The outgoing LaCrosse rides on a stretched variant of GM’s Epsilon II platform shared with the Chevy Impala and Cadillac XTS; the shorter version of the same platform underpins the new, eighth-generation Chevrolet Malibu, current Buick Regal and its trans-Atlantic brother, the Opel-Vauxhall Insignia. And while Auto News believes that the next-gen LaCrosse will ride on the replacement to the Epsilon architecture — the new E2XX platform, which will underpin the 2017 Buick Regal, our own intel suggests that the architecture that will really underpin the 2017 Buick LaCrosse will be called P2XX; it’s still an E2XX underneath, but it’s longer, wider, and is meant for premium vehicles like the LaCrosse.
It’s thanks to its new architecture that the new LaCrosse will go in size, a fact that is supported by spy shots of the vehicle. And though the striking Buick Avenir Concept was based on GM’s rear-drive Omega platform that allows the show car to have a healthy dash-to-axle ratio and longitudinal engine placement, the production-intent 2017 LaCrosse won’t be as lucky — as E2XX/P2XX are front-drive, transverse-engined platforms. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the Avenir’s styling elements peppered into Buick’s (for now) biggest sedan; we say for now hoping that the Avenir Concept goes into production as a true Buick flagship that slots in above (and is bigger than) the LaCrosse sometime in the future.
In addition, the switch to E2XX/P2XX will also result in considerable weight savings for the LaCrosse. We expect it to shed as much as 300 pounds, as much as the all-new, ninth-generation 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.
While powertrain options won’t be known until the new Buick LaCrosse is revealed, we wouldn’t be surprised to see GM’s ubiquitous 2.0L I4 LTG turbo four-cylinder as the base engine and the new 3.6L V6 LGX as the optional powerplant. A full hybrid is possible.
Inside, the 2017 LaCrosse will have the latest in-vehicle technology as well as active safety/driver assistance features.
When it does arrive in the fall 2016 as a 2017 model, the 2017 Buick LaCrosse will be in a class that’s more or less by itself, since the 2017 Buick Regal will grow in size to take on the Lexus ES and Acura TL. As such, the LaCrosse’s closest competitor could end up being the new Acura RLX. In addition, the new LaCrosse could make its way to Europe as an Opel-Vauxhall model that would slot in above the Insignia, though that is currently a very nascent rumor.