Who knows what took so long, but the Buick Lucerne Super that was first shown over a year ago at the 2007 New York Auto Show is arriving in dealerships this month, and it's brought a friend in the form of a the new Lucerne CXL Special Edition. To refresh your memory, the Lucerne Super is the super duper counterpart to the LaCrosse Super, which we've already tested in the Autoblog Garage. The Super features the venerable 4.6L Northstar V8 tuned to produce 292 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. It's also equipped with higher-grade steering components, high-rate front and rear coil springs, a larger front stabilizer bar, 18-inch aluminum wheels and Magnetic Ride Control. The Lucerne Super also features a base price of $39,395 sans destination charges, so go easy on those options if you want to keep the price as low as possible.
Arriving with the Lucerne Super will be the just announced CXL Special Edition. What makes it special is that it's the only Lucerne model that offers the option of either the large but woefully weak 197-hp 3.8L V6 (or ye' ole 3800 Series) or the 4.6L Northstar V8 tuned to make 275 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. The CXL Special Edition also gets some exterior and interior enhancements, though nothing we haven't seen before.
Though Buick has the hot-selling Enclave CUV, its sedans are being ignored by buyers for a number of reasons, not the least of which is poor powertrain choices. The Northstar V8 was a good motor in its day, but its tech is now aged and the same power output with better fuel efficiency can be had with GM's newer 3.6L V6, both in direct-inject and non-DI versions. We're sure GM doesn't want to cannibalize Cadillac CTS sales by offering the same engines in less expensive Buicks, but something has to be done to salvage these sedans.
Buick Expands 2008 Lucerne Lineup With Super And Special Edition Models
DETROIT – Buick will increase its 2008 Lucerne lineup with two new models available at dealerships beginning in April. The Lucerne Super and Lucerne CXL Special Edition reflect Buick's commitment to bringing a greater variety of premium products into its portfolio.
"Lucerne Super and Lucerne CXL Special Edition epitomize Buick's new level of refinement and our effort to deliver the vehicles that today's customers demand," said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager.
Lucerne Super continues Buick's tradition of delivering luxury, refined power and performance. It's powered by the 4.6L Northstar V-8 engine that delivers 292 horsepower (218 kW) @ 6300 rpm and 288 lb.-ft. of torque (390 Nm) @ 4500 rpm. Further augmenting its driving character, Lucerne Super also features:
- New premium steering components for more precise steering and a higher level of responsiveness
- Higher-rate front and rear coil springs for improved stability and control
- Larger front stabilizer bar for improved roll control
- Magnetic Ride Control technology – recalibrated for even more driver control and performance, while further reducing body roll in cornering and lane changes
- Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels shod with P245/50R18 all-season radials
Inside, Lucerne Super features a leather-wrapped instrument panel upper with French seam stitching; suede trim on the doors and on the standard heated and cooled front seats; heated real walnut wood-accented steering wheel; walnut wood shifter; a Nova Silver finish for the center stack; model-specific sill plates and premium floor mats. Additional premium amenities include a 280-watt, nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that includes a six-disc CD changer and MP3 player.
Lucerne Super customers may also opt for touch screen navigation; sunroof; Side Blind Zone and Lane Departure Warning safety-enhancing technologies; and 18-inch chrome wheels. Lucerne Super is available exclusively in Cocoa/Shale or Ebony interior trim and features a $39,395 MSRP (including a $765 destination freight charge).
Lucerne CXL Special Edition
Buick's Lucerne CXL Special Edition offers either a V-6 or V-8 engine – making it the only Lucerne model to offer this choice. The 3.8L V-6 equipped Lucerne CXL Special Edition delivers 197 horsepower (147 kW) @ 5200 rpm and 227 lb.-ft. of torque (308 Nm) @ 3800 rpm.
For a higher level of performance, Buick offers an uplevel Northstar 4.6L V-8. It delivers 275 horsepower (205 kW) @ 6000 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm) @ 4400 rpm. This premium, aluminum 32-valve dual overhead cam V-8 – specifically tuned for Lucerne – is recognized for its technological refinement, precision and quick launch capability.
Outside, Lucerne CXL Special Edition models are equipped with a chrome grille, unique 17-inch chrome-clad wheels, new rear fascia and model-specific badge on the decklid. Inside, CXL Special Edition has perforated leather seat inserts, and contrasting stitching on the seats, console armrest and door trim. Lucerne CXL Special Edition models will be available in three distinct exterior colors: Dark Mocha Metallic, White Diamond Tricoat and Crystal Red Tintcoat. The two interior color combinations are Dark/Light Titanium and Cocoa/Shale.
Lucerne CXL Special Edition V-6 models carry a $32,150 manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), while the Special Edition V-8 model will feature a $33,850 MSRP. Prices include a $765 destination freight charge.
Lucerne Super and Lucerne CXL Special Edition models benefit from QuietTuning, Buick's all-encompassing approach to reduce, block and absorb interior cabin noise. Notable QuietTuning features include laminated side glass, noise-reducing side-view mirrors, low-profile "structureless" windshield wiper blades and a double-isolated powertrain mounting system. Lucerne Super also features a uniquely tuned exhaust note that is more powerful, but subtly refined. The result is a hushed, premium driving experience overall.
All Buick Lucerne models are built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility and come with the industry's best coverage, including a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection.