Last post on Aug 02, 2011 at 4:53 AM
You are in the Buick LaCrosse
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Buick LaCrosse, Sedan
#696 of 2335 LaCrosse vs. Olds Intrigue
Aug 09, 2004 (8:48 pm)
It came to my mind today, that it is better comparison, than comparing LaCrosse with Century/Regal. Let us compare 99 Intrigue with 2005 LaCrosse.
Three trim with similar names:
base: LaCrosse CX vs. Intrigue GX;
both have 200hp 3.8l engine; cloth seats, etc.
better: LaCrosse CXL vs. Intrigue GL;
200hp 3.8l engine, fog lamps, upgraded seats, mirrors, etc.
top: LaCrosse CXS vs. Intrigue GLS:
240hp 3.6l variable timing DOHC vs. 215hp 3.5l DOHC. Leather, optional StabiliTrack.
In other words, the two mass-market trims of LaCrosse will have the same engine and transmission that the now defunct Intrigue had 6-7 years earlier, and dropped in year 2000. The top of the line trim gained 25hp in 6 years.
Olds switched to the 215hp 3.5l engine in all 3 trims during the model year 1999.
Electronics was improved during since 1998-2000. CD player replaced cassette, more speakers are available for LaCrosse, and even MP3 is optionally available for the top trim. Additionally, GM promise that Buick cabin will be less noisy.
I do not want to say, that LaCrosse will be a bad car. Rather the older cars it replaces, Intrigue and Regal, are very good. So good, that it is not easy to improve them substantially. However, no gain and even loss in power/torque in 5-8 years, depending on trim, is inexcusable in my mind.
#697 of 2335 Re: 3.8 vs. 3.6 [drwilsc]
Aug 15, 2004 (6:36 am)
The 3.8 is old but still an appropriate engine. It generates 205 hp and good low end torque all on regular gasoline while delivering 30+ mpg. Yes, it is a push rod design - but so is the Corvette engine that is blowing the socks off of everything else. As push rod engine it is narrower so it will fit in tighter confines that a wide DOHC engine. It is cheaper to build (~$800 per engine). And the fact that it produces such good low end torque means that the final drive ratio can be lower numerically thus keeping the engine rpm at cruising speed low (~2000 rpm) and hence great highway mileage. In contrast, look at the new Bonneville GXP with the Northstar. Much higher numerical final drive ratio to compensate for less low end torque and it is lucky to get 25mpg and on premium. And the auto writers complain that it still doesn't come off the line fast enough. Bottom line, the push rod engine has lots of life remaining but car buyers have been conditioned to believe that newer is always better. Sometimes it is, but not always.
#698 of 2335 Re: 3.8 vs. 3.6 [desertrat5]
Aug 15, 2004 (10:14 pm)
According to GM, the two LaCrosse engines will provide very close maximal torque. Unfortunately, only maximal ones are available. GM stopped to put the torque curve on Internet, or at least I cannot find it anymore.
Let try to estimate. At low RPM, the air flow is not a limiting factor, and the low end torque mostly depends on displacement. 3.6l is rather close to 3.8l, about 5% difference. So the low end torque had to be close too. I'd guess, the difference in torque will be less than the 5%, due to variable timing.
Comparison with supercharged 3.8 will be a different story. The 3.6 must have much lower torque after about 2000 RPM, when supercharger engages. LaCrosse will compensate the lack of torque by higher RPM at given speed, with more aggressive final gear ratio. Is it good enough to be equal to 1997 Regal GS? I am not sure. Zero gain in power in 8 years.
However, I believe that overhead cams are more progressive technically than pushrods. Just hard to compete with really great implementation of older technology.
#700 of 2335 Re: Details- [bebe]
Aug 17, 2004 (10:59 pm)
#702 of 2335 Re: Details
Aug 18, 2004 (3:49 pm)
The 3.6L DOHC VVT is not supercharged
Aug 25, 2004 (10:52 am)