NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND ‘SUPER’ MODEL ENHANCE BUICK LUCERNE LINEUP FOR 2008
Source: GM Media
Since 2004, Buick has steadily brought more premium and near-luxury products into its portfolio. The addition of the 2008 Lucerne Super – due in showrooms in early 2008 – underscores that commitment. Buick rekindled the Super name after 50 years to designate its most premium model in the brand’s line-up, offering design, luxury content, and enhanced performance characteristics exclusive to the Super badge.
Buick also is introducing two new safety-enhancing technologies – Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning – available on all Lucerne models for 2008. Side Blind Zone Alert uses radar to provide drivers with more information about vehicles in hard-to-see areas around the Lucerne. Lane Departure Warning uses a camera-based lane detection system to warn drivers of inadvertent lane changes.
Other changes and updates include XM Satellite Radio as standard equipment in all models, a black chrome grille standard on CXS and available on CXL, and revisions to three customer-focused equipment packages. Lucerne’s equipment packages include a variety of complementing safety, comfort and/or convenience features. Here’s a look at the different packages:
Comfort & Convenience – Standard on CXL, CXS and Super, and available on CX, this package includes heated outside mirrors, dual-zone climate control, universal home remote, trunk cargo net and a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat.
Driver Confidence – Standard on CXS and Super, and available on CX and CXL, this package includes remote start, Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, theft-deterrent system, heated washer fluid, RainSense automatic windshield wipers and StabiliTrak electronic stability control system. The new Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning systems are available as an optional upgrade with the Driver Confidence Package.
Luxury – Standard on CXS and Super, and available on CXL, the Luxury package includes eight-way power driver and front passenger seats, four-way power lumbar, heated front outboard seats, memory for driver seat and outside mirrors. A heated wood steering wheel and heated/cooled seats are available as an optional upgrade.
The previous Entertainment package is discontinued, but the premium Harmon-Kardon audio system that was part of the package is available on CXL and standard on CXS models.
The changes and revisions for ’08 complement a host of high-technology and comfort features that were added in ’07, including a touch screen navigation system and OnStar’s Directions & Connections with Turn-by-Turn navigation . The touch screen navigation system uses signals from global-positioning satellites to compute the vehicle’s position and display its location on a virtual map set into the instrument panel. It can also suggest the best routes to a destination as well as locations of gas stations, restaurants and other points of interest.
Additional navigation support is provided by OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn navigation – a standard feature on all models in Buick’s portfolio . The Turn-by-Turn service allows OnStar customers to talk to an advisor, who in turn downloads complete step-by-step directions to the vehicle through the OnStar system. Audio directions are then automatically played through the vehicle’s stereo as they are needed, triggered by the OnStar system’s GPS capabilities. This will allow drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Lucerne Super details
The Lucerne Super adds exclusive design elements, such as a new bright chrome waterfall grille, front and rear fascias, integrated dual exhaust tips, rocker panels, and Super badge on the decklid. Aluminum wheels and premium all-season tires complete the look, complementing the vehicle’s sport-touring attitude. The Lucerne Super is available in four exterior colors: Dark Mocha Metallic, Gold Mist Metallic, Sharkskin and White Diamond. The interior comes in Ebony or Cocoa/Shale.
The Lucerne Super was engineered for Buick by the GM Performance Division.. Lucerne Super’s refined and confident dynamics with increased power make it the sportiest Lucerne available . A more powerful version of the 4.6L Northstar V-8 engine provides the Lucerne Super with an ample power reserve. It is rated at 292 horsepower (218 kW)*, which is 17 horsepower (13 kW) more than the Lucerne CXS.
Lucerne Super’s new premium steering gear, StabiliTrak stability control system, brake assist and specifically calibrated Magnetic Ride Control system help deliver a crisp response and enhanced driver control. It rides on standard 18-inch by 7-inch aluminum wheels wrapped by P245/50R18 all-season radials. The exclusive wheel design is finished in bright silver premium paint. Chrome-plated wheels are available.
The Lucerne Super’s interior wraps occupants in luxury and includes: a leather-wrapped upper instrument panel with French-seam stitching; unique finish on the instrument panel center stack; leather seats with perforated suede fabric inserts for the outboard seating positions; and suede door trim inserts. A heated, wood steering wheel and shift knob finished in Walnut Burl, power tilt and telescoping steering column, front chrome sill plates and Buick embroidered floor mats round out the Lucerne Super’s special content.
Lucerne Super comes with three standard equipment packages, including Driver Confidence, Luxury, and Comfort & Convenience. OnStar’s Directions & Connections with Turn-by-Turn voice-guided navigation, XM Satellite Radio and Harman Kardon audio system are also standard.
Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning
Available on only a few high-end luxury cars worldwide, Buick’s new Side Blind Zone Alert system and Lane Departure Warning systems are leading technologies that add to Lucerne’s safety story and enhance the feeling of confidence behind the wheel.
The Side Blind Zone Alert system uses radar sensors on both sides of the vehicle (behind the rear fascia) to scan a 150-degree field of view within a 3.5-meter range – alternating radar beams sweep the adjacent traffic lanes to “look” for other cars. Vehicles entering one of seven zones identified by the system will illuminate an LED symbol in the outside rearview mirror. The system ignores stationary objects, such as fire hydrants or parked cars.
