The Buick LaCrosse GL Concept has officially bowed at the 2011 LA Auto Show. The luxury LaCrosse lounges on the show floor with a set of aggressive 20-inch alloy wheels, which are the only exterior cues available to distinguish this vehicle from its more plebeian litter mates. Inside is a whole different story, however. The LaCrosse GL Concept coddles its occupants with two-tone chocochino leather in dark cocoa and caramel hues mated with ice blue stitching. A full suede headliner is also part of the package as well, and the dash is clad in wood grain inspired by a certain Les Paul guitar finish.

Buick even went so far as to line each and every storage compartment just like a jewelry box. What's the point of all this nicety, you ask? Buick claims that every aspect of the LaCrosse GL interior will go on to inform future Buick models. We like the sound of a top-tier Buick, but we also have to wonder how Cadillac feels about a classier Tri-Crest.
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LaCrosse GL Concept Refines Buick's Signature Style
Elegant forms, warm hues and inviting materials preview possible design direction

LOS ANGELES – When designers set out to capture the essence of Buick luxury for the LaCrosse GL concept vehicle, they looked to the fine cuisine, heirloom objects and enriching experiences the brand's customers savor. The design study is on display at the L.A. Auto Show through Nov. 17.

Buick's color and trim designers worked from a palette of cabernet red, dark cocoa brown and caramel chocochino. They took inspiration from the burnished metal of antique jewelry, ombré patina on vintage guitars and flocked lining of keepsake boxes. For GL's French-stitched premium leather seats, the designers looked to the understated elegance of classic club chairs and contours of windswept sand dunes. And their use of smooth suede for the headliner is designed to invite one's touch like a favorite pair of gloves.
"The LaCrosse GL concept expresses Buick's distinctly human kind of luxury – one that is as warmly inviting as it is elegant and refined," said David Lyon, executive director of design. "The design cues that already distinguish the production LaCrosse – such as the premium leather-upholstered seats, ice blue ambient lighting and soft touch surfaces – are amplified in the GL and serve as inspiration for future Buick models."

LaCrosse GL's cabernet red exterior paint is complemented by brushed and tinted chrome accents on the grille, door handles and deck lid, as well as around the windows, taillights and headlights. Machine-face, satin-finish 20-inch rims fill the wheel wells for a firmly planted appearance.

"The brushed-and-tinted chrome trim gives the GL a more subdued appearance than if we had used bright chrome. The overall effect is more in keeping with Buick's quietly confident aesthetic," said Magdalena Kokoszynska, creative designer on LaCrosse GL.

Open the GL's doors and backlit Buick-emblazoned sill plates invite one to enter like illuminated welcome mats.

Take a seat and one is ensconced in luxury, enveloped by flowing sculptural surfaces finished in a rich blend of warm-hued materials. They offer soft-touch refinement and surprise-and-delight details. The seats, doors and instrument panel surfaces are finished in contrasting dark cocoa brown and caramel chocochino leather. The seat cushions' pillowed surfaces evoke windswept sand dunes, and the ice-blue French stitching along their seams harmonize with Buick's signature ambient lighting.

Overhead, one finds a rich chocochino suede headliner – a material and usage rarely seen in anything but the most luxurious automotive interiors. This butter-soft material also accents the steering wheel, inviting one's touch.

Like the GL's exterior trim pieces, the interior metal accents on the instrument cluster and center stack controls are a darker, warmer hue, and are complemented by the swirling grain of wood trim on the steering wheel and dash that evokes the ombré patina fade found on classic Gibson Les Paul guitars.

Attention to detail also is evident underfoot, where leather-surged and accent-stitched floor mats offer further refinement. Likewise, the storage compartments are flocked like the interior of a jewel box.

