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2000 Buick LaCrosse Concept

The 2000 Buick LaCrosse Concept made its debut as a five-passenger sedan, showcasing a blend of style, functionality, and versatility. This concept vehicle presented a unique transformation feature, effortlessly converting into an open-paneled 'pickup-type' bed with the simple command of a voice prompt. The Buick LaCrosse Concept boasted a design that combined modern elements with nods to Buick's heritage, featuring a vertical-bar grille, cross-car rear lighting, 'portholes,' and a distinctive 'sweepsear' side profile.

Roger W. Adams, Buick's GM, described the LaCrosse as the latest evolution of the classic American luxury sedan, emphasizing the brand's commitment to offering luxury and comfort without compromise. The concept vehicle came with advanced features and versatile capabilities, including a transversely mounted engine with front-wheel drive and a unibody construction with rubber-isolated front and rear subframes. Various roof and cargo bay configurations further added to its adaptability.

Under the hood, the LaCrosse Concept showcased a 4.2-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 engine. This premium V8, adorned with Buick branding, was paired with an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The engine generated an impressive 265 horsepower at an estimated 5600 rpm, accompanied by 284 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.

The concept vehicle's performance was backed by 21-inch Michelin run-flat tires, a four-wheel independent suspension, and Rambo four-wheel antilock disc brakes. The Buick design team also incorporated innovative features, such as the tinted-glass sunroof, which could be controlled by voice commands to open for ventilation or offer a view of the stars. The sunroof's retraction would also cause the back window and trunk lid to slide forward, transforming the trunk into an open cargo bay. Another voice command could reconfigure the rear seat to provide additional load floor capacity.

Buick's GM Design team dedicated their efforts to create a utility-focused vehicle while maintaining an elegant flagship appearance. The LaCrosse Concept featured distinctive design elements, including bi-metallic wheel and exhaust-tip accents, clear headlamp lenses, and an intricate accent on the rear edge of the hood.

Despite its multifunctional capabilities, the Buick LaCrosse Concept offered the same interior space as the 2000 Buick Park Avenue Luxury sedan. However, its longer 121.7-inch wheelbase exceeded the Park Avenue's by 7.9 inches, highlighting its potential for enhanced versatility and performance. The Buick LaCrosse Concept served as an intriguing exploration of combining luxury, functionality, and distinctive design cues in a single vehicle.