Premium automakers are always looking for the next new thing to help cheaply and reliably remove unwanted noise, vibration, and harshness – or “NVH”. General Motors’ Buick brand might have found a winning idea with the seats in its Enspire crossover concept, which feature a skeletal structure designed to isolate occupants’ derrières from any bumps and dips in the road by absorbing the resulting shocks transmitted through the floor.
Precisely how the 2018 Buick Enspire concept‘s shock-absorbing seat structure works isn’t clear; a press release, translated from Chinese, says only that the “lightweight skeletal structure” used by the seats serves as both “support structure and shock-absorbing mechanism”. This appears to suggest that the design of the seat structure is such that it relies on the metal’s inherent elasticity to soak up whatever jolts are sent through the floorpan.
But that method alone might not provide adequate damping, necessitating the use of some material like rubber or foam capable of dissipating the energy from every bump.
Either way, a seat structure capable of absorbing shocks from the road surface, filtering out unpleasant vibrations to deliver greater comfort to the vehicle’s occupants, is an intriguing concept, and one that we could easily see making its way into a future production vehicle.
About The 2018 Buick Enspire Concept
The Buick Enspire concept is a one-off prototype crossover utility vehicle unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2018 last April. Intended as “an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility,” the CUV concept boasts an all-electric Buick “eMotion” powertrain , with a total peak output of 550 horsepower, good for a 0-to-60-mph sprint in an estimated 4.0 seconds, and a range of 370 miles on a single charge. Fast-charging can take the battery from 0- to 80-percent charge in 40 minutes.
The 2018 Buick Enspire concept is chock full of additional cutting-edge technologies, too, such as facial-recognition unlocking and an augmented-reality head-up display (HUD) capable of highlighting navigation routes and points of interest on the windshield in real time. Stay tuned to GM Authority for more Buick Enspire news.