Providing an oasis of quiet is something luxury customers increasingly crave. An article in the Oct. 6 issue of Fortune, for example noted how high-end hotels and resorts are putting a greater focus on offering silence as an amenity.
“To attract a new luxury client, we’re elevating all aspects of the driving experience, including an intense focus on providing a quiet interior,” said Scott Tobin, director, Lincoln Product Development. “A combination of engineering, manufacturing and design related actions are being implemented to provide a calm, comfortable environment, and a better customer experience.”
Here’s a look at some of the noise reduction strategies found in the newest Lincoln, the 2015 Lincoln MKC, the brand’s first small premium utility vehicle.
Designed to be quiet
Even before the engine is started, the interior of a vehicle can be designed to be quiet and isolated from the outside world.
Reducing “visual noise” begins with a strong emphasis on horizontal lines and thoughtful interaction between shapes. Shapes work together so that what occupants see convey a sense of quiet – forms and lines are arranged so they are smooth and flowing.
Rich and premium materials are comfortable, of course, but also exude a certain confidence. That confidence can breed a sense of calm, so authentic materials, such as natural woods and metals, combined with high grades of leather, complete the environment.
Engineering and design elements that are used to create a quiet environment for customers include:
- Sound-absorbing interior trim panels
The rear trim panels are designed to capture unwanted interior sound within the passenger compartment.
- Acoustic-laminate windshield and front side glass
Highway-speed noise levels are reduced in part by suppressed turbulence flow across the side glass; at lower speeds, the cabin is isolated from exterior noise sources.
- Acoustic and aero-designed mirrors
Exterior pedestal-style mirrors are optimized to decrease cabin noise levels by controlling the airflow across the side.
- Noise-reducing material in the pillars, carpet and trim panels, as well as enhanced sealing below the doors
The enhanced characteristics of the material used in the pillars, carpet and trim panels, as well as structural damping and enhanced rocker sealing, reduce levels of interior noise.
- “Do Not Disturb” feature on SYNC®
One way of maintaining quietness comes via the “Do Not Disturb” feature on SYNC,® standard on each Lincoln. This feature blocks incoming phone calls or text messages. Calls are diverted to voice mail, and text messages are saved on the device for later viewing.
- Active noise control
Active noise control heightens overall cabin sound quality by reducing unwanted engine noises while enhancing desired sound to help provide a more pleasant driving experience. Microphones monitor the sound profile of the cabin, which is then replicated and inverted by a signal processor to create an opposing acoustic wave through the speakers. When the opposing wave meets the original sound wave, they cancel each other out.