ECOTEC 2.4L GIVES 2011 BUICK LACROSSE LINEUP GREATER EFFICIENCY
Source: GM Media
Redesigned from the ground up last year, the Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan rolls into 2011 building on the attributes that have made it an unqualified success. In a still-recovering market, LaCrosse sales are up more than 200 percent when compared to the model it replaced.
The LaCrosse offers a great design, all-wheel drive, a suite of advanced personal technologies and safety features, and a choice of two fuel-saving powertrains. A fuel-efficient, direct injected Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder engine is the standard engine in CX and CXL FWD models (it was added to the lineup in mid-2010 on CX).
Backed by a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission, the Ecotec 2.4L powertrain delivers an EPA-rated 30 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city – making LaCrosse one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its segment. Buick expects about 25 percent of LaCrosse customers will opt for the engine.
Direct injection technology helps the Ecotec 2.4L deliver 182 horsepower (136 kW) and 172 lb-ft. of torque (233 Nm). The injection of fuel directly into the combustion chamber enables a higher compression ratio to increase efficiency and horsepower. That means more power is made with less fuel and lower emissions. In fact, cold-start emissions are reduced by up to 25 percent with direct injection. Engineers tuned the engine to deliver greater torque at lower rpm and build it smoothly toward its peak at 4,900 rpm, giving the LaCrosse excellent performance in all driving conditions.
The Ecotec 2.4L diversifies the LaCrosse’s powertrain lineup, which also includes a 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing and direct injection; it is rated at 280 horsepower (209 kW) and 259 lb.-ft. of torque (351 Nm). AWD is available on 3.6L-equipped models.
LaCrosse at a glance
The 2011 LaCrosse is offered in three models – CX, CXL and CXS:
- CX – the Ecotec 2.4L engine and six-speed automatic transmission are standard, along with cloth seats, a rear spoiler, XM Satellite Radio and more.
- CXL FWD – it comes standard with the Ecotec 2.4L and offers a 3.6L direct injected V-6; it also 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 all-wheel-drive system with electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) is available. Electronic limited-slip differential splits torque across the axle to whichever wheel has more grip to enhance control in icy or wet conditions.
- CXL AWD – includes similar equipment to the CXL FWD, but comes standard with the 3.6L V-6.
- CXS – also equipped with the 3.6L direct injection V-6; the CXL also offers real-time active-dampening suspension; perforated, leather-appointed, heated and ventilated seats, and chrome-plated 18-inch alloy wheels (19-inch optional with the Touring package).
Changes are minor for 2011 and include the Ecotec 2.4L as standard on the CXL FWD, along with variable-effort electric power steering on 2.4L-equipped models. Also, a tire repair kit is available and replaces the standard compact spare tire and jack.
HiPer Strut suspension
Buick LaCrosse CXS incorporates North America’s first use of a unique front suspension design called HiPer Strut. It is a premium, technologically advanced suspension design that improves ride and handling characteristics in four significant ways:
- Reduces torque steer
- Improves vehicle sensitivity to tire irregularities and wheel imbalance
- Provides more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control
- Improves impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
Derived from “High Performance Strut,” the LaCrosse CXS’ HiPer Strut suspension is partnered with conventional dampers when used with the standard 18-inch wheels and an advanced, electronically controlled damping system with the available 19-inch wheels.
HiPer Strut is based on the MacPherson strut front suspension design and features dual-path top mountings that separate the transfer of spring and damper loads to the body structure. A combined steering knuckle/strut carrier is unique to the design. The lower control arms are attached to a rigid sub-frame that is bolted to the body structure with four isolators that reduce the transmission of noise and vibrations to the interior.
The design also enables a limited-slip differential, for even greater traction, and supports better ride quality with larger-diameter wheels – including LaCrosse CXS’ available 19-inch wheels.
At the rear suspension, the CX, CXL and base CXS models feature a four-link design that is mounted to the body at four points. CXS with optional 19-inch wheels and Touring Package feature a more sophisticated H-arm design that uses the same attachment points as the four-link system but with the cross member attached via isolated mounts. The lower H-arm replaces the basic trailing link, delivering a greater ride quality and lower noise.
The 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.
Along with HiPer Strut suspension in the CXS, all LaCrosse models employ a variety of state-of-the-art systems that enable exceptional vehicle control through the steering system, brakes and more. GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on all models. Additional highlights include:
Luxurious interior experience
- Variable effort power steering that delivers greater assistance at low speeds, such as parking maneuvers, and reduced effort at higher speeds for a greater feeling of control. The steering system has a quick, 15.2:1 ratio, requiring only 2.75 turns lock to lock.
- Four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, including large, 12.6-inch-wide (321 mm) front discs and 12.4-inch-wide (315 mm) solid rear discs. Lightweight, aluminum-body calipers are used at each corner.
- Electronic Brake force Distribution that ensures optimum braking force is applied simultaneously at both axles, for maximum stability under heavy braking; and a Brake Assist System that senses the severity of a braking situation and applies additional braking pressure when needed.
Inside, the interior is defined by a flowing, uninterrupted design theme that wraps around the instrument and door panels. Attention to detail is evident throughout the interior, including the analog instrument cluster, chrome offset by dark woodgrain accents, and contrasting stitching on the instrument panel.
Buick’s signature QuietTuning – an engineering process to reduce, block and absorb interior noise – provides a distraction-free passenger environment.
An unexpected, inviting touch is the ice blue ambient lighting throughout the cabin from the center console, instrument panel and door handle pockets.
Intelligent personal technologies
The contemporary atmosphere of the cabin is accented with available digital connectivity and personal technologies that include in-dash navigation with a 40-gig hard drive (10 gigs reserved for music), Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio input and a USB port. Rear-seat passengers can enjoy an available power rear-window sunshade and a DVD entertainment system with two display screens integrated into the seatbacks.
LaCrosse’s intelligent technologies also work to deliver a 360-degree field of vision behind the steering wheel, for a greater feeling of comfort, security and safety. It starts with the available head-up display in the windshield, allowing the driver to monitor speed while keeping his or her eyes on the road. At night, available adaptive lighting can direct the high-intensity discharge headlight beams up to 15 degrees for enhanced illumination of the road and its curves.
LaCrosse offers Side Blind Zone Alert technology that notifies the driver if a vehicle in adjacent lanes is traveling in the driver’s blind spot. The available rearview camera features a display integrated into the navigation system screen.
The technologies available on LaCrosse enhance a suite of standard safety features, including front-, side- and roof-mounted head-curtain air bags, and GM’s StabiliTrak stability- and traction-control system. The safety and security of OnStar is also included for the first year of ownership.
LaCrosse is manufactured at GM’s Fairfax Assembly facility in Kansas City, KS.