2011 Buick LaCrosse drops 3.0L V6, adds four-cylinder

2010 Buick LaCrosse – Click above for high-res image gallery

The all-new Buick LaCrosse hasn't even been on the market for a year, but we're already seeing slight changes to the sedan's lineup. First and foremost, the 3.0-liter V6 (originally offered on CX and CXL models) has been discontinued, meaning customers who want six-pot power will have to make due with the well-received 3.6-liter direct-injected mill. However, all-wheel drive, which was initially only offered with the 3.0, can now be had on 3.6 CXL models.

The big update for 2011, though, is the addition of General Motors' 2.4-liter direct-injected inline-four to the LaCrosse. Available only on the base CX, the 2.4-liter mill is good for 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, and achieves up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. While that might sound relatively impressive, keep in mind that GM managed to squeeze 30 mpg out of the larger V6 in the Camaro, and that the Equinox CUV also trumpets a 30 mpg rating out of its four-banger, too.

Will 182 ponies and 172 pound-feet of twist be enough for the relatively large LaCrosse? We'll be driving the car in the very near future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, hit the jump to read Buick's press release.

[Source: Buick]
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2010 Buick LaCrosse's Efficient Ecotec 2.4L Engine Helps Deliver An EPA-Rated 30 MPG On The Highway

- 2011 LaCrosse will be offered with 2.4L four-cylinder and 3.6L V-6 engines
- AWD will be offered with the 3.6L V-6 on the 2011 LaCrosse CXL

DETROIT – A fuel-efficient, direct injected Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder engine is now the standard engine in the 2010 Buick LaCrosse CX luxury sedan. Backed by a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain combination 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.

The LaCrosse CX with the Ecotec 2.4L has an MSRP of $26,995. Buick expects about 25 percent of LaCrosse customers will opt for it.

"As Buick continues its transformation, new products like the 2.4L-powered LaCrosse CX are helping us reach all-new customers," said Craig Bierley, Buick's product marketing director. "It gives them a fuel-efficient option that's simply not available with the competition."

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. For 2011, the current 3.0L V-6 will be discontinued and the Ecotec 2.4L and 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing will be the two engines offered in the vehicle. AWD will be offered with 3.6L-equipped models starting in the 2011 model year.

Like the Ecotec 2.4L, the 3.6L V-6 features direct injection.

"Direct injection is a key component of GM's ongoing strategy to use advanced propulsion technology to help us deliver more fuel-efficient cars today and in the future," said Tom Stephens, vice chairman, Global Product Development. "GM is using multiple technology pathways to achieve increased efficiency and to diversify energy sources – and we're applying them where they make the most sense for customers when it comes to efficiency, performance and cost."

Quiet, low-maintenance performance

The Ecotec 2.4L is designed to deliver exceptional quietness with low maintenance requirements and minimal environmental impact – including 100,000-mile service life ratings for the spark plugs and accessory drive belt. It is also equipped with GM's Oil Life system, which uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine when it's time for an oil change. The system calculates the oil life based on a variety of closely monitored variables, such as engine speed, temperature, load and others, allowing fewer oil changes over the life of the vehicle for a significantly reduced amount of used oil that must be recycled.

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