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GM puts the byte on Buick LaCrosse

Hot Crosse: Buick’s LaCrosse large sedan is based on GM’s new E2XX front-wheel-drive architecture that is expected to provide the basis for the next Commodore.

Powerful electronics in Buick flagship point to amped-up new-gen Holden Commodore


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16 Mar 2016

GM HOLDEN’S next-generation Commodore is in line to get a power of computing grunt if the related Buick LaCrosse is any guide.

Just now being rolled out in China ahead of its North American showroom debut around mid-year, the front-wheel-drive LaCrosse large sedan is controlled by no fewer than 31 electronic control units (ECUs) – almost twice as many as the previous LaCrosse.

The ECUs and various sensors and electronic gadgets are linked by eight data Controller Area Network buses (CAN bus) to handle powertrain, chassis, safety and connectivity operations.

General Motors says the system can handle vast amounts of data for a multitude of functions, from shifting gears at the appropriate time, looking out for pedestrians and maintaining the cabin temperature.

The sophisticated system is a first for Buick, which means it might well be a first for Australian sister brand Holden soon.

The LaCrosse large sedan is based on GM’s new E2XX front/all-wheel-drive platform that will also underpin the new-generation Opel Insignia and Buick Regal twins that are thought to be the basis for the next Commodore due when Holden closes its local Commodore manufacturing operation late next year.

Part of the need for such powerful electronics stems from the myriad new safety systems including adaptive cruise control, pedestrian collision detection, high beam alert and an advanced automatic parking system.

The crash avoidance system’s long-distance radar system, front megapixel camera, sensors and “external object calculation modules” are now all tied into one system for a faster decision-making process.

A continuous damping suspension available on some variants is said to monitor the road 100 times a second.

The infotainment system also requires greater computing power, thanks to greater sophistication. It not only features latest technologies such as Apple CarPlay, but also 4G OnStar satellite/cellular connection and a Wi-Fi system that can connect up to seven devices simultaneously.

The Buick LaCrosse was unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles motor show in November, replacing the five-year-old second-generation version that is now in run-out in the US.

For the first time, Buick will take a version of the LaCrosse, the plug-in hybrid, from Buick’s Shanghai plant for sale in North America.

The bulk of Buick LaCrosse production will come out of GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant that has just started production of the Cadillac CT6 flagship.

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