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Buick Lucerne: Engine & Performance



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    I understand your point better now. Starting the line is to be done when they have all the parts and any last minute changes ready to go. When other manufacturers start their production is not germaine. In fact, if they had started the line and then had flaws built into the car, people would be screaming that GM did it again and shouldn't have started building until they actually had everything ready...

    As for the NAV system, that seems to be the XBox for some people. I don't want one; won't buy one built in. Read the update costs for some other brands that push them. Hundreds to get new maps for either HON or Toy in their groups. I'll buy a Garmin or other if I do decide I need one, which isn't very likely in my case.

    I can understand a few people who drive a lot in cities and need to find their way might benefit. In my own view it's the new toy that's high cost to install. I have OnStar and that's enough of a pain.

    This message has been approved.

  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    I now have the same view of it, but it's a toy that would help attract the younger crowd they want. And I would prefer that they wait to get the car right than to rush it out too soon. Just seems to me that given the apparent urgency of this car, a little better planning would have helped. As for what I've seen in my 1300 miles so far, though, they've done a good job on the Lucerne.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    NAV is shown in their car on the website. It's coming during midyear like Jan or Feb, isn't it?

    This message has been approved.

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    All I know is that I was upset w/ Buick's apparently lack of planning in getting the model out in a timely basis.

    Just trying to figure out what you mean by this. I looked at the build, sales and production data. Lucerne started build in November and is now building at a almost full capacity at 150K per year. So they were able to get up to full line rate in less than one month. This is pretty fast. The inventory as of 12/1 was 5900 which is about 1/3 of what should be optimum. But they are at full rate which means they should be able to fill the pipeline quickly. There is always a lag getting full inventory out there. No one says "do not sell any new model untill the pipeline is full". Perhaps you are referring to the start of advertising? this is always a tough call. If you start to early there is great angst for buyers who cannot find the product (you?) and if you start to late stock builds up and it looks like you have a failed launch of a new car and you can lose momentum and therefore sales. you also need to start a bit earlier if you have a new model name to get the name recognition early.

    I think advertising just started 2 weeks ago on the Apprentice which seems just about right. You are one of the first to buy and could not have gotten one much earlier since they are really only in the dealers as of 12/1 in any volume.

    As far as colors most manufacturers initroduce colors one at a time so that they can get each color right before going to the next one. Need to assure proper match between the body painted parts and supplier painted parts (fascias, etc.)
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think that the northstar V8 is more refined than the 5.3 FWD engine in terms of Noise, Vibration and Harshness. Otherwise, why not put the 5.3 in all Cadillac's instead of the northstar? In my opinion, 0-60 performance of less than 8 seconds is much more than adequate for any resonable highway use. There is no need for any car to accelerate from a standstill to 60 MPH in 6 seconds.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    My complaint is they started the line 3 to 4 months later than everyone else. They are counting on this model to save Buick, and they lost at least 3 months during the '06 sales year by not having them available. Also factor in that at least one of the options, a nav system, still aren't available and aren't expected to be available until April. My point is that they should have planned better to make it available earlier.

    I guess you were writing this as I answered. Few car models are brought in at the traditional July/August timeframe. Companies plan their intros to level out their resources today. If everyone brought out their new models on August 1 the tooling industry would have huge lulls and upticks that would drive them crazy and costs up. Same with the OEM's. The engineering/test/development resources need to be leveled out. The Lucerne was brought out about 3 months after the DTS. The large trucks are 3 months after the LuCernes. The G6 convertible is coming out at it's prechosen position. The Lucerne was mot late or early. it came out right on time.

    Now whether or not coming out at the traditional July/August timeframe would have helped sales? Perhaps a little. But the vehicle will be in production for the same amount of time whether it started July or November.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Well, I wouldn't call the Chrysler V6 a competitive engine. It looks good on paper, but just doesn't deliver. Of course, Chrysler transmissions are notoriously inefficient, but on the 300 a Mercedes transmission is used, with the same lackluster performance for a 250HP V6.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I keep hearing that pension and health care costs about $1000 per car to GM. So, instead of having $1000 worth in modern technology and safety features, it's making GM products less competitive.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Yet, the lack of an A5 and the short final ration on the Bonneville GXP made its mileage go to the ground.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    All those who I know opted for the $2000 or so navigation system in their cars have never used it.

    I'd rather get more comfort and safety features for less than that.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Firstly, cars are usually not bought as appliances.

    Secondly, a faster car off the line is safer when merging or when getting back to the highway from the shoulder.

    The fact that a $35000+ car cannot accelerate to 60MPH in 6s indicates that it's underpowered for its category, for the competition does.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,476
    “I think that the northstar V8 is more refined than the 5.3 FWD engine in terms of Noise, Vibration and Harshness. Otherwise, why not put the 5.3 in all Cadillac's instead of the northstar? In my opinion, 0-60 performance of less than 8 seconds is much more than adequate for any resonable highway use. There is no need for any car to accelerate from a standstill to 60 MPH in 6 seconds”

    I have driven both engines – and I own a 5.3. So I ** could ** be biased. But I see no NVH advantage to the Northstar over the LS4.

    Now, I am on record as having very high respect for the Northstar technology. And the latest VVT version is quite enjoyable to drive, at least with what I consider a ‘reasonable’ final drive ration. But, particularly in LD8 form, as currently released in the Lucerne, it does not have the sort of low end torque that some here seem to expect.

