Car and Driver has caught a very mildy camouflaged, pre-production Buick LaCrosse sedan testing not far from its offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The svelte new four-door was travelling in a convoy of six other identically equipped models, all showing off their nearly uncovered greenhouse sections and doors.
Buick’s next-generation LaCrosse will ride on General Motors’ all-new Epsilon-replacing E2XX global vehicle architecture, which is also slated to underpin future models from the automaker including the Buick Regal, Opel Insignia and Chevrolet Impala and Malibu. Buick has clearly applied some of the same design cues to the LaCrosse as it did its hot new Avenir concept, however we expect the flagship Avenir to arrive much further down the road than the new LaCrosse.
The engine options in the LaCrosse will likely be plucked from GM’s new line of EcoTec motors which offers up both turbocharged and naturally aspirated four-cylinders, however a V6 isn’t out of the question. Base models will probably be equipped with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive will be offered to compete with products like the the Lincoln MKZ. C&D also thinks the LaCrosse will be the first GM product to receive its nine-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive applications it is co-developing with Ford.
The new LaCrosse is expected to arrive either late this year as a 2016 model, or early next year. Check out the spy shots here, and let us know what you think in the comments.