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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    as a general rule more cylinders = more displacement = more torque spread over a wider band. Know of any 4 bangers over 2.5 liters or any V8s less than 4? Small truck V6s tend to be 'stroked' 4+ liter versions of some of the engines here - for a reason. And sure, different engine designs will certainly have torque curves and different HP outputs. And while torque can have an effect on drivability, it really has little to do with acceleration, otherwise cars in this class like the Lucerne 3.8 and the 500 DT 3.0 (DOHC) wouldn't be nearly so 'challenged'.
    The pushrod, however, is an antiquated 'technology' that would seem to only have applications in things like oversized V8s and is out of place in cars in this group. Not to worry, though, bet they will all finally be gone (except the V8s) within the next few years. Kind of depends on GMs ability to finance new engine production...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,184
    >while torque can have an effect on drivability, it really has little to do with acceleration, otherwise cars in this class like the Lucerne 3.8 and the 500 DT 3.0 (DOHC)

    The extra torque works well to move a full-sized car because it's heavier. Put the 3800 that you know so little about into a light car and it moves because of the torque.

    Do you have any data to support your statement
    "oversized V8s and is out of place in cars of this group."? That sounds like an opinion.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    "oversized V8s and is out of place in cars of this group."? That sounds like an opinion
    of course an opinion, in deference to gas prices, weight imbalances, and TS issues in FWD cars!
    and yes the only thing I KNOW about that old 3.8 is that it won't hold a gear on even a gentle incline with the cruise set on 70 - so much for all that 'usable' torque you like to talk about. The Lucerne, in ths case, simply weighs too much for 200 hp and the available torque it does have.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    W/E captain. The 3800 is more than adequate to move the Lucey. The Bonneville was around the same weight and the 3800 was in it for years. :confuse: If this is such a problem for you then step up and get a real car like the Buick Lucerne Super. That car will have more than just a set of grape fruits in the pants. :shades:

    Rocky
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,184
    >that old 3.8 is that it won't hold a gear on even a gentle incline with the cruise set on 70 -

    Strange that my cars all can handle inclines on Interstates between here and Nashville and rarely, I mean rarely, downshift into third. There are a couple between Cincinnati and Louisville that are steeper than typical.

    I think you don't know what you're talking about and are just making up stuff to have something negative about the 3800. No problem. Now I've read discussions about the weak sister OHC motors with low torque high horsepower shifting up and down in the cars that require 6- and more speed transmissions for driveability. Indeed the X3 I rode to the Reds games in beside being rough-riding kept shifting up and down and it was only a 5-speed IIRC.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    The Lucerne with the 3.8 is slow. The Bonneville for all its sporting pretentions was also not that quick either. In all boils down to progress. The 3.8 was fine 10 - 15 years ago when 200 HP in a large sedan was good. With the available technology the "bar" has been raised. Why would anyone want to drive an outdated slow to rev OHV engine, when you can get a free revving OHC engine with 70 more HP and better FE to boot. Its really a shame, the Lucerne is a nice vehicle but the powertrain options are just not there. Now, as I and other members of the forum have said, drop in the 3.6 and the six speed and you may have something.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    then step up and get a real car like the Buick Lucerne Super
    assume that it then may keep up with an Avalon, Azera, or Maxima all at a penalty of a few mpgs? If I want a V8, then I sure as heck don't want FWD! Maybe the best thing to do is to wait for GM to replace the Lucerne with a V8 RWD model in 09/10 - just don't know if that will be before or after gas hits $5/gallon. :cry:
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The 3.8 was fine 10 - 15 years ago when 200 HP in a large sedan was good.
    this I'd agree with - because 10 or 15 years ago these cars didn't weigh near 4000 lbs. did they?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    My 92' Bonneville SSEi weighed I believe 3800 lbs. but I could be wrong. :confuse:

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well the RWD Lucerne, will likely not make it to market until 2010, as a 2011 model. The Buick Velite Sedan could be here in 09' as a 2010 model built on the Zeta, archetecture. I would assume a Convertible will be out at the same time or the year after. ;)

    So yeah the 3.6 would be a better choice.

    The Lucerne should have this line-up.

    CX- 3800 V6 197-205 hp.

    CXL- 3.6 "High Feature" V6 with 255 hp.

    CXS- 4.6 Northstar with 292hp

    Super- 320hp Northstar V8

    -Rocky
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the V8 is a Northstar 'cammer' as opposed to the older pushrod V8 like is in the Impala? Didn't know that. The Northstar, IMO, one of GMs better efforts but does have HP and Torque characteristics similar to these high efficiency V6s. By the tone of some of these posts lately, I guess, a 20 speed auto, should be needed ;), that engine much much too 'peaky'
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I'll go for that, the cars have grown a bit.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Four engine choices? That would cost GM even more money. They lose on every car as it is. What I would do is:

    Kill the 3.8
    Standard on all models 3.6
    CXS or Super 320 HP Northstar option. Why do you need two V8's only 20 or so HP apart?

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    I've got to agree with the captain with respect to the 3.8 and cruise control. I rented a brand new Grand Prix last weekend with the 3.8 series III. Not only did the car need to downshift on moderate hills when using cruise control, it had the maddening habit of needing to downshift when commanded to accelerate when using the cruise control. The downshifts were smooth enough, but the is not the kind of sophistication you'ld expect in the 21st century.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    advertising the Five Hundred at $6000.00 discounts! Guess this means that Ford finally has the 'Taurus' ready?
  • donl1donl1 Posts: 109
    In sunday's paper the local Ford/Mercury dealer had the Ford Five Hundred-Freestyle-Mercury Montego at $4000 below invoice. Going to be hard to move them after the 08's show up.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I'll tell you - the CXS doesn't DRIVE like it has only 20 more HP. Go drive one today - no really. Go drive it.

