Just as it faced pre-production hot weather testing in the sweltering heat of Arizona, so too did the 2016 Buick Envision brave the cold weather elements of GM’s Michigan testing grounds by undergoing a series of chassis control tests. Based on real-world driving experiences, these tests are designed to push vehicles to their limits, allowing engineers to make the necessary tweaks to the vehicle control systems, the chassis as well as other equipment.
Split Coefficient Test
During the split coefficient test, one set of wheels (laterally) is set on ice, while the other on pavement. The purpose of the test is to determine how well the Buick Envision can accelerate on what is a very tricky surface for the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive and traction control systems.
The real-world scenario equivalent is when one attempts to pull out of a parking spot after ice has formed alongside the curb. Thanks to the all-wheel drive and the traction control systems, the Envision limits slippage of the wheels that are on the ice, while applying as much power as possible to the wheels with the most traction — the ones that are on the pavement.
Snow Road Maneuverability Test
The Snow Road Maneuverability tests the vehicle’s capability to steer but also the stability control system’s to keep the vehicle stable. A driver can control steering and the brake, but the system can control each wheel to keep the vehicle stable on the road.
The real-world application is driving on a snow-covered road and then having something (like an animal or another obstacle) suddenly appear in front of you, which you will steer to avoid.
Ice Road Maneuverability Test
The Ice Road Maneuverability test is somewhat of a combination of the two previous tests: the Envision is driven on a massive sheet of ice while the traction and stability systems keep the vehicle in check. The Envision features an advanced all-wheel-drive system that can deliver torque to either of the rear wheels, or both rear wheels together — giving the vehicle control when it needs it and where it needs it.
Limit Handling Test
The Limit Handling test allows engineers to determine the possibility of regaining control of the vehicle at the limit, such as when it has begun to drift.
The goal of the tests allows regular folks to be better and smoother drivers on difficult surfaces, delivering more confidence in tricky situations.
So, without further ado, go ahead and hit play to see what the versatile compact luxury crossover during its testing days.
Going forward, we have the 2017 Buick Envision to look forward to. Set to arrive at the end of 2016, the 2017 model year of the of the Envision nameplate is expected to offer lesser trim levels allowing for lower entry MSRP.