Looks aside, what aspect of a vehicle is most directly observable? The answer, according to BMW director of Acoustics and Vibration Dr. Peter Zeller, is its *acoustic* behavior.
Refinement is a @buickusa cornerstone. Whatever else you might expect from the brand - the #ThatsABuick campaign suggests that nothing is set in stone - you'll agree that a hushed demeanor is vital.
These days, #QuietTuning is a key part of Buick's appeal. It began in earnest with the 2005 #LaCrosse.
The idea was to chase down wind, tire, and powertrain noises in a holistic process, rather than wantonly adding weight by liberally spraying damping to cover up #NVH deficiencies.
The engineers started with the body itself, and laminated - "Quiet" - steel. Performance manager for noise and vibration, Dan Nolley, described it to @wardsauto as a sandwich: "Two layers of steel separated by a viscoelastic layer… a goo that can be tuned." There were no exposed corners or seams, and laminated steel was 100% recyclable.
Next, windshield and front-side windows used laminated glass, essentially a glass-and-viscoelastic sandwich. It reduced both wind and engine noise, and no one else in the midsize segment had it.
At the exhaust, a Helmholzt resonator was an unusual and expensive measure. It posed serious packaging challenges in a tight engine bay, admitted chief engineer Ed Hufnagle.
Expanded baffles were placed in the roof pillars. Melt-on sound deadeners peppered the entire lower body structure.
Despite all this, some noise still came in through the floor. So AcT Fiber absorptive carpet was deployed across the cabin and trunk. The advanced blend of inter-locked synthetic fibers was tuned for each Buick, by controlling the fibers' length.
The exhaustive development work paid off. "Buick's vault-like sound management is absolutely stunning," reported Ward’s Auto World’s Brian Corbett. "Road noise is totally muffled. Wind noise is nothing more than a gentle breeze. The engine proffers a distant and soothing hum."
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