"Every surface in the interior of the LaCrosse GL has been crafted with the knowledge that Buick customers enjoy the finer things in life, but don't need to flaunt it," Kokoszynska said.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      MotorCityGreek
      • 3 Years Ago
      The LaX GL is where Buick needs to be: upmarket. But it needs to be executed properly. If Buick were to focus on approachable, elegant and relaxed luxury while Cadillac occupies the performance luxury segment, then GM can have two distinct -- yet equally upmarket -- luxury brands to compete with the entire market, rather than having one brand attempting to be all of those things at once (Lexus), which is a poor marketing strategy.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MotorCityGreek
        [blocked]
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Woodgrain inspired by a *Gibson* Les Paul? Better not tell the Feds. They'll send the FBI to shut down Buick.
      hudkina
      • 3 Years Ago
      Buick is for those looking to enjoy the ride, Cadillac is for those looking to enjoy the drive.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Dan Petrowski
        • 3 Years Ago
        Uncompetitive engine? Boat like handling? Cheap interior? Have you ever even sat in, let alone driven a Buick Lacrosse CXS (the nearest current equivalent). The 300+hp direct injected DOHC V6, coupled with HiPer strut suspension means that the engine is more than competitive and it doesn't nearly handle or ride like a boat. (trust me, I have owned watercraft my whole life :). The interior of the Lacrosse is one of GM's best, and an equal or higher ground with any car in it's class. You probably have never driven an ES or Genesis either.........
          The Other Bob
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Petrowski
          let me fix this for your Dan: "You probably have never driven ANYTHING OTHER THAN YOU SISTER'S TEN SPEED BIKE."
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Petrowski
          [blocked]
        blue
        • 3 Years Ago
        Exactly my thought! who in their right mind would even consider looking at the ES, unless you're in the 60+ y/o crowd! The ES is the most BORING car ever in this segment!!!! yes, with capitals! The Hyundai's are going in the right direction, but the 'flashy' electronics and cheap plastic found in their interiors (Genesis, Azera, etc) reminds me of an AIWA bombox I used to owned back in the late 90's. This Buick is far more elegant and good looking than the previously mentioned!
        Seven Eigh8 Si6
        • 3 Years Ago
        ES? GENESIS? No thanks! If GM put this in production, people will buy this over both of those you mention!
        blue
        • 3 Years Ago
        Are you for real?? the ES??? That's the most BORING car ever. I'm pretty sure people are not lining up at the Lexus dealerships for the ES... well, except for the 60+ y/o crowd. The Genesis is a nice option too, but the 'flashy' electronics in the interior reminds me of an AIWA stereo boombox with their cheap plastics and neon blues from the late 90's.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      miketim1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice paint
      Michael
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd rather have this Buick than a Cadillac...while my brain is yelling at me for this very comment, I think Buick's recent designs are classy looking and should not look outdated as quickly as the CTS. The angular lines of the CTS and its grill make it look much more low rent.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Michael
        [blocked]
      Eta Carinae
      • 3 Years Ago
      beautiful coat of paint !
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      The rivalry between Buick and Cadillac goes back decades. Each will find their own customers. Prewar Limiteds were longer than some Cadillacs, as was the bloated '58 Buick Roadmaster 75. In some cases there was a top of the line Buick a few dollars more expensive than the equivalent Cadillac. But Buicks appealed to certain buyers and the more flamboyant Cadillac to others. The same differences remain today. This is a gorgeous LaCrosse. I like GM's concept of keeping the exteriors almost exactly the same with the exception of wheels. The days of "cheaper" exterior trim denoting the lower priced trims is over, apparently.
      Capital Junk a Car
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very nice vehicle, Buick is really trying to come back and impress some of the more luxurious end of the market. Still I think it would be hard to compete with other luxury sedans on a name basis, but I'm sure that this Buick will beat them out on the price.
      Jeff Smith
      • 3 Years Ago
      Typical GM junk interior. The current Cadillacs are awful and this follows in their tire tracks. Painted plastic (I'm sorry, chrome) wears horribly. Look at an Audi interior and copy it. That's all they have to do.
        Sam Diamond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jeff Smith
        LOL Someone is an Audi Fanboy. Thats why consumer reports ranked the A4 LAST and the new Regal and Infiniti G first place. Audi's really aren't that nice inside, my friend has a top model A4 and its DECENT, not the best though.
      GeneralSTL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beautiful car. Only thing missing from the exterior is the little decklid spoiler, which really completes the look of the LaX. Inside is perfection. Since it's debut, I've always felt that aesthetically, the LaX interior is second to none. What a lovely vehicle.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GeneralSTL
        [blocked]
      onewayroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      A good looking car 4sure...love in interior.
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