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2005 BUICK LaCROSSE: EXTERIOR DESIGN

For Buick's 2005 LaCrosse, designers created a clean form, yet one featuring a level of detail to reflect its focus on American style and elegance.

"We developed an overall design that pays homage to Buick's proud heritage, yet does so in a very contemporary way," said Dennis W. Burke, design chief for LaCrosse.

A goal for LaCrosse was to achieve a level of fit and finish not only equal to the best of its competitors - but also with those costing substantially more.

Consumer studies confirm that tight gap tolerances between body panels and other components, such as lights and mirrors, favorably influence quality perceptions. With LaCrosse, all exterior gaps are maintained in the 3.0 to 3.5 mm range, marking a reduction of about 40 percent from its predecessor models and putting Buick's newest entry on par with premium sedan benchmarks.

Unmistakably Buick

Starting with the trademark elliptical grille, designers gave the 2005 LaCrosse a more pronounced appearance. On each side of the prominent grille are four independent headlamps with a high level of intricate detail. Functionally, the new design improves headlamp performance by 35 percent when compared with Regal/Century. Amber side marker lights are integrated into the outer lenses and are tapered into the front fenders.

Sculpted forms in the hood directly above the headlamps sweep back toward the windshield, accentuating the premium appearance. Like the grille, LaCrosse's lower front fascia is formed from thermoplastic olefin (TPO), a durable material that resists chipping and denting. Fascias for all CXS models include compact but extremely efficient high-intensity projector fog lamps.

Side profile: a more grounded stance

Exterior designers gave LaCrosse a much tighter relationship between the body's wheel openings and tire/wheel combinations. Wheel-to-body openings are reduced by 15 mm (about 5/8 of an inch), giving LaCrosse a more grounded yet agile appearance. Between the wheel wells are rocker panels made of TPO for increased durability and chip resistance. Rocker panels on CX models have a grained, graphite finish, while CXL and CXS versions have a glossy, body-colored finish.

Compared to its predecessors, the most noticeable change in the upper body area on the LaCrosse is in the rear quarter windows, which have been moved into the C-pillars from the rear doors. Functionally, these crescent-shaped quarter windows help reduce rear blind spots, while providing a more open feeling from inside. All models have chrome-finished stainless steel window moldings, which tie in with other chrome accents. Elliptical body-colored side view mirrors are fixed in position to reduce wind noise and create a cleaner appearance. CXS models have standard chromed door handles.

Larger tires, 'flangeless' wheel design

An important design element on any vehicle is how the wheels and tires relate to the body. The standard wheel on LaCrosse is a 16-inch diameter design, up from 15 inches on Century/Regal. A bold eight-spoke bolt-on composite cover with an embossed Buick emblem is standard on the LaCrosse CX. Styled wheels are available in either a 16- or 17-inch size, depending on model. The 17-inch rims, standard on the uplevel CXS, have a "flangeless" design that helps create an even larger appearance by enabling the spokes to extend all the way to the tire. The thinner spoke design also enables more visual access to the brake rotors and calipers.

Rear view: clean and elegant

"While the front end immediately communicates a brand identity - and Buicks always have a strong front design - the rear is what many motorists really spend time looking at, driving or sitting in traffic," said Burke. "So we created a clean, elegant rear appearance, with clear identification of both the make and model, and using the large, chrome plated tri-shield emblem as a focal point."

At each corner are elliptical taillamps, each of which incorporates all lighting functions, including the reverse lamps. Each lamp has an interior lens with a reflex for added depth. All three red-lens functions (running lights, brake lights and signals) are actually illuminated at all times and brighten according to function. The reverse lamps are also incorporated into the corner lenses, significantly improving nighttime illumination for drivers when backing up. The center high-mounted stoplight is now positioned on the interior rear parcel shelf for better visibility, and uses light-emitting diode (LED) technology, enabling a thinner, sleeker design and more rapid illumination response.

The rear deck lid incorporates a horizontal scallop between the backup light lenses, giving the LaCrosse a more taut look. The bottom of the deck lid extends into the fascia, providing a lower lift-over height.

LaCrosse will be available in eight exterior colors for 2005:

- Sterling Silver Metallic
- Steelmist Metallic
- Cashmere Metallic
- Superior Blue Metallic
- Glacier Blue Metallic
- White Opal
- Black Onyx
- Cardinal Red Metallic
 

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When will the Buick website show the available interior and exterior colors for the Lacrosse?? Can't wait to see it silver exterior and ebony interiror!!!
 

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What GM needs to do is what Chrysler did, start making cars that more people want, beginn :angry: ing with the styling. The cars have been designed by committees and bean-counters for too long, and it shows. The original Intrepid, and it's stablemates were designed by Lamborghini (a bold gamble at the time!). Buick's line-up has the dullest styling, and needs the most attention. This car looks like a good (but tiny) start. Buick has the quality, but such timid styling doesn't stand up to the competition. Buick is my favorite GM division, and deserves much better.
 

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Go to the Buick website and look at the interior of the LaCrosse. Then, look at the interiors of the Century and Regal. It is a MAJOR improvment.
 

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What GM needs to do is what Chrysler did, start making cars that more people want, beginn  ing with the styling. The cars have been designed by committees and bean-counters for too long, and it shows. The original Intrepid, and it's stablemates were designed by Lamborghini (a bold gamble at the time!). Buick's line-up has the dullest styling, and needs the most attention. This car looks like a good (but tiny) start. Buick has the quality, but such timid styling doesn't stand up to the competition. Buick is my favorite GM division, and deserves much better.

Yeah GM.....be more like Chrysler...get bought out by Mercedes!

The Intrepid and Concorde, for all their cab-fowards looks and style, probably turned more people off to Chrysler due to their many problems..


Go to the Buick website for more photos.......the LaCROSSE is a gorgeous car!!
 
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