Green Giant: Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Has Smoggy China in Its Sights

green giant buick lacrosse hybrid has smoggy china in its sights

The Beijing Motor Show begins next week, but Buick couldn’t wait a minute longer.

At yesterday’s 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai (was there a parade?), the automaker rolled out its LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), a model tailor-made for the Chinese market.

China loves Buicks, and Buick loves them right back, so much so that the U.S. will get a Chinese-made model this fall. The LaCrosse HEV is part of General Motors’ plan to foist as many vehicles on China as possible.

“…over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Global Propulsion Systems, at the event. “That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles.”

Large American sedans are a big deal with China’s middle class and executive set, but the country’s ungodly air pollution means that driving a gas-guzzler could be seen as uncouth. While the 2017 LaCrosse will come with a standard 3.6-liter V6 in the U.S., the HEV version makes do with a 1.8-liter four cylinder mated to a 1.5 kilowatt-hour battery and electric variable transmission.

Thankfully for engineers, the new LaCrosse is 300 pounds lighter than its predecessor, meaning there’s less mass to motivate. Buick says the LaCrosse HEV achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of 50 miles per gallon.

Pushing the “we’re greener than you” branding even further, the automaker chose yesterday to introduce a “Buick Blue” logo for use on its Chinese market hybrid vehicles.

[Cropped image: General Motors]

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Apr 19, 2016

    How in the Hell did this thread from the B&B devolve into a political free-for-all. Jesus tap dancing Christ in a birch bark canoe. * Chrysler was bailed out by the government * GM was bailed out by the government * The Italians bought Chrysler, created FCA, broke our RAM as it's own brand, are starving Chrysler and Dodge of new products, can't sell Fiats, and have way over invested in Alfa * FCA is in a worse position from a product mix stand point then they were 10 years ago. No hybrid, no electric beyond the limited market Fiat e500, and giving up on cars * GM bet big on China, which became the largest car economy in the world * Despite scandal, ignition switches, killing 4 brands, and general public hatred, a decade later GM is stronger than they were in probably 20 years * George W. Bush bailed out the auto industry. It was part of the overall bailout package given. The Obama Administration executed the Bush plan * GM has taken better advantage of the opportunity given * FCA is darn close to a dead brand walking with Jeep as a life raft * Chrysler was bailed out TWICE by the government - look it up

  • RHD RHD on Apr 19, 2016

    GM claims the new Buick Lacrosse HEV will get 50 miles per gallon. Seriously?

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.