    While I will grant that there is no ** need ** for any car to accelerate 0 – 60 in 6 seconds, having recently driven a couple of rentals with 0 – 60 capabilities in the (my estimates here) 8 to 10 second range, I certainly feel safer and much more confident driving in Metro Atlanta traffic with my car capable of 0 – 60 in approx. 5.7. I find merging into dense but fast moving traffic to be much easier with a deep reserve of accelerative power. And the ability to deal with most any traffic situation in a (perceived) effortless manner appeals to me. A lot.

    But then I don’t believe that anyone really ** needs ** a Lucerne V8 of any specification.

    I think that we are well beyond what people need here – and the questions become what we want – and what we are willing to pay for . . .

    But I could be wrong.
    - Ray
    Admitted Torque Addict (is there a 12 step program somewhere for me???)
  • 06lly06lly Posts: 21
    I agree that a V8 with sufficient torque can be made to work well.
    I currently drive a GM V8 with a 4 speed automatic – and I think it works very well, indeed. (2005 Grand Prix GXP, for those who care.)

    The key is getting the transmission to perform to match the capabilities of the engine. I am presently driving a 2006 DTS Performance version. It of course has the 4-speed with the Northstar.

    Off the line, it is OK but not ligtning fast. But when doing 50-65 mph and romp it, it goes like stink. This is because it does a 4-2 downshift. Very smooth shift. Not a 4-3-2 but actually a 4-2. I have driven 3 late model Corvettes and it feels almost that good.

    Point is, they have it set up for useful passing when not on an interstate. I suspect the Buick has the same set up. I really see no need for the new 6 speed transmissions these cars will be getting. A 5 speed to get a little better response off the line would have been totally adequate. But the Europeans have 6-speeds so the marketing thing is to follow along regardless of whether it is really providing a benefit or not.

    One other disadvantage of 6-speeds is that when making shifts, you don't transmit full torque to the ground and so additional shifts can actually cost you time for full throttle accaleration.
  • jh1977jh1977 Posts: 40
    I'm happy that you are satisfied with your CXS V8 Lucerne. The V6 Lucerne is a totally different car with far less performance than the V-8.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I don't think that the Buick Lucerne is aimed at the sports sedan market. In Motor Trend's car of the year testing only 7 of the 28 contenders (all new for model year 2006) were quicker than 6 seconds in the 0-60 race. I will agree that a car with more power will permit the drive to be less attentive when merging as the extra power will save him from his stupidity some of the time. Semi trucks do not accelerate quickly and are still allowed on the highways. The winner of the car of the year award does 0-60 in 8 seconds :surprise: :surprise: :surprise:
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The VVT northstar is a redesigned engine for RWD. I don't know if the VVT could be added to the FWD northstar without extensive redesign or not. A lot of people consider pushrod engines to be worthless, obsolete junk. I think that cars that are able to manage 0-60 in 8 seconds and the quarter mile in 16 seconds have enough power to safely merge without the driver needing to plan ahead too far.

    My Oldsmobile diesel could do the quarter mile in about a half minute.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    All this nonsense about performance is silly. No matter how fast the Lucerne is from 0 to 60, there will almost certainly be something faster. The question is whether 7.5 seconds is too slow. I say that it is not too slow.
  • Come on guys. they just started building the Lucerne 5 weeks ago. Let them get some time to build up some stock. GM gets a hot car and it is in short supply and people complain. GM has a slow moving car and people complain.

    So where the heck are they??? I can't find a dealer in Montana, or Wyoming that has one?

    It's not is "short" supply. It's in "NO" supply!

    Why did they start advertising it, if they couldn't ship it?

    Very very poor marketing. I'm going for a Toyota. They are in stock!

    PS I just went back and re-read some of the other posts.
    Everyone else seems to wonder why one (me) would be
    upset that GM started make the Lucerne late. I don't
    care when they started making them. I am just upset
    because they started advertising them (requesting
    John Q Public to COME ON IN and take a look) AT WHAT!

    That is my problem. If they had started advertising
    them when they were in the dealerships to sell. I would
    have no complaint at all.
    But GM (with it's advertising) invited me in to look
    at a car THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO SHOW ME! Like my time
    isn't worth anything? I went three times and no cars.
    That is all the time I'll spend chasing a NO SHOW!

    Sorry GM, Better seal the borders, because YOUR workers
    are going to need the farm harvesting jobs next year!
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    There are actually 5900 Lucernes in inventory as of 12/1. There are 7100 Crown Vic's in inventory. Since 12/1 they have built about 5000 more cars but they are in shipment.

    Grimes motor in Helena has 1, Bennett Motor in Great Falls has one. Butte Auto center has 2. Big Wyoming Buick has two. Newcastle Motors has 2 in Casper. I only checked for XL's. There are more spread out that I will not list here. It looks like Buick did a good job of evenly distributing them in your area.

    Now there are not as many as there normally are but they have only been building them a month.

    Why did they start advertising them? To sell them. They are available if you do a simple Buick website search. Obviously it is working since you are "looking".
  • jh1977jh1977 Posts: 40
    I'm on your side, 7.5 seconds is great for the V8 Buick Lucerne, even 8 seconds is great. We are talking about the Base Lucerne which Edmunds says goes from 0 to 60 in 9.5 plus seconds. The Base Lucerne is slower the Buick LeSabre, its predecessor. I would like the LeSabre's successor to be just as fast it it was, thats all. I'm not looking for the Base Lucerne to be a super fast car like the 300C Hemi with 340 HP.
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