Buick Park Avenue

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Buick Park Avenue
2001 Buick Park Avenue.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer General Motors (1990-2005)
Shanghai GM (2007-2012)
Production 1990–2005 (U.S.)
2007–2012 (China)
Model years 1991–2005 (U.S.)
2007–2012 (China)
Body and chassis
Class Full-size executive car
Body style 4-door sedan
Chronology
Predecessor Buick Electra
Buick Royaum (China)
Successor Buick Lucerne (U.S.)

The Buick Park Avenue is a full-size luxury car built by General Motors and sold by its Buick division. The nameplate was first used in 1975 for an appearance option package on the Electra 225 Limited. It became an Electra trim level in 1978 and its own model starting in 1991 after the Electra was discontinued. Two generations of the Park Avenue were manufactured in the United States until 2005, while in 2007 the nameplate was revived on a large Buick sedan built by Shanghai GM for the Chinese market based on the Holden Caprice from the WM/WN range. The nameplate is derived from to the affluent New York City boulevard, Park Avenue.


As a sub-model[edit]

The Park Avenue remained part of the Electra model family though 1990 however, Electra references were dropped starting with the 1989 model in conjunction with the addition of the new top trim line Park Avenue Ultra. Some considered the 1989 and 1990 models the "true" first generation Park Avenues but those cars were still technically Electras. The Park Avenue didn't become a standalone model until 1991.

Essence concept car[edit]

The Buick Park Avenue Essence was a concept car designed and engineered by the Buick division of General Motors to showcase advanced technology and styling. First shown in 1989 in a light green metallic color, the Essence made rounds through the auto show circuits later in a light white. Inside the Essence was a wide, sweeping instrument panel that housed a prototype Delco Navicar navigation system among other innovations. Smooth, graceful body lines forecast the eventual production Park Avenue, introduced in 1991. The Essence was powered by the then-new 185 hp version of Buick's 3800 OHV V6 engine.

First generation (1991–1996)[edit]

First generation
1st-Buick-Park-Avenue.jpg
Overview
Production 1990[citation needed]–1996
Model years 1991–1996
Assembly Hamtramck, Michigan, United States
Lake Orion, Michigan, United States
Wentzville, Missouri, United States
Body and chassis
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform C-body
Related Cadillac Sixty Special
Cadillac Fleetwood
Cadillac DeVille
Cadillac Seville
Oldsmobile 88
Oldsmobile 98
Buick LeSabre
Pontiac Bonneville
Powertrain
Engine 3.8 L Buick V6
Transmission 4-speed 4T60-E automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 110.8 in (2,814 mm)
Length 1991–93: 205.2 in (5,212 mm)
1994–96: 205.9 in (5,230 mm)
Width 1991–93: 74.9 in (1,902 mm)
1994–96: 74.1 in (1,882 mm)
Height 1991–93: 55.3 in (1,405 mm)
1994–96: 55.1 in (1,400 mm)

The model year 1991 Park Avenue, introduced in 1990, utilized GM's GM C platform until the C-body was dropped in 1997. The Park Avenue was normally powered by the 3.8 L 3800 Series I V6, with a special Ultra model using a supercharged version starting in 1992 (a very limited number of 1991 Ultras had the supercharged engine as an option). Many consider the supercharged model to be a "sleeper" due to its exceptional acceleration, despite its large size.

The base model Park Avenue came with a 3.8 L naturally-aspirated V6 engine and plush velour interior upgradeable to leather. The Ultra came with a 3.8 L Supercharged V6 engine (optional for 1991 and standard for 1992 and later models) and standard leather interior.

Inspired in great part by the 1989 Park Avenue Essence show car, the Park Avenue's silhouette was often compared to that of contemporary Jaguars and many of its styling cues, including a large 'dollar-grin' grille mounted to the hood, rounded lines, and full-width tail lamps made their way to other Buick models restyled in the 1990s.

The base Park Avenue was available in Europe from 1991 to 1996 and varied from the North American version by featuring a truncated taillamps with separate amber turn signal indicators and red brake lamps, wider numberplate bezel, fitment of rear red fog lamps, headlamps with different lens pattern, white front side running markers, amber front turn signal indicators, side turn signal repeaters, "flagpole" external rear-view mirrors (mirrors on US version are fixed and do not turn), stronger seat belt and anchors, "softer" air bags, metric speedometer and gauges. They are to comply with the European regulatory and safety standards.

This generation of the Park Avenue was the last Buick to be officially marketed by GM in Europe. This move was to reduce the "cluttered" model range that confused the European consumers. After 1996, Cadillac and Chevrolet remained the sole General Motors North American brands to be sold in Europe.

