Among the many factors contributing to the Buick Enclave's quiet cabin are its tires. And to make sure the luxury crossover is fitted with the proper set of rubbers, General Motor's employed 50 engineers to evaluate a long list of tires. According to GM, the tires go through 25 different tests in various lab, real world and track settings.
"Tires are the only contact point you have with the road," said Tire Engineering Group Manager Dave Cowger. "Your tires influence everything from fuel economy to steering and handling, road noise, and braking. So we beat the heck out of these tires in the lab to make sure they have the right traction, fuel economy, durability and other characteristics."
Tire evaluations usually begin at GM's Tire-Wheel Systems Lab on GM's Milford Proving Ground where tests such as lab dynamometers are used to replicate thousands of miles of road wear. According to Cowger, tests are also performed at GM's Yuma, Arizona proving grounds, which is home to a high speed track as well as real-world testing simulations.
In the end, engineers choose Michelin and Bridgestone all-season tires for the Enclave. Both tires received GM's Tire Perfomance Criteria (TPC) markings, which essentially serve as a "seal of approval." According to the automaker, all GM vehicles go through the same testing when it comes to tire selection and standards. The Tire-Wheel Systems team was orginally formed in 1968 and the group has tested more than 20,000 tires to date.
Source: General Motors