1999 Buick Park Avenue Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos – The Car Connection

31 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 1999 Buick Park Avenue Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos – The Car Connection
Buick Park Avenue

1999 Buick Park Avenue – Review

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SEDONA, Arizona — Out on a long airport taxi ramp in the red rock colony of Sedona, we hurled big American luxury sedans down the tarmac to determine which is fastest from standing start to speed at 60 miles an hour.

If you tallied the number of cylinders in the engines of these competitive sedans, you might well predict winners from the outset. Two of the vehicles contained hefty V-8 powerplants, while the third drew from only six cylinders.

Yet analysis of test results revealed the fastest times, by almost a second, came from the sedan equipped with the V-6 engine — not coincidentally, the one that also produces by far the best fuel-economy figures by several miles per gallon.

How can a smaller engine beat the bigger ones? Simple answer. Supercharging.

Buick Park Avenue

The fastest sedan in these tests, Buick’s elegant flagship Park Avenue Ultra, uses a mechanical supercharger to increase horsepower from the 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine. Before attaching the supercharger, the engine musters 205 hp. Add the supercharger and output climbs to 240 hp.

More importantly, torque generated from this horsepower — the engine’s muscle used to turn the wheels — also climbs dramatically through supercharging, but at lower engine speeds, which means there’s more strength available quicker through lower gears.

By applying a supercharger to a smaller engine like the V-6 of the Park Avenue Ultra, power and torque numbers climb significantly without adversely affecting fuel economy. And supercharging amounts to a simple mechanical idea. Essentially, a blower driven by the engine forces more air into each cylinder to enrich the mix of fuel and oxygen required for combustion.

This boost of air in turn generates more power with each cycle of ignition without requiring more fuel to do so. And sometimes, in a vehicle like the Park Avenue, supercharging makes more sense than plunking down a V-8.

Inside and all about

In 1997, the Park Avenue was redesigned for the better. Compared to its predecessor, it measured longer in wheelbase, broader in width and taller in stance.

This bigger-taller-wider approach to automotive design translated most significantly to more interior room in the front seat, since head space increased by almost an inch and shoulder room grew by 1.3 inches. Rear passengers also got more room to stretch, with space for hips increasing by another 1.5 inches and leg room enlarging by almost an inch.

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