCrosse offers standard and available safety features designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash. The 2011 LaCrosse achieved the federal government’s top safety score of five stars. Safety-enhancing features include:
- Six standard air bags including dual-stage frontal and side-impact air bags.
- Three-point safety belts in all seating positions and air bag passenger sensing system to detect the presence of a small adult or child in the front passenger seat.
- StabiliTrak® electronic stability control to help mitigate rollover crashes, and traction control.
- Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist and traction control.
- Daytime running lamps to improve visibility to other vehicles as well as pedestrians.
- LATCH system for safe and secure attachment of child safety seats.
- Available ultrasonic rear parking assist with audible warning.
- Available side blind zone alert technology that notifies the driver if a vehicle in the adjacent lane is traveling in the driver’s blind spot. The available rearview camera features a display in the navigation system screen.
- Standard tire pressure monitoring system.
LaCrosse is offered with OnStar® on all models. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar® subscribers also can use the service to be Good Samaritans by sending help to other motorists, and to call for help in other non-crash emergencies.
- OnStar® is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada.
- Six months of complimentary OnStar® Directions and Connections service with Turn-by-Turn Navigation for easier route guidance on all LaCrosse models. The feature is easy to use because all directions are sent to the car by an advisor, without the need to stop. Turn-by-Turn can be cost-effective, since map updates and aftermarket navigation systems are not needed.
- The Advanced Crash Response System uses vehicle sensors, GPS and digital cellular phone technology to summon emergency responders to a crash scene even when the vehicle’s occupants are unable to do so.
- Stolen Vehicle Location capability helps law enforcement officials find subscribers’ vehicle in the event they are stolen.
- Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology allows an OnStar advisor to remotely cut off power to the vehicle in the event of a police chase.
- OnStar 9.0 technology offers improved voice recognition capabilities for regional phrases and dialects.