Special Coverage

logoNew York Int’l Auto Show

Buick revives its luxury legacy with the return of the “Super” trim, a combination of premium creature comforts, exterior styling upgrades and increased horsepower.

Not seen on a Buick for 50 years, the Super badge arrives as the brand readies the launch of its new Enclave cross/utility vehicle and tries to create buzz for its other products ahead of next month’s New York Auto Show.

Due out this fall as an ’08 model, the midsize LaCrosse sedan is the first vehicle to get the Super treatment, with a 5.3L V-8 small-block engine that generates 300 hp – up 60 hp from the current top-level LaCrosse CXS, powered by a 3.6L V-6.

The Super mill churns out 323 lb.-ft. (437 Nm) of torque, motivating the LaCrosse to 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 5.7 seconds, Buick says.

Foreshadowing Buick’s future design direction, Super-edition vehicles, as well as the ’08 Enclave, get a shapelier “waterfall” grille that replaces the oval-like grille on current-generation models.

Side portholes, already on the Lucerne sedan, also accent the LaCrosse Super exterior. Other details include a new hood, front fascia with chrome-covered fog lamps and exhaust tips and rear decklid spoiler.

“We’ve taken the execution that represented the Enclave and cascaded that to other vehicles,” says Edward J. Zellner, vehicle chief engineer-premium mid-luxury vehicle line team.

A Super version of the Lucerne, Buick’s top-volume vehicle, will receive the 5.3L Northstar V-8 for an additional 17 hp over the Lucerne CXS and will arrive in spring 2008 as an ’08 model.

The Super designation is part of an overall marketing push that will highlight Buick’s premium history.

“This is what we mean when we say we’re doing real Buicks again,” Buick General Manager Steve Shannon says in a media preview for the auto show.

The LaCrosse line is built at General Motors Corp.’s Oshawa, ON, Canada, plant. The Lucerne is built at GM’s Hamtramck, MI, plant.

Buick has yet to release pricing on the Super lineup.