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Pointless Car Gizmo Of The Week

Pointless Car Gizmo Of The Week

In these days of sophisticated car design it is still possible to see cars with what looks like a drainpipe sticking out of the back. As the car goes past it will make a noise suggesting that the vehicle has under the bonnet an engine of extreme raw power. It hasn’t. It is just noise. There are a few performance cars that offer this huge exhaust feature but mostly we’re over it.

Or so it was thought. As cars become more refined and more regulated so performance noise whether real or imagined has become frowned upon but that hasn’t stopped the customising brigade from getting up to speed with the times. Car noise can now be created digitally. It is called ‘dynamic sound technology’. Eventually even the humble city car could awaken the neighbours with a magnificent V8 bellow.

This modification from a third party developer has to be fitted when the car is built, so no after-market toy this. A speaker in the muffler portion of the exhaust pipe is linked to the car’s engine and presumably, amplified. It appears that it is even possible to download new sounds as they become available.

Renault have something like it on their Renaultsport Clio which can ape various cars from the company’s sporting past but it is only for the occupants and is not broadcast outside. Quite why an owner of this car – which is actually very good – would want to do this and drown out the stereo is unknown; but what can you do?

Engine noise has always been emotive. Keen drivers love a car that ‘sounds right’. Meanwhile manufacturers have had to develop smaller and smaller engines to meet environmental legislation and improve fuel economy which has meant that these little motors have all the volume of a library assistant with laryngitis.

Auto purists don’t like this. In a sense, quiet cars are dangerous cars because pedestrians simply can’t hear them coming. This is why similar technology is being added to electric cars for example so that they at least make minor internal combustion noises as they approach. On the other hand it isn’t much help if the sound of an approaching car makes pedestrian’s ears bleed thus causing deafness because then we’re back to square one.

It’s pointless technology. If you want to make a proper serious car noise then buy a five litre V8 supercharged Jaguar and not one that plays the ‘Ride Of The Valkries’! Yes, cars should make some noise for safety’s sake but this is just daft. It won’t be long now before a version of this factory fitted option will be available at the local car depot and then every ten year old Vauxhall Astra in the world will make our roads sound like a Formula 1 grid.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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One Response to “Pointless Car Gizmo Of The Week”

  1. Haha! Well Yeah! that’s useless! What an odd thing to put a car. Really what are you think?!?

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