The History Of Buick PARK Avenue
The Buick Park Avenue is a full-size car built by General Motors and sold by its Buick division. The nameplate was first used since 1975 as a top trim level of the Buick Electra, and the Park Avenue became a standalone model in 1991, replacing the Electra. 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.
The model's name pays homage to the affluent New York City boulevard, Park Avenue.
The 1991 Park Avenue utilized GM's GM C platform until the C-body was dropped in 1997. The Park Avenue was normally powered by the 3.8L 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.
Inspired in great part by the 1989 Park Avenue Essence show car, the Park Avenue's silhouette was often compared to that of contemporary Jaguar Cars 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. While not the largest vehicle offered by Buick, as that distinction belonged to the Roadmaster, the Park Avenue was the most luxurious and considered the flagship of the marque.
The next generation Park Avenue debuted as a 1997 model, but many feel that the previous generation (1991-1996) had sleeker lines and when fitted with the optional Ultra package, looked like a much more expensive car than the 1997-2005 models. It is also felt that the interior of the 1991-1996 Park Avenues had a cleaner looking, and more upscale look than that of the second generation.
The base Park Avenue was available in Europe from 1991 until 1996 and varied from the North American version by featuring revised taillights with amber lenses and larger license plate opening, amber parking lights, front side marker lights relocated from below the cornering lights to behind the front wheels on the front fenders, larger outside mirrors and a flat hood ornament to meet contemporary European regulatory and safety standards.
An updated Park Avenue was released in 1997, still a C-body but new in 1997, it is a similar platform to the Buick Riviera's G-body. It was for the first time basically the same size as the H-body Buick LeSabre, this generation was powered by updated Series II variants of the indomitable 3800 Buick V6 engine. 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 grill.
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.
This generation of the Park Avenue was, as of 2008, the last Buick to be officially marketed by GM in Europe. The 2004 Park Avenue base was the last USDM Buick to carry a factory hood ornament. The last 3000 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.
The Park Avenue was discontinued after 2005 and in 2006 was replaced by the Buick Lucerne. The Lucerne also replaces the higher-volume LeSabre.
In 2007, General Motors reintroduced the Park Avenue nameplate in the People's Republic of China on a luxury sedan that replaced the Buick Royaum. Like its predecessor, the vehicle is based on the Australian-built Holden Statesman (this time on the contemporary WM generation), though, unlike the Royaum, it is assembled by GM Shanghai from CKD kits.
The Park Avenue is powered by Australian-built versions of the GM High Feature engine. The engine is available with two different displacements, a 2.8 L (201bhp) and a 3.6 L (250bhp) version. The engine control unit is a Bosch E77 32-bit ECM processor. Buick/ Shanghai GM is offering the Park Avenue in five different versions, ranging from the 2.8 L Comfort (RMB328,800) to the 3.6-liter Flagship (RMB 498,800).
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