    Your jaw will drop - it's just nothing like a typical Buick.(basically it's a Buick DTS with the sport package - just for a LOT less than the Cadillac DTS)

    I have it on my top 5 list for cars to get this fall. And this despite the fact that I swore I'd never own a car with an automatic again.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    had thought that the Taurus was supposed to be available this month, guess Ford's running late again. You're right an extra 60 hp and hopefully a little more refinement could make that car a reasonable choice IMO. You would think that they would allow for a little extra time to clear the lots - maybe we'll see the Taurus in July or so and Ford doesn't have to 'sell' the cars that cheaply?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    What are you comparing it to? The poster mentioned 2 V8 options for the Lucerne (292 and 320). The current CXS V8 is 275 HP. Not sure where the 292 and 320 come in at. Is the "Super" Lucerne going to be built? Or is the CXS getting a bump in power?

    I drove the 275 HP CXS and if your comparing it to the 3.8 yes there is a huge difference. Not quite jaw dropping, but much different then say a few year old Park Av.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Not quite jaw dropping, but much different
    the current 275 Northstar is actually slower than most of the cars in this group - including the Avalon, Azera, Maxima, 300C, Impala SS, but it is a whole lot smoother/quieter and more powerful than the 3.8, of course. 292 hp, if this becomes a choice, would figure to keep up - 320 hp might outrun them - wonder what they are going to do about the torque steer and FE. - doesn't figure to be a 'free ride', and still is more properly RWD.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    No doubt the Avalon and Max are quicker, I remember from my test drives last year. I don't remember the Lucerne having TS in the 275 HP version I drove (couldn't say that about the Max). However, FE will continue to decline if all they do is bump up the power of the Northstar. They either have to shave some pounds or start thinking about the six speed from the Aura. I think you are on the right track, if they want to put that kind of power into the Buick just wait until the RWD platform is ready. V8 RWD cars sound like something GM can do well.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    I don't know how good it really was considering I took a Bonneville out driving a 92 Tempo GLS with the 3.0 V-6. If I recall correctly, it was pushing maybe 145 hp. It was also a manual, but still...in 1st & 2nd gears, the two cars were dead even, but once I hit 3rd...just started pulling away. So...was that 3.8 REALLY that good? :confuse:
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    my question is why does the Lucerne HAVE to weigh 4000 lbs? Sure the V8, adds 100 or maybe it's because of the iron block V6 3.8 in the CXL but while it is marginally bigger in exterior dimension, it is sure as heck smaller in usable interior space, compared to the Avalon (or the 500). Maybe a simple change to that aluminum 3.6 might get enough weight off so that FE can go up?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the reason for your experience only has to do with one thing - weight. The 3.8, even back then, probably pushing more like 175 hp but also hauling around several hundred extra pounds. Ford, I believe, was still using the Vulcan pushrod 3.0 at that time, and it couldn't have dreamt of 145 hp although it would have had the MT advantage? Apple and oranges?
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    A recent test in Car & Driver showed, in spite of EPA numbers favoring the CVT, the Nissan Versa did significantly better in MPG with a regular automatic, NOT the CVT. They explained it was because of so much internal friction in the CVT pulleys necessary to make them work right.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Haha. Yeah, larger displacement motors usually have higher numbers for torque and horsepower than little motors (unless you mix turbo-, super- and normally aspirated motors. So what? That was not a point I was arguing.
    You misunderstood my posts.
    I was talking about the shape of the torque curves, not the maximimum numbers. The shape of the torque curves are going to vary among even similar sized and cylindered motors.
    Go back and read again.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Wish I could answer that one. However, all I can say is that when you start with a platform that dates to the early 90s and just start tacking parts on you see the result. I am not sure if going to the 3.6 would help enough in the weight dept, however it certainly would be a start.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "Tempo never had a 3.0 V-6, right? "

    In its last few years it was an option.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    torque curves are very rarely anything but flat, losing maybe 20% of peak at let's say 1.5 -2000 rpm, peaking at 3 or 4, and then trailing off again at 5 or 6, depending on the engine. Things like diesels will, of course, shift the whole curve 'left' as effective torque can be found almost at idle. Hybrids 'feel' quicker than they are becuase those supplemental electric motors in them provide maximum torque at 0 rpm. Overhead cam engines (in this group) will have the tendency to shift that curve right a bit depending on a number of factors including these high tech valve control systems.
    HP= (torque multiplied by rpm) all divided by 5252; so therefore HP curves tend to ascend rapidly and then flatten out at the top as rpm limits are reached. The point I was making that larger engines or 'stroked' engines by definition will almost always have a wide flat torque curves as would any of the engines in this particular group. If you can accept that torque is indeed a measure of instanteous twisting force available (lb. ft.) and it is what you feel in the seat of your pants when you intially hit the accelerator, you should also be able to accept that it is not a prime determinant of how fast a car accelerates, that would be HP, of course (or torque applied over time). Which is our 'Catch 22', the larger the engine, or the fact that it may use pushrods or may have a long stroke relative to its bore etc. can all serve to limit HP (because it is less willing to pick up revs) - while at the same time helping torque.
    There is an interesting article about this in one of the car mags. this month comparing the E320CDI MB diesel to the E350 - and it even says that the CDI (with 400+ lb. ft.)feels quicker (which makes sense). But is it? Not by a long shot, the testers preferring that revvy gas V6 which incidentally has about the same specs. power and torque wise (and technical sophistication) as the Toyota 2GR.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    You say, "...torque curves are very rarely anything but flat..."
    Huh? You must have a unique and very improper definition of flat.
    Torque curves for gas or diesel motors are NEVER flat. If they were flat they would not even be called torque CURVES.
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