Second generation (1997–2005)[edit]

Second generation
Buick Park Avenue -- 01-07-2012.jpg
Overview
Production 1996–2005[citation needed]
Model years 1997–2005
Assembly Hamtramck, Michigan, United States
Lake Orion, Michigan, United States
Body and chassis
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform G platform[1]
Related Oldsmobile Aurora
Cadillac DeVille
Cadillac Seville
Buick LeSabre
Pontiac Bonneville
Powertrain
Engine 3.8 L Buick V6 (Series II)
Transmission 4-speed 4T65-E automatic
4-speed 4T65-E HD automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 113.8 in (2,890 mm)
Length 206.8 in (5,250 mm)
Width 74.7 in (1,900 mm)
Height 57.4 in (1,460 mm)
Chronology
Predecessor Buick Roadmaster

An updated Park Avenue was released in 1997, it was now built on GM's G platform; however GM chose to continued to refer to it as the C platform.[2] This new generation was powered by updated Series II variants of the 3800. As before, only Ultra models were supercharged. The base trim featured a hood ornament while the Ultra had a less conspicuous tri-shield inset in on the upper edge of the grille. The velour interior trim that was only offered as one of the options for the base model was dropped in favor of the leather trim.

The Park Avenue went largely unchanged until 2003. Trademark Buick ventiports returned that year along with a bolder grille that carried a larger monochromatic tri-shield badge in the center. For 2005 — its final model year — base Park Avenues received the new grille, and previously Ultra-exclusive ventiports. Also, the rear fascia was redone across the line with a prominent chrome bar above the license plate holder with an embossed Park Avenue script and amber turn signal flashers.

The 2004 Park Avenue base was the last USDM Buick to carry a factory hood ornament. The last 3,000 Park Avenues carried Special Edition badging that featured the namesake script underneath a silhouette of the New York City skyline. 300 of these were painted with a special two-tone black-on-platinum finish. Production ended on June 18, 2004.[citation needed]

The Park Avenue was discontinued after 2005 and in 2006 was replaced by the Buick Lucerne. The Lucerne also replaced the higher-volume LeSabre.

Third generation (2007–2012)[edit]

Main article: Holden Caprice (WM)
Third Generation
Buick Park Avenue China 2012-05-27.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer GM Shanghai
Also called WM Statesman/Caprice/WN Caprice
Chevrolet Caprice
Production 2007–2012
Assembly Shanghai, China
Elizabeth, South Australia
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Platform GM Zeta platform
Related Chevrolet Lumina
Holden VE Commodore
Pontiac G8
Chevrolet Camaro (fifth generation)
Holden VF Commodore
Chevrolet SS
Powertrain
Engine 2.8 L LP1 V6
3.6 L LY7 V6
Dimensions
Length 5,175 mm (203.7 in)
Width 1,899 mm (74.8 in)
Height 1,480 mm (58.3 in)
Chronology
Predecessor Buick Royaum
Back of the Buick Park Avenue

In 2007, General Motors reintroduced the Park Avenue nameplate in China on a luxury sedan that replaced the Buick Royaum. Like its predecessor, the vehicle is based on the Australian-built Holden Caprice (this time on the contemporary WM/WN generation), though, unlike the Royaum, it is assembled by Shanghai GM from CKD kits.[3] It is offered in three trim levels: Comfort, Elite, and Flagship.

The current Park Avenue is powered by Australian-built versions of the GM High Feature engine. The standard engine is the 2.8 L LP1, while the 3.6 L LY7 is available as an option on the Elite and Flagship models. The engine control unit is a Bosch E77 32-bit ECM processor.[4]

Type Displacement Power Torque
2.8 L LP1 V6 2,792 cc (170 cu in) 150 kW (201 hp) at 6000 rpm 265 N·m (195 lbf·ft) at 3000 rpm
3.6 L LY7 V6 3,564 cc (217 cu in) 187 kW (251 hp) at 6500 rpm 340 N·m (250 lbf·ft) at 3200 rpm

In 2010, new powertrains were offered, 3 L SIDI (270 bhp) and 3.6 L SIDI (310 bhp) displacing the old 2.8 V6 and 3.6 V6.

The third-generation Park Avenue is not available in North America. The car was discontinued in China in 2012[5].

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frame, Phil (16 January 1995). "GM H CARS MOVE TO G PLATFORM". Automotive News. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Frame, Phil (16 January 1995). "GM H CARS MOVE TO G PLATFORM". Automotive News. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Dornin, Tim (2007-04-11). "WM Statesman derived Buick to be assembled from CKD kits and sold in China". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  4. ^ Nunez, Alex (April 10, 2007). "Buick reintroduces the Park Avenue...in China". Autoblog. 
  5. ^ "Buick Park Avenue Is Coming to an End". ChinaAutoWeb. 2012, Octoder 22. Retrieved 2014, September 2. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Buick Park Avenue at Wikimedia Commons