The Lane Departure Warning system is a camera-based lane detection system that warns driver of inadvertent lane changes. The camera, mounted near the inside rearview mirror, identifies traffic lane markings and provides audible alerts.
Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone Alert systems are available together as an optional upgrade to Lucerne’s Driver Confidence Package, which includes remote start, theft-deterrence system, Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, heated washer fluid, StabiliTrak and RainSense windshield wiper system . Both technologies are available in the United States and Canada.
Lucerne ride and handling
Lucerne ’s overall ride performance is enhanced with Magnetic Ride Control. Standard on the uplevel CXS and Super, this system uses magnetically charged particles suspended in a synthetic fluid to continuously adjust the fluid’s viscosity to varying road surfaces and driving characteristics. The system has quicker response than conventional valve-damping systems, while providing increased vehicle control and tire contact with the road surface.
Several specifically tuned suspension packages are offered. Lucerne CX is equipped with a standard Premium Ride suspension, with 16-inch wheels. CXL models benefit from a Ride and Handling suspension with a slightly firmer calibration, complemented by 17-inch wheels. The Lucerne CXS and Super offer a sport-tuned suspension, along with 18-inch wheels and Magnetic Ride Control paired with StabiliTrak and brake assist. The Lucerne Super features a specific suspension calibration for a sporty ride and feel.
Lucerne has a complete range of comfort and convenience features befitting Buick’s premium image, such as a six-passenger bench seat available on CX and CXL models; heated/cooled front seats; power tilt and telescoping steering column; dual-zone automatic air conditioning; factory-installed remote start; Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist; RainSense windshield wiper system; heated washer fluid – the first application in its class; a nine-speaker, 280-watt Harman Kardon audio system; and six-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability.
Standard in the uplevel Lucerne CXS is a premium Northstar V-8 that delivers 275 horsepower (205 kW)* and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm).* The Lucerne Super receives a unique version of the 4.6L Northstar engine. It is rated at 292 horsepower (218 kW)* and 288 lb.-ft. of torque (390 Nm)*. Both versions of the 4.6L V-8 are paired with GM’s electronically controlled Hydra-Matic 4T80 four-speed automatic transaxle.
Lucerne CX and CXL models are powered by GM’s proven 3.8L V-6, rated at 197 horsepower (147 kW)* and 227 lb.-ft. of torque (308 Nm).* The 3.8L engine allows the Lucerne to be rated a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle.
All Lucerne engines feature electronic throttle control to seamlessly match driver input with engine response while maximizing overall fuel efficiency.
Quality craftsmanship & QuietTuning
Lucerne ’s interior appointments underscore Buick’s focus on quality, comfort and spaciousness, with a precise fit to interrelating surfaces. As with the exterior, gaps are tight to create a seamless harmony between all elements. Using premium materials complemented by tasteful wood and chrome finishes and a flowing, cross-car design theme that is trimmer and sleeker than previous full-size Buick sedans, Lucerne’s interior is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the ergonomic requirements of the driver and passengers.
The available Cocoa/Shale interior has Cocoa on the instrument panel upper trim, door upper trim, steering wheel, carpet, floor mats and rear shelf, and Shale on most other interior trim parts, including seats, instrument panel lower trim and door lower trim. A Cocoa/Cashmere offering changes the look by placing Cashmere on most other interior trim parts, including seats, instrument panel lower trim and door lower trim.
Every Lucerne model, from the well-equipped base CX to the Super, is subject to Buick’s all-encompassing engineering initiative called QuietTuning to significantly reduce, block and absorb unwanted road, wind and powertrain noise with the goal of providing leading levels of interior cabin quietness.
It starts with a stiff body structure, extremely tight body gap tolerances and an extensive wind-sealing system. Buick then adds notable QuietTuning features, including laminated side glass in all four moving passenger door windows; noise-reducing outside rearview mirrors; lower profile “structure-less” windshield wipers with a flexible airfoil surface; a new “double-isolated” powertrain mounting system; laminated steel and composite nylon baffles in the roof pillars, rocker panels and cross-car structures; composite wheel housing liners, and more.
Engines receive QuietTuning attention, too. For example, the 4.6L V-8 features an acoustically tuned engine cover, special cam chain tensioner, camshaft cover isolator mounts, and pistons coated with a Grafal polymer – all contributing to quiet operation.
Confidence and peace of mind
Lucerne ’s body structure is engineered to provide maximum occupant protection and minimum intrusion under a wide range of impact conditions. Active safety and handling features offered on Lucerne include a four-channel anti-lock braking system and traction control; an auto-level rear suspension that automatically adjusts the vehicle height for heavy loads; and four-channel StabiliTrak electronic stability control with brake assist, which senses emergency braking situations and boosts the power as needed.
All Lucerne models have six air bags standard: a dual-stage driver front air bag, side-impact thorax air bags, roof-rail curtain air bags and the segment’s only dual depth front passenger air bag. The dual depth air bag can deploy in two different shapes and pressures depending upon crash impact, seat belt usage and seat position. Working with other front passenger safety features, such as a weight-based occupant detection system, the dual depth air bag deploys in one of two different sizes from behind the instrument panel within milliseconds to provide optimal restraint for the front passenger.
In addition, the standard OnStar service on the 2008 Lucerne includes General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. OnStar features enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities to provide more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
Lucerne is manufactured at GM’s award-winning Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.