LOS ANGELES – With Lexus, Acura and Audi as its competitive bogies, Buick unveils the ’08 Enclave cross/utility vehicle on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Without the possibility of a Mulligan, Buick gets a hand from golf icon and spokesman Tiger Woods as the brand tries to make a game of it in the import-heavy West Coast market.

Appearing in CX and CXL trims, the Enclave is powered by General Motors Corp.’s new 3.6L DOHC V-6 with variable valve timing. It produces 275 hp and 251 lb.-ft. (340 Nm) of torque and is linked to GM’s new 6-speed transmission, which comes to the Buick brand for the first time.

GM claims the transmission improves performance 7% and fuel economy up to 4% vs. current front-drive 4-speed automatics. The Enclave has a towing capacity of up to 4,500 lbs. (2,041 kg).

Offered in front- or all-wheel drive, the Enclave can be configured for seven or eight passengers, and with 116.2 cu.-ft. (3.3 cu.-m) of cargo room when both the third and second row seats are folded down. That beats the ’07 Lexus RX350, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 and Acura MDX.

Meanwhile, Saab uses the auto show here to ring in its 60th year of sales in the U.S. with Anniversary Editions of the 9-3 Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible and 9-5 Aero Sedan and SportCombi.

The new editions are glazed with Ice Blue metallic exteriors; 17-in. alloy wheels; black leather sport seats with gray inserts and embossed SAAB logo; and dark walnut interior trim.

The 9-3 2.0T Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible 60th Anniversary Editions include XM Satellite Radio and a 6-disc CD changer; dual-power front seats; and front fog lights.

The 9-5 Aero Sedan and SportCombi also get a “Visibility Package,” which folds in options such as Saab Parking Assistance, rain-sensing wipers, xenon headlamps and auto-dimming outside mirrors.

The 60th Anniversary Editions will appear in Saab dealerships in early 2007. The package is a $1,825 upgrade for the 9-3 Sedan ($26,915), SportCombi ($27,915) and Convertible ($37,515), but Saab says it contains $2,823 worth of extra features.

For the 9-5 Sedan ($35,115) and SportCombi ($36,115), the anniversary package runs $1,595 and boasts $2,245 worth of extras, Saab says.

Meanwhile, Cadillac unveils its limited luxury edition Platinum Series for the XLR roadster, and STS and DTS sedans. The Platinum Series aims to move the luxury needle for Cadillac similar to what the V-series was designed to do for the brand’s performance image.

Platinum models include handcrafted interiors, chrome, authentic wood and luxurious upholstery. The luxury level interiors already appear on the ’07 SRX cross/utility.

The Cadillac XLR Platinum will be available in first-quarter 2007.

Also premiering in L.A. is Cadillac’s stretched DTS-L luxury sedan. The model is specially designed for livery service and executive luxury car fleets. Launching in early 2007, the DTS-L stretches out to 215.6 ins. (547.6 cm) end to end – a full 8 ins. (20.3 cm) longer than the standard DTS. The 275 hp 4.6L Northstar V-8 engine powers the DTS-L.

The car was inspired by the DTS Presidential Limousine, used by the U.S. Secret Service and the president at the January 2005 inauguration.

Cadillac will roll out a revamped CTS sedan at the Detroit auto show in January.

scanderson@wardsauto.com