If true, the slow-selling flagship sedan could pull in Buick loyalists seeking more luxury.

Last year Buick launched its luxurious Avenir nameplate to become the top-tier trim level for the brand. Now, the folks at GM Inside News believe the next vehicle to get the Avenir treatment will be Buick’s flagship sedan, the LaCrosse. It seems the secret was revealed through documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which included a VIN decoder from GM for 2018 models.

Through that decoder – and specifically the fifth positon in a LaCrosse VIN –  GM Inside News determines that an Avenir trim will be offered in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Power is expected to come from the automaker’s familiar 3.6-liter V8, distributed to the wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

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Going by what we’ve seen on other Avenir models from Buick, the LaCrosse Avenir will likely offer a range of higher-end trim choices for the interior, with more color and contrast stitching. The tech offerings should go up as well, with GM’s current suite of driver assists and safety systems being offered. Outside, expect the LaCrosse Avenir to feature modest visual upgrades not unlike what we’ve seen on the Enclave. New lighting options and perhaps a refreshed grille are likely, and special Avenir wheels are almost a certainty.

As for price, it’s hard to say. If we return to the Enclave as an example, there’s a $5,400 price gap between Premium and Avenir editions, so it’s safe to say a similar increase would be likely for the LaCrosse. That would push the LaCrosse Avenir with all-wheel drive to a base price of over $48,000.

With sedan sales taking a tremendous hit this year, adding a premium trim level to a segment where many automakers are looking to scale back on models is intriguing to say the least. Buick sales overall have decreased 5.8 percent through 2017, but LaCrosse sales are down more than 21 percent.

Source: GM Inside News

Gallery: 2017 Buick LaCrosse: Review

Photo by: John Neff