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Buick Lucerne: Engine & Performance



  • jeff43jeff43 Posts: 14
    How do you know this?
  • jeff43jeff43 Posts: 14
    I think we are spoiled because, honestly, you will see 205 HP in a Chevy Cobalt SS. I guess it just seems wierd for a full size car to have less HP than a compact, but it probably performs fine.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    3800 is well known to be on it's last manufacturing module. Only the LaCrosse/Grand Prix/Lucerne still use it as a base engine. When it is dropped is the question. Most economical thing for GM to do is hang on to it untill the 3 cars are replaced. Do not know exactly when but the W cars will probably be gone by 2009 at the latest. Once the W cars lose it the Lucerne volume will be to low to support the manufacturing facility.

    It makes no sense to up the HP on an engine that has been at 200 for years. GM is spending the money on the new engines, ie 3.5 and 3.9.

    My guess is that they will probably replace the 3800 in the Lucerne with either the 3.9 or 3.6 around '08. They may also, due to powertrain manufacturing efficiencies, drop the 3800 in 2008 for the other cars.
  • can you explain the problem with buying a car in detroit....just curious...thanks
  • jeff43jeff43 Posts: 14
    From what I have read, the 3.6 is more refined than the 3.9.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Yes, but also another $1500 in price. And they both at this time have 240hp in FWD. but the 3.9 bests the 3.6 in torque. So for $1500 in price I would think most of the under $30k car buyers would go for the extra money in their pocket or a sunroof or some other feature.

    Of course in a few years the 3.6 will bump up in hp to around 270 or so (see the buick Enclave).

    I am hoping they make the 3.6 standard in the LaCrosse/Lucerne and the CTS. With today's HP war and the V8's in the Buicks and the premiumness they are going after in the Buicks I think they could take a hit in the base price. Also with the Buicks being replaced soon why develop another powertrain combo for the LaCrosse when the 3800 dies?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The torque is of primary importance when it comes to performance. The horsepower only tells you how much torque is left once you get the engine near the redline. Both the 3.6 DOHC V6 from the LaCrosse and the 3800 have about 220 lb-ft of torque over the power band (useful engine speed range). Note:
    3.6: - L_LY7_LaCrosse.pdf

    3800: - 6/2006_3800_L26_Buick_Lucerne.pdf

    The basic difference is that the 3800's torque drops off above 4500 RPMs, while the 3.6 is still good till 5500 RPMs. If the LaCrosse V6 goes into the Lucerne with a six speed automatic, then that would be a big improvement, otherwise, not. However, if the Lucerne got the 3.6 with CTS tuning, or better still, the 270 hp tuning, then, with the six speed automatic, one could dump the aging northstar V8. I do not expect a VVT FWD northstar to ever see production.

    CTS 3.6: - L_LY7_CTS.pdf
  • jh1977jh1977 Posts: 40
    From reading your message are you saying the 3800 engine provides more than adequate power in the current base Buick Lucerne? Also would GM's new 3.9 Liter engine {which is less expensive than GM's DOHC 3.6 Liter engine} which is currently in the 2006 Chevy Impala, be a more powerful engine in the base Buick Lucerne compared to the 3800 engine? Sincerely.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,048
    I don't get all the comments about the 3800. I have a leSabre with it; I don't find torque lacking and the trans is always smoooothly shifting when 3rd is needed instead of 4th. I drove from the Smokeys home today and got an indicated 34.6 mpg at 68-72 mph with a short traffic light stop off the interstate and a stop for food and a traffic backup of about 5 minutes. That's all interstate on I75 from Knoxville over the mountains to Dayton. No air conditioning until the last 70 miles.

    I haven't driven a Lucerne but I'd recommend a rental or a long tes drive to see if it doesn't serve just as well. Unless you want the hotrod torque or a quick motor and the decrease in mileage.
  • jh1977jh1977 Posts: 40
    The 3800 engine is a good engine but it is now dated. The new Lucerne is heavier than the LeSabre. Car buyers should have in addition to the V8 engine, 3800 engine, another V6 engine to choose in the Lucerne such as GM's 3.6 or 3.9 Liter engines. Car buyers have a choice of 4 different engines in the Chrysler 300 vehicles.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The 3800 engine is much better than good, it's the best V6 ever made (over 30 million produced) and is world renown for that. I agree it is dated and probably should be replaced, but for the most of us a V6 is all that is needed. The Lucerne is not much more in weight than the LaSabre, so again a V6 should be plenty of muscle for the average driver. I personally no longer drag race from the lights and am rarely in a hurry that I need to start passing traffic, so a V6 would be my choice for mileage and regular driving. The V8 as offered is there for those who need the extra muscle, or to help remind them that this is a premium car with a premium engine available.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The 3800 performance in the Lucerne is partly due to the axle gearing used, 2.85:1, while the V8 gets a 3.11:1 ratio. The 3800 used to get a 3.05:1 in most applications. I used to own an Oldsmobile diesel, which had adequate power, so using that as a standard, yes, I would say the 3800 is more than adequate, even with the economy gearing.

