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 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, but with no compromises in the driving experience.
The eAssist system is the standard powertrain on four LaCrosse packages. It uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability, improving fuel economy 25 percent 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 economy. The engine also adds E85 ethanol FlexFuel capability.
Another new feature for 2012 is Buick IntelliLink. It uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smart phone to a new seven- or eight-inch, high-resolution, full-color 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 PANDORA® Internet radio and 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 seven product equipment groups: LaCrosse Base (1SB), Convenience (1SD), Leather (1SL), Premium (1SN), Premium II (1SP), Premium III (1SR) and 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, analog 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/XM stereo with single-CD player; Bluetooth for phone; USB port; high-resolution color driver information center; 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, remote start and universal home remote.
- LaCrosse Leather (1SL) – Adds leather heated seats, power passenger seat, fog lamps and LED indicators on the outside rearview mirror.
- LaCrosse Premium I (1SN) – Adds rear park assist, rear vision camera, memory settings and auto-dimming outside rearview mirror.
- LaCrosse Premium II (1SP) – Adds ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, power rear sunshade, passive entry and push-button start.
- LaCrosse Premium III (1SR) – Adds premium Harman/Kardon 11-speaker with surround sound audio system and power outlet.
- LaCrosse Touring (1ST) – Adds navigation system with 40-gig hard drive, Touring Package and Driver Confidence Package.
Options include rear-seat mounted thorax air bags, sunroof, premium audio system, navigation, rear-seat DVD (requires navigation system), 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 maneuvers, 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 calipers 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 maneuvers.
- HiPer Strut on 1SR 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 standard on all LaCrosse models. It uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability that improves fuel economy by 25 percent 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). Estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg city and 36 mpg 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 20.5 pounds (9.3 kg) 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.