Insignia-based Buick aims directly at Chinese market
8 January 2009

General Motors has unveiled the all-new Buick LaCrosse, an executive saloon based on the new Vauxhall Insignia.

The new Buick LaCrosse “will be a key offering,” said Susan Docherty, Buick’s brand manager, a vehicle designed to resolve the marque’s long-running “perception problem”.

As with the brand’s other recent offerings, the Buick LaCrosse has been heavily influenced by the Chinese market where Buick has become a major force.

GM’s Chinese team oversaw the development of the vehicle’s architecture and interior design, though exterior work and overall engineering were done in Detroit.

Set for launch in the third quarter of 2009, the Buick LaCrosse is meant to be aimed at Lexus, with smooth, isolated ride dynamics and what is described as a “library-quiet” interior. The LaCrosse saloon will be offered with two powertrain options, both using direct injection. The 3.0-litre V6 will have 256bhp and 214lb ft of torque, while the 3.6-litre V6 will bump the numbers to 276bhp and 261lb ft, delivering 0-60mph in around six seconds.

The Buick LaCrosse will be laden with the latest technology such as panic brake assist, to a head-up display and a side blind spot alert. The LaCrosse will have to build on the success of the Enclave SUV in attracting a younger and more affluent customer for the brand if Buick is to reclaim its position in the American car market.

Paul Eisenstein

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