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Old 11-10-2006, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default GM seeks quiet riot for Buick Enclave

GM seeks quiet riot for Buick Enclave


GM seeks quiet riot for Enclave

2008 crossover boasts soundproofing features in a bid to compete with Lexus, Mercedes-Benz

MILFORD -- General Motors Corp. will employ an arsenal of soundproofing technology in hopes of making its upcoming Buick Enclave crossover one of the quietest rides on the road.

Buick officials said Thursday that the brand will face off with the likes of Lexus and Mercedes-Benz when the five-door luxury crossover debuts next year as a 2008 model. The Enclave will be built at GM's new $1 billion plant in Delta Township near Lansing.

GM hopes a sleek exterior, laminated steel and perforated leather seats that absorb sound will quiet critics and sell the Enclave to a younger, more affluent crowd. The features are the latest incarnation of Buick's QuietTuning technology, used in such models as the Lucerne and LaCrosse sedans.

"This technology is very powerful and very simple," Buick general manager Steve Shannon said Thursday at the GM Proving Grounds, where the Enclave underwent sound testing in high-tech wind tunnels and on low-tech bumpy roads. "This is basically a luxury car that just happens to seat seven or eight people."

A quiet ride is not a perk, but an expectation in the luxury market, and it's an area where Buick has fallen short in the past, said Brian Moody, road test editor for Edmunds.com. "People who are purchasing luxury vehicles expect a certain serenity or quietness with a vehicle," Moody said. "If they don't get that, it seems cheap."

GM has been on a mission to reincarnate Buick as an American version of Lexus, Toyota Motor Co.'s popular luxury line.

Buick, while still profitable, has continued to lose longtime customers. U.S. sales dropped 15 percent in the first 10 months of 2006 from the same period last year.

Among the Enclave's soundproofing features:

Acoustically laminated windshield glass that sandwiches a sound-absorbing glass panel between inner and outer panels.

Soundproofing foam in 28 places that expands to seal openings that could let noise in.

Tires with specially designed tread to avoid the noise associated with larger tires.

A team of engineers worked to ensure the Enclave absorbs sounds, reduces noise made by the vehicle and drowns out noise from the outside. One person's full-time job, for example, was to create the most pleasing sounds for functions such as shutting a door or rolling down a window, said Roger Barlow, a noise vibration team leader at Buick. "We're talking about excruciating detail," he said.

Edmund's Moody said the QuietTuning technology should help the Enclave compete when it goes on sale next summer, But it won't be enough to sell the vehicle in the crowded luxury market.

"There's more to a car," he said, "than making it sound quiet"
Pics of 2006 Buick Enclave Concept for Reference:

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Old 11-10-2006, 10:52 AM   #2
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I think that is an absolutely great looking vehicle (inside and out)... ofcourse too bad Buick cars don't look that good.

(I hope the production one looks as good as this concept model)
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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inside looks amazing...outside looks like a fish.

buick is in the top 5 quality wise....they are the general exception the GM ****bag quality rule.
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:15 PM   #4
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wow - aesthetically it's quite an impressive package
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:12 PM   #5
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If they put a decent engine in it I would consider it.
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:17 PM   #6
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Wow a GM Tribeca clone. I'd rather buy a real Tribeca or even the new Hyundai Santa Fe before trying a new GM full of expanding foam on fancy tires.
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:25 PM   #7
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i dont think its all that bad
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:29 PM   #8
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A LOT better looking than the tribeca (at least on the outside) and looks great on the inside too. Nice!
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Old 11-10-2006, 08:17 PM   #9
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the back end reminds me of the new vw gti. but i must admit, its not a bad looking american car, inside and out. *applaud*
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