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Old 02-14-2007, 02:00 PM
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Arrow How quiet quality came to 2008 Ford Taurus


How quiet quality came to 2008 Ford Taurus

Along with a fresh design, a more powerful engine and a reputation for class-leading safety, the new 2008 Ford Taurus boasts one of the quietest interiors in the large-car segment.

According to Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, there is a direct relation in consumer's minds between the quietness of a vehicle and its quality. "Quiet is almost proxy for quality in a vehicle," he told reporters at the Chicago Auto Show. One factor contributing to consumer demand for quieter vehicles is the increasing use of information and communication technology like Ford SYNC. The 2008 Ford Taurus will be one of the first vehicles from Ford to offer the exclusive voice-activated hands-free system that fully integrates mobile phones and digital media players.

"SYNC made it even more important that we examine every possible way to reduce road and wind noise as well as structure-borne noise inside the cabin so that the human ear can easily and comfortably hear speech, said Paul Larkins, Ford manager of Noise, Vibrations and Harshness (NVH). "The Taurus is now a leader in that regard and is competitive with many luxury brands."

It's impossible to remove all noise from a moving vehicle, but to eliminate as much as possible Ford engineers employed a technology called the Aachen Head -- which is to noise what a crash test dummy is to a collision.

Designed by Head Acoustics in Aachen, Germany, the microphone-equipped mannequin is placed in various positions throughout the cabin. Each of the mannequin's ears records and measures the sounds of the vehicle at various speeds.

"By separating the right and left ears, the Aachen Head can process the noise data in a car as if a rider were hearing it," said Bill Gulker, an engineer and technical specialist at Fords wind tunnel testing sight in Dearborn.

To find the sources of noise or "hot spots," as NVH engineers call them, the team used a new technology called "Noise Vision," which literally takes pictures of sound.

About the size of a bowling ball and containing 12 cameras and 16 microphones, the Noise Vision system is placed in the center of an interior compartment. After testing the vehicle in a wind tunnel at speeds between 80 and 100 miles MPH, the team layers the noise source data over the images and is able to see exactly where the noise "hot spots" are.

The research resulted in a totally revised sound package that Ford says improves the ability to carry on a normal conversation by nearly five percent from the previous Ford Five Hundred, making the Ford Taurus quieter than many luxury cars.

The sound package includes new sound deadening materials and a new heating and cooling system.

"Nearly every part of the heating and cooling system was changed," said Ben Winter, 2008 Ford Taurus head engineer. "When the fan is on maximum, the new climate control system is 50 percent quieter than the outgoing model and delivers improved performance."

With the introduction of Ford's new 3.5 liter Duratec 35 V-6, the team reduced powertrain noise by installing a new mounting-system that more effectively isolates engine vibration. Besides reducing noise it makes for better ride and handling.

To combat wind noise, side-mirrors were made smaller and given a more aerodynamic shape for less turbulence.

The team was also able to reduce vibration by reshaping the area under the rear window -- called the rear package shelf -- and stiffening the area where the shelf meets the floor.

The Taurus isnt the only Ford vehicle getting the silent treatment. Similar sound packages have been applied to the 2008 models of the Taurus X, Escape and Focus, Mercury Sable and Mariner and the 2007 Ford Expedition.

"Exceptional cabin quietness has already contributed to customer satisfaction in the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX," said Larkins. "For Ford's engineering teams the focus on best-of-class interior acoustics will continue with every vehicle we make."

Source: [url=http://www.duemotori.com/news/auto_news/10674_How_quiet_quality_came_to_2008_Ford_Taurus.p hp]AutoCorse.it[/url]
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