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Buick For 1997

By Carey Russ

According to Buick General Manager Edward H. Mertz, 1997 is "the year Buick is putting it all together." The 1997 LeSabre was introduced early last year. Two of the company's most important models, the flagship Park Avenue and midsized Century, have been completely redesigned. The 1997 Regal will have a late introduction. Most of the others get minor upgrades.

Park Avenue and Park Avenue Ultra

Buick's premier models are all-new this year. They are a second-generation implementation of the architecture used for the Riviera, and blend state-of-the-art technology with Buick tradition.

The Park Avenue and the upscale Park Avenue Ultra share a rigid chassis with safety-cage construction and 4-wheel antilock disc brakes. It is designed for a quiet, solid ride, and responsive handling. Power comes from the 3800 Series II V6 engine, used in 205- horsepower atmospheric form in the Park and 240-horsepower supercharged form in the Ultra.


The midsized Century is a completely new car for 1997. Emphasizing style and comfort, it is roomier and quieter than the car it replaces. Available in two trim levels, the 4-door Century is designed to satisfy the wishes of midsized sedan buyers. Exterior styling is contemporary Buick. The interior is built for 6 people, and has plenty of standard comfort features. Power is from a 3.1-liter, 160- horsepower V6, and the new chassis has independent front and rear suspension and antilock brakes.


Production of the 1996 Regal will continue into the fall. The 1997 1/2 Regal will be introduced in the 1997 calendar year.

The new Regal continues to be Buick's sports sedan. It is slightly larger than the previous version in nearly all dimensions, and is available in two trim levels. Like the previous Regal, the LS uses the 3800 Series II V6 engine, which produces 195 horsepower. Unlike the previous Regal, however, the GS model will be equipped with the 240- horsepower supercharged version of the 3800 Series II, making it a fine heir to the performance heritage of the Regal Grand National and GNX of a decade ago.


The 1997 LeSabre made its debut in early 1996. It continues through the 1997 calendar year.


Buick's personal luxury coupe gets a new transmission, suspension refinements, and minor changes to standard and optional equipment packages. It is powered by the 3800 Series II V6 engine in either 205-horsepower normally-aspirated or 240-horsepower supercharged form.


Buick's premium 6-passenger compact is offered in sedan or coupe styles. It received a major facelift last year. Additional standard equipment is new this year.

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