It doesn’t take an automotive historian to know that vehicles have greatly improved and evolved over the years. In the past, it took decades to develop and adopt the amenities we consider standard equipment today. Early iterations of the vehicles we know today were viewed as merely a transporter from Point A to Point B. Today, we have come to expect much more from our vehicles. One aspect which has greatly improved since the introduction of the Model-T is the reduction in the Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) each vehicle produces. This week’s Momentum will review the materials and methods we will be utilizing to enhance the Elio’s driving experience.
The in-cabin decibel levels of modern vehicles widely vary. Typically, the quietest vehicles are luxury brands with hefty price tags. While the exact numbers are in the process of being finalized, our goal is to achieve in-cabin levels consistent with mid-range vehicles, even though our targeted base price is a fraction of the mid-range vehicles cost.
There are multiple methods and materials we will utilize to minimize Elio’s NVH. Our team is utilizing best practices to keep the proper gapping, distance, and spacing from adjacent components to minimize noise. Additionally, the non-structural body sealant is strategically placed to prevent exterior noise from reaching the cabin. In addition, the windshield of the Elio has been designed to be flush with the vehicle to eliminate wind noise.
Our team will utilize typical materials for preventing buzz, squeak, and rattle (BSR) in the vehicle. Foam, flocking tape, felt, anti-squeak tape, dissimilar plastics, sealers and retainer clips will all be utilized. We have also added closer welds in critical areas to increase stiffness. To absorb outside noise, foam will be placed in the pillars and other areas to reduce booming, along with the headliner containing acoustic material.
To ensure that we meet our noise goals, the vehicle will undergo an NVH evaluation during durability testing on actual roads. Laboratory testing will be conducted with a 3-post shaker to duplicate road conditions for evaluation from various hot and cold temperature conditions. Both of these methods for testing will be evaluated at various intervals to ensure reliability, durability, and quality of the materials and manufacturing techniques.
This testing will include the following:
Cabin noise evaluation
Powertrain interior sound quality
Road, course, smooth road, highway, and city noise
Door closing sound quality
Interior and exterior noise levels
Powertrain mount tuning
This vigorous testing will allow us to ensure that the Elio’s interior noise level is consistent in a host of different road and weather conditions.
As the quality of automobiles has improved, drivers have high expectations of their vehicles. Our goal, in conjunction with our four tenets, is to provide an enjoyable, quiet, and smooth driving experience. Through the use of our NVH and BSR testing methods, the Elio will provide a quality vehicle for a fraction of the price.