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Did You Know You Could Get a Buick LaCrosse With a V8?

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

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  1. Hate to burst your bubble, but the paltry V6 in the 08 Lexus ES made 272 hp, and could get that car to 60mph in 6.2 seconds. Despite the big torque advantage the Buick had, it still only had a 4 speed auto. When you combine that with the Fischer-Price interiors GM was famous for, I’d pick an old ES any day, no matter how boring they are

  2. If it was anything like the W-Body Chevy Impala SS, it was awful. V8+FWD= lots of torque steer and an inability to put any power down. Especially when it didn’t even get a limited slip differential.

  3. Yup. It was off the same updated W-platform as the ’06 Impala SS that had the same engine, so did the ’06 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. None were very good, although I think the Buick is probably the least known and coolest. 

    They were at the end of their lifespan anyway by 2010. The W platform had been around for over two decades and needed to be replaced! Next gen platforms seem to always have a AWD option now to get around the torque-steer issues. 
  4. Cadillac had sideways Northstar V8’s in FWD applications for quite a while, and prior to that they had all sorts of V8 FWD setups, going back to the 70’s Eldorado.

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