Beside leveraging futuristic technologies that haven’t yet worked their way into the production automobile realm, Buick’s cutting-edge crossover utility vehicle of the future – the 2018 Buick Enspire concept – also makes use of the best of what’s available now. That includes GM’s air curtain technology, which features on the Enspire in an attempt to reduce the battery-electric crossover’s aerodynamic drag.
Air curtain technology is relatively new, having only emerged in the last few years as a practical means of improving the aerodynamic efficiency of a vehicle design. It’s entirely passive, requiring no moving parts, and instead relying on simple vents within the front fascia to direct oncoming airflow around the vehicle’s wheels rather than into the wheel wells. You can see the 2018 Buick Enspire concept’s fascia inlets here:
Wheels and tires tend to generate a lot of aerodynamic drag, so guiding air away from them has a positive effect on aerodynamic efficiency. That translates to less NVH through lower wind noise, greater driving efficiency, and greater straight-line speed and acceleration. Some of the airflow is also routed in such a way that it helps cool down the braking components, too, providing strong stopping power even in trying conditions.
Air curtain technology is available on the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro and 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. It will soon make its way to the all-new, 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2020 Chevrolet Suburban, as well.
About The 2018 Buick Enspire Concept
The Buick Enspire concept is a concept crossover utility vehicle first shown at Auto Shanghai in April. Billed by GM as “an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility,” the concept boasts a 550-horsepower, all-electric Buick “eMotion” powertrain – potent enough for a 0-to-60-mph time estimated at 4.0 seconds. Driving range is estimated to be about 370 miles on a single charge, and fast-charging can take the battery from 0- to 80-percent charge in 40 minutes.
Additional technologies previewed by the 2018 Buick Enspire concept include facial-recognition unlocking, an augmented-reality head-up display, a shock-absorbing structure in the seating, smart OLED taillights, and an advanced automatic parking system. Stay tuned to GM Authority for more Buick Enspire news.