    The basic difference between the the pushrod engines (3800, 3.9) and the DOHC V6s is that the pushrod engines are cheaper with more noise, vibration and hashness (NVH); the DOHC V6 family (2.8-3.6 liter) is a global V6 with reduced NVH (in theory). I think that the GM 3.6 is not as good as some other 3.5 liter V6's from other makers. BMW's straight 6 is the best for NVH.

    Regarding the 3.9: It has more torque, see plot: - - L_LZ9_Impala.pdf

    Note that it has more than 225 lb-ft of torque from 2000 RPMs to 5500 RPMs. This engine would be much better than either the 3800 or the LaCrosse 3.6. Note that there is a double peak in torque, this is the variable length intake manifold, which none of the 3.6 engines has as yet, although the CTS 3.6 has a variable intake manifold. The variable 3.6 has independent left and right intakes for each bank of cylinders, but at high speeds a valve connects the two banks.

    For NVH, the 3.9 is probably no better than the 3800, so this engine would be good for the CX, keeping its price down. But then the LaCrosse 3.6 would not give better performance in the V6 CXL, although axle ratios or transmission choices could make a difference. The LaCrosse 3.6 gets a 3.69:1 axle ratio to give it an edge on performance, but it EPA fuel consumption is greater.

    While the Chrysler 300 offers 4 engines, the 2.7 V6 is too small, and the 425 hp engine is too big. I have never been too impressed with the 250 hp 3.5's performance in the 300M either. It seemed to me that it should have done better.
  • jh1977jh1977 Posts: 40
    Your messages are very informative. In your last message you stated that GM's new 3.9 Liter V6 engine is probably no better than the 3800 V6 engine. The 3.9 Liter V6 engine can deliver 240 HP and 240 pounds of torque while the 3800 delivers only 197 HP and 227 pounds of torque in the Buick Lucerne. How can both engines have near equal power according to you? Please explain. Sincerely.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I clearly stated that for noise, vibration and harshness, the 3.9 might not be much better than the 3800. However, the 3.9 is a 60 degree design rather than a 90 degree design, which does make some difference. But the 3800 was upgraded many times to improve the NVH. The 3.9 and the smaller 3.5 are both much better designs than the older 3800.

    The Lucerne will probably continue with the 3800 for as long as it is in production, which will be through the 2008 model year. The new 2007 Saturn Aura will have the 3.5 liter as the standard engine with (surprise :cry: )the 4 speed automatic. The 3.5 is upgraded to 220 lb-ft of torque and 224 hp. This engine might be a good base engine for the Lucerne.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    There are two considerations for the replacement engine, engine smoothness and performance. The DOHC 3.6 liter V6 is supposed to be a premium engine with greater smoothness than the pushrod V6 3.5 or 3.9 liter engines. I have not driven any of these engines, so cannot say. The pushrod engines are less expensive to make.

    The 3.9 liter V6 has about 240 lb-ft of torque and 240 horsepower. This engine would be a good replacement for the 3800 in both the CX and CXL.

    But, for added smoothness, the 3.6 would make a good choice to put in the CXL, with a 6 speed automatic. The best 3.6 would be the 250 horsepower, 250 lb-ft of torque Aura version. However, then the CX should get less torque and horsepower, so the 3.5 Aura engine would make sense.

    The Buick Enclave (and Saturn Outlook) are getting a 3.6 V6 with the 6T75 automatic, that will have nearly 270 horsepower. The torque is rated at nearly 250 lb-ft. This engine would be a good choice for the CXL, and then the 240 hp 3.9 would make a good choice for the CX. But what would be the point in the CXS's slight increase in hp of only 5 more for the V8? Perhaps the V8 should be dropped.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,744
    The 3.9 and the smaller 3.5 are both much better designs than the older 3800.

    Upon what do you base that conclusion?

    I have yet to be convinced that either of these, with their 1970's 2.8 Chevy Citation V-6 origins that in turn spawned the shameful 3.1 and 3.4 V-6s known for their thrashiness, problems with leaks, and general underachievement, are superior to the timeless 3.8.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    They should bump up the V8 to Cadillacs 292 hp.

    3.9 CX
    265hp CXL
    292 SCX
  • b88lazerb88lazer Posts: 21
    You predict that the Lucerne will remain in production only through the 2008 model year. Please share with present Lucerne owners and prospective buyers any hard information that you have, insider or otherwise, to substantiate your contention. Thanks.
  • jh1977jh1977 Posts: 40
    Thank you for explaining to me and others in this forum about the different V6 engines that could be the replacements for the 3800 V6 engine in the Buick Lucerne. I would also like to thank Edmunds.Com for having this forum available for people like me (who are not car experts) who can send messages to car experts about items pertaining to cars in which people have an interest in. Sincerely.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The Lucerne will remain in production through the 2008 model year and the standard engine will probably be the 3800. The 3800 is going out of production at the end of model year 2008 as part of the downsizing or cost cutting program. What happens with the Lucerne for model year 2009 is somewhat speculative at this time, but I expect it to remain in production with the V8, and perhaps no V6, or one of the alternate V6's as I outlined above.
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