The big news surrounding the 2012 Buick LaCrosse is the addition of General Motors' eAssist technology – a new powertrain that will help the big sedan achieve up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway. Buick will offer the eAssist four-cylinder as the standard engine in the 2012 LaCrosse, but The General's 3.6-liter V6 will be available as a no-cost option, and GM has now confirmed that the six-cylinder powerplant will get a boost in power versus the 2011 LaCrosse.
For 2012, the 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 will churn out 303 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque – an increase of 23 hp versus the 2011 model. However, this added power will not result in any loss of overall efficiency, with GM stating that the V6 LaCrosse's 17/27 city/highway mile-per-gallon ratings will remain intact.
The 2012 Buick LaCrosse will start production this summer. For the full details on the V6's power increase, follow the jump for GM's official press blast.
Lightweight components and enhancements improve luxury sedan's performance
23-horsepower improvement with no compromise in fuel efficiency
DETROIT – The 2012 Buick LaCrosse, arriving in dealerships later this summer, will be available with a new, more powerful and fuel-efficient version of its direct-injected 3.6L V-6 engine. The engine is a no-additional-cost alternative on select trim levels to the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine with eAssist.
The 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing delivers a SAE-certified 303 horsepower (223 kW) on the front-wheel-drive LaCrosse – an increase of 23 hp (17 kW) – and 264 lb.-ft. (358 Nm) of torque with no loss in fuel efficiency (17 mpg city / 27 highway). An all-wheel-drive version, which is yet to be rated, also will be available.
"The changes we've made to the 3.6L V-6 represent greater refinements to an already well-balanced package," said Tom Sutter, global V-6 chief engineer. "We are using the latest designs, lighter-weight components and enhancements to improve the engine's performance, efficiency and durability."
The lighter-weight aluminum alloy V-6 is more powerful than its predecessor partly because of its new cylinder head design, which has a revised intake port design that enhances airflow to the combustion chambers. Larger-diameter intake valves in the heads and new, longer-duration intake camshafts help provide the engine's boost in horsepower.
By using larger valves and holding them open longer, more air is pulled into the combustion chamber, for more powerful combustion. Often, the tradeoff for greater power is greater fuel consumption, but engineers optimized the fuel system for the engine's performance parameters.
"As a result, there is more power without sacrificing fuel economy," Sutter said. "The more-efficient combustion also means reduced emissions."
The engine retains direct fuel injection, enabling greater combustion efficiency, but uses a new fuel pump and a new, isolated fuel rail. The new fuel pump is quieter, while the isolated fuel rail further reduces fuel system noise to help maintain LaCrosse's quiet-tuned operation. Direct injection also delivers reduced emissions, particularly on cold starts, where hydrocarbon emissions are cut by about 25 percent.
The new V-6 uses several lighter-weight components that help maintain LaCrosse's fuel efficiency while boosting its horsepower. The new integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design saves about 13 pounds compared to the cylinder heads and manifolds of the previous engine, while the new composite intake manifold saves about 5.5 pounds. Additionally, a light-weight structural front cover and lightweight, high-strength connecting rods bring the total weight savings to 20.5 pounds, improving fuel efficiency and enhancing the feeling of driving balance.
"Thanks to increased use of lightweight components and other enhancements, the new 3.6L V-6 offers 2012 LaCrosse buyers improved acceleration with no hit to fuel efficiency," said Doug Osterhoff, LaCrosse product marketing manager. "This new engine is an attractive option on the car that's been widely hailed as one of the most attractive luxury sedans on the road today."