GM is very high on the LaCrosse, as one of its leaders for 2010, they explained. “The new LaCrosse builds on the success of Enclave as the next step in Buick’s renaissance and great attention to detail, craftsmanship and advanced technology,” said Susan Docherty, North America vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GM. “It offers unique features such as all-wheel drive and a new, efficient four-cylinder engine that will attract new customers to Buick.”
I had a chance to sit down with Buick’s GM Global Brand Strategy Studio Manager, Seung-Li (Sean) Lo. His latest project involved overseeing the brand strategy concerning the rejuvenation of the Buick brand, and ensuring the 2010 Buick LaCrosse successfully embodies that reinvention strategy. “Our product design has really gone through a renaissance and we have sharpened our brand strategy to focus on our target customers,” Lo said. “Our brands need to mean something to our customers and we have to realize there is tremendous value in that.”
“The 2010 LaCrosse carries the beauty and essence of its heritage, with such unmistakably Buick elements as the waterfall grilles and portholes,” Lo said. “But the car also distinguishes itself from the past with a contemporary design that includes the latest technologies customers have come to expect.
“The car has beautiful sculpted forms that work harmoniously with the flowing curves that continue right into the comfortable and inviting interior,” Lo said. “This Buick will definitely be critical in reinventing the brand since its design appeal is catered to a younger, yet still discerning customer.”
Lo believes that the LaCrosse will attract a younger driver, hopefully opening the Buick brand to ages between 25-40, skewing younger than the former market (45-plus). The car is positioned against brands like Ford Taurus, or as an economical alternative vs. luxury brands mid-sizes like Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, and BMW.
The 2010 LaCrosse was developed within GM’s worldwide network of design and engineering centers, reflecting Buick’s growing popularity around the globe – particularly in Asia. It offers a contemporary vision of a luxury sedan that looks at home on the streets of Santa Monica or Shanghai, with heritage cues that recall the brand’s legacy as a design leader.
The 2010 LaCrosse is going aggressively after the mid-size, semi-luxury The 2010 LaCrosse is offered in three models – CX, CXL and CXS: equipped at the start of production with a new 3.0L direct injection V-6, premium cloth seats and 17-inch wheels. The 3.0L engine generates 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 217 lb.-ft. of torque (294 Nm) and has a six-speed automatic transmission. Later this year, a new, 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder replaces the 3.0L as the standard engine.
CXL is also equipped with the new 3.0L direct injection V-6, adds leather-appointed heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, outside rearview mirror with LED turn indicators and puddle lamps, and 18-inch alloy wheels. An advanced, intelligent AWD system is available
The CXS is equipped with a 3.6L direct injection V-6; real-time active-dampening suspension (optional); perforated, leather-appointed, heated and ventilated seats, and chrome-plated 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch optional). The 3.6L engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, generates 280 horsepower (209 kW) and 259 lb.-ft. of torque (351 Nm).
All models share a beautifully sculpted, globally influenced design that is instantly recognizable as a Buick, including a signature “sweep spear” body-side styling, portholes on the hood and a waterfall grille.
The LaCrosse’s interior continues the flowing, detailed aesthetic of the exterior, with elements such as ice-blue ambient lighting throughout the cabin – from the center console, instrument panel and door panels. Buick’s signature QuietTuning, an engineering process to reduce, block and absorb interior noise, provides a distraction-free passenger environment.
The contemporary atmosphere of the LaCrosse’s cabin is accented with available digital connectivity and personal technology that includes in-dash navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and a USB port. For rear-seat passengers, a DVD entertainment system is offered.
LaCrosse’s strong body structure – including the use of ultra high-strength steel – and a carefully designed passenger compartment help manage crash energy to protect occupants. The LaCrosse is also equipped with technologies that help avoid crashes in the first place.
In summary, the new LaCrosse is surprisingly high-end in so many ways. It’s a powerful car with great pick-up and handles like a luxury vehicle at roughly two-thirds the cost. The vehicle turns crisply and rolls down the road without a bumpy or vibrating ride. It’s got a hyper-cool look with great lines and body enhancements. The Buick LaCrosse looks and acts like a Lexus. I had an Infiniti M35 for several years, and this car is a better deal on so many levels, in my opinion. It’s a generous mid-size car without the boat-like qualities of many of the older Buick versions. Loaded with high-tech enhancements throughout, the LaCrosse hopes Buick will attract a younger, hipper demographic. This is not the LaCrosse your dad or uncle drived back in the day. It’s still all-Buick, but with a new approach and fresher attitude.
|2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS Review – A Brand Resurrected
By Kurt Gensheimer
“The LaCrosse handles like no other Buick sedan in memory. Smooth, controlled and tight in the corners, the LaCrosse has no problems aggressively tackling interstate cloverleaf onramps, and it gives you plenty of notice when it’s running out of talent.”
|First Impressions: 2010 Buick LaCrosse
By Edsel Rollin
“Loaded with high-tech enhancements throughout, the LaCrosse hopes Buick will attract a younger, hipper demographic. This is not the LaCrosse your dad or uncle drove back in the day. It’s still all-Buick, but with a new approach and fresher attitude.”
|Official Buick luxury cars and SUVs website – www.buick.com|
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