Zimbrick Buick West, a Wisconsin Buick dealership Madison has turned to for their vehicle needs since 1965, continues their preview of the 2012 Buick Verano.
In case you haven’t heard about the Buick Verano Wisconsin, it is an all-new compact luxury sedan coming out in the fourth quarter of 2011. Read Part One of our preview if you would like to catch up further.
The second part of this preview goes in depth on how the Verano is similar to its Buick brothers in terms of quiet tuning, refined and responsive performance, and purposeful technology.
Verano delivers the library-quiet driving experience for which Buicks have become known. Quiet-tuning systems, processes and components are built into every facet of the vehicle’s architecture. All are designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations.
Hydraulic ride bushings, for example, and an isolated engine cradle reduce or eliminate vibration pathways that could be transmitted to the passenger compartment. Similarly, a number of noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are employed throughout the body structure, including:
- * The steel front-of-dash panel is sandwiched between two damping mats
- * Nylon baffles are used in various hollow portions of the body structure and filled with sound-absorbing foam that expands when the body enters the paint oven
- * The headliner comprises five layers of thermal fiber acoustic material, including a premium woven fabric on the visible outer layer
- * Patches of sound-damping material are applied strategically throughout the body structure and melt into place when the body passes through the paint oven, allowing the patches to follow the contours of the sheet metal below
- * Sound insulation material between rear-body structural components that is made from recycled denim
- * Triple-sealed doors that feature fiberglass “blankets” serve as water, airflow and noise barriers. The doors are also beta-braced, meaning they close with a solid, precise sound and no resonance
- * Optimized windshield and side glass for quietness, with 5.4-mm-thick laminated windshield and 4.85-mm laminated side glass
- * The engine’s intake and exhaust systems are tuned for quiet performance
- * Isolated brake and fuel lines prevent vibrations.
Even the wheels and tires contribute to Verano’s quietness. The standard 17-inch aluminum wheels are manufactured in a unique way to enhance quietness, while the tires minimize road noise.
Refined & Responsive Performance
A power-dense Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder, with dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and E85 capability, is the standard engine in the Verano. It produces an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. of torque (230 Nm). Direct injection technology helps it produce more power with less fuel and lower emissions – including up to 25-percent reduced hydrocarbon emissions when compared with a multi-point fuel injection engine. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that helps the Verano deliver an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. Electric power steering and a more efficient transmission design help optimize fuel economy.
The front suspension uses decoupled MacPherson struts for better isolation, providing greater separation of extreme road conditions – large potholes, for example – from everyday driving conditions. At the rear, a technically advanced Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Verano’s handling responses symmetrical on both lefthand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension.
The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight contributes to Verano’s fuel economy, while the compact design enables more trunk space.
Steering inputs are executed by an electric power steering system, featuring a dual-pinion rack. Electric powering steering helps save fuel because it removes the conventional power steering pump from the engine’s driven accessories. Engineers tuned the speed-sensitive system to provide quick, direct reaction to steering actions and a strong on-center feel. The system has a ratio of 15.5:1 and requires only slightly more than two turns, lock to lock.
Stopping power is handled by a four-wheel disc brake system with standard anti-lock and electronic brake force distribution, as well as StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control.
Comprehensive connectivity is enabled by OnStar’s remote vehicle access, which makes keeping tabs on the vehicle a breeze from anywhere with a smart phone. Highlights include:
- * Passive entry
- * Heated steering wheel
- * Touch screen navigation system
- * Bluetooth connectivity (both phone and audio)
- * XM Satellite Radio
- * Bose sound system
- * Next-generation radio.
Other remote-access features include remote vehicle locking/unlocking, remote vehicle start and a vehicle locator.
The next-generation radio system includes a navigation system, along with USB and auxiliary input jacks, and includes full Bluetooth with streaming audio, structural speech recognition, SMS texts and more. Additional connectivity features include text-to-speech conversion of SMS texts, smart phone app integration (Pandora, Stitcher, etc.) and Gracenote music organization for external devices (USB drives, etc.), including Playlist Plus and Album Art features.
Safety is another component in Verano’s technology story. Primary features include:
- * Ten standard air bags, including frontal, head curtain side air bags, front and outboard rear-seat side-impact air bags and new knee air bags. The head-curtain side air bags deploy in a rollover crash
- * StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes
- * Collapsible pedal system, which allows the pedals to detach during a crash to reduce the risk of leg or ankle injuries
- * OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.
Verano has a strong, unitized body structure that incorporates 60-percent high-strength steel in key areas to enhance strength and crash protection. It is used to help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. Safety development included testing at GM’s rollover test facility.