Rear-drive returns to Buick. by Hans Lehmann (2005-02-28) Having given Cadillac a shot in the arm with lots of new models, now General Motors is turning its attention to Buick, with a multi-year effort to replace Buick's entire lineup of cars. First was the 2005 Buick LaCrosse, which replaced the Buick Century. Next will be the 2006 Buick Lucerne, a stylish replacement for the Buick LeSabre. Buick has not yet shown the third new sedan, but these latest spy photos, taken in Australia, give the first glimpse of the all-new rear-wheel-drive full-size sedan which will be Buick's new top-of-the-line model, and will replace the Buick Park Avenue for the 2008 model year. One possibility for a name, used by Buick on concepts before, is Lausanne. This new sedan will be a premium model, once again raising the level of luxury and performance beyond that of the model it replaces. A V-8 engine is expected, of about 6.0 liters of displacement. The fact that it was caught under test in Australia is no fluke. The new Buick is being developed by GM's Australian car division, Holden. In fact, Holden will not only design this as-yet-unnamed Buick, but Holden will build it in Australia as well, and GM will import it to the U.S. The prototypes reveal a very rounded roofline with steeply slanted windshield and rear window. At the front are big headlight clusters with small-diameter high-intensity headlights along with turn signals and parking lights that result in a two by two matrix of lights behind a large clear cover - covered with tape for disguise on the prototypes. The rear taillight cluster is also large, and has multiple round lights. A few luxury touches include parking sensors in both the front and rear bumpers, and lights in the lower portion of the side mirrors. The grille of the black prototype is disguised with lots of black tape, but looking closely at the white car shows details of the grille design. A bold ring of chrome surrounds the grille opening, plus four horizontal bars crossing the grille are also trimmed with chrome at the front edge of each bar. At the grille's center is a large chrome Buick emblem. There's plenty of bright chrome to put "bling" into the grille of this top-of-the-line cruiser. The rear end carries on a Buick design tradition, with a horizontal chrome bar across the trunk lid, just above the license plate, with raised letters spelling out Buick. The chrome bar is covered with black tape on the prototypes, but a close-up photo not shown here clearly shows the Buick name under the tape.