Car engines do not make enough noise, they need to be amplified. This is the case with cars today, they are not loud enough, an eerie silence is found in vehicles of today, of which do not already have an engine amplification system. Innovations in society are to blame; such as greater efficiency in fuel economy and engine performance. More than sixty years ago this was not the case.
In the 1950’s people had extremely loud engines; this loudness was an indicator of the its power. The people in those days would take away the muffler to make it sound very loud. A loud car meant that it was powerful; if it was quiet, that meant that it was weak. While people have been drawn to loud and often obnoxious cars in the past, people are still attracted to the noise, to a degree.
The idea started with Prius, it had an unusually quiet electric motor. Sounds were added, known as “Enhanced” engine songs to make it sound more normal. The idea was started with the quiet automobiles and made its way to trucks and muscle cars, as these are notoriously loud. Apparently, 1950’s ideals still hold today. Manufacturers whom have trucks know their customers expect a somewhat noisy engine. People want the newer, more efficient engine, just with the old fashion roar.
The two sides are the people who want the noise and people who want the truth. The sound means that instead of listening to the wind, a person can listen to the engine. Others do not like this idea of “enhanced” sounds. Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book says, “automakers should stop the lies and get real with drivers.”
People are angry not because the noises are too loud or not loud enough, but because of the deception involved. Some people want to be told the truth, according to Brauer, “You’re fabricating performance elements of the car that don’t actually exist.” The amplification or fabrication of the car’s engine affects the “sexiness” of the vehicle.
Automobiles have become increasingly more efficient, meaning less noise and more power. Inconveniently, less is not more in the case of noise because it has been added to engines to adhere to people’s expectations. There are different companies where manufacturer’s go to for noise reproduction, such as Soundaktor and Active Noise Control system, found on Ford vehicles. According to Darryl Harrison, Volkswagen Brand Public Relations Manager, people who say Soundaktor is a recording synthesized with the engine, are false. Harrison added “The Soundaktor amplifies actual engine sound in the cabin of the car.”
The modification of car’s engine for noise reasons is seen by people in different ways. Drivers that are for the sound amplification see softer-sounding engines as a milestone. On the other hand, car enthusiasts see this as a betrayal, these are the people who want the sound, not just for aesthetic reasons, but for the feel of it. Some of these people do not like being lied to. However, automakers go to the length of deception because it is an accommodation. Having a noisy engine with better fuel economy is giving people exactly what they want.
By Jacob Dowd
Photo by Yahya S. – Flickr License