Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks. Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away.
Softer-sounding engines are actually a positive symbol of just how far engines and gas economy have progressed. But automakers say they resort to artifice because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine — but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler.
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In your humble correspondent's opinion, when Ford decided to tune the exhaust and pipe in some of the noise to the cabin to give more of that muscle car feel, I was a bit wary, but eventually (mostly) okay with it. It was the actual noise, just redirected a bit. Meh. Whatever.
And putting some sort of noisemaker on super-quiet electrics and hybrids just makes sense; it really is a safety issue.
But a completely digital noise solely for the purpose of driver enhancement? No. Stop it. Stop. It. That's even worse than a fart can on an untuned Honda Civic.
Feel free to vent and agree with me on this one. And anything else.