For 2015, Buick engineers have gone beyond extensive insulation and a well-tuned chassis for for a refined ride in the Verano − they also have tuned and refined the Verano’s tires for reduced noise and a comfortable ride.
“Far from being little more than a chunk of rubber, tires are a complex machines, made up of dozens of components, chemicals and compounds that must perform perfectly to deliver the traction, braking safety, fuel economy, tread life and road manners today’s drivers expect,” says the editor of Tire Review magazine, Jim Smith. “The tweaking and tuning that goes on behind the scenes, the heavy lifting by auto and tire engineers working in unison, produces tires that quietly perform flawlessly in the background, and a car that delights owners.”
So how do Buick engineers choose the right tires to give the Verano the ride and handling they desire? According to General Motors tire development engineer, Chris Arabian, his team worked closely with Continental Tire to develop two distinct tire packages for the Verano: standard 17-inch P225/50R17 tires focusing on low rolling resistance for better fuel economy, and 18-inch P235/45R18 tires to provide crisp handling and a sportier feel for the Verano Turbo.
“For the Verano, we needed to ensure we provided ride comfort, while also balancing fuel economy and rolling resistance, and delivering an engaging driving experience.”
As tires often offer a mix of attributes, tuning one often conflicts with another. For example, low-resistance tires like those standard on the Verano use rubber compounds that don’t lose much energy as they roll along the road; however, compounds that do the exact opposite also excel at reducing noise and soaking up bumps in the road. Indeed, the process is a balancing act.
“There are so many variables we can adjust in the tire’s construction,” added Arabian. “Ultimately, when we optimize a tire, it means we can potentially reduce some cost, complexity, or weight elsewhere within the vehicle and still deliver the targeted level of refinement.