In the automotive space, you often see front-wheel-drive 4-cylinders and V6s or rear-wheel-drive V8s. On the other hand, you very rarely see a V8 in a front-wheel-drive application — with good reason. They’re large engines that take up a lot of space, making them hard to fit in a front-wheel-drive car. Plus, they produce a lot of torque, which leads to torque steer in front-wheel-drive applications. Still, that didn’t stop GM from finding a way to put a V8 into a front-wheel-drive Buick LaCrosse.
Yes, you could get a Buick LaCrosse with a front-wheel-drive V8 — and it was actually kind of awesome. It was called the LaCrosse Super, and it was supposed to be the start of a new performance sub-brand for Buick, somewhat like the SS nameplate for Chevys.
In comparison to the Chevy SS trims, the LaCrosse Super was focused on a more-refined performance experience. Buick gave the car an advanced suspension setup that increased the LaCrosse’s handling abilities while also maintaining a smoother ride than most Lexus models at the time. The aforementioned LS4 that GM put under the hood produced a whopping 300 horsepower with surprisingly little torque steer, giving the LaCrosse Super a top speed of 150 mph and a 0-to-60 time of 5.7 seconds, making it one of the quicker sedans you could buy in 2008. The top-trim Buick LaCrosse Super even cost about $2,000 less than the Camry-based Lexus ES350, with its paltry V6.
Unfortunately, it was released in 2008, which was a bit of a red-letter year for the company. After the recession hit, GM took a bailout from the government, and projects like this were cut pretty quickly. The Super badge didn’t evolve into a sub-brand as the company hoped, and the LaCrosse Super only lived for two model years. Now that GM is doing better, we could imagine a time when there’s a revival of the Super badge — but unfortunately, I doubt we’ll ever see a front-wheel-drive V8 again. Find a Buick LaCrosse for sale