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posted by LaminatorX on Friday January 23 2015, @04:08PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the all-sizzle-no-steak dept.

Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble—the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades. Now Drew Harwell reports at the Washington Post that the auto industry’s dirty little secret is that the engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. "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," writes Harwell. "Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away." For example Ford sound engineers and developers worked on an “Active Noise Control” system on the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost that amplifies the engine’s purr through the car speakers. Afterwards, the automaker surveyed members of Mustang fan clubs on which processed “sound concepts” they most enjoyed.

Among purists, the trickery has inspired an identity crisis and cut to the heart of American auto legend. The “aural experience” of a car, they argue, is an intangible that’s just as priceless as what’s revving under the hood. “For a car guy, it’s literally music to hear that thing rumble,” says Mike Rhynard, “It’s a mind-trick. It’s something it’s not. And no one wants to be deceived.” Other drivers ask if it really matters if the sound is fake? A driver who didn’t know the difference might enjoy the thrum and thunder of it nonetheless. Is taking the best part of an eight-cylinder rev and cloaking a better engine with it really, for car makers, so wrong? "It may be a necessary evil in the eyes of Ford," says Andrew Hard, "but it’s sad to think that an iconic muscle car like the Mustang, a car famous for its bellowing, guttural soundtrack, has to fake its engine noise in 2015. Welcome to the future."

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ikanreed on Friday January 23 2015, @04:25PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:25PM (#137291) Journal

    Foley artists dub sound cues onto every moving object in movies, just in case the audience might not get that a horse is a horse. This improves "immersion".

    Taking the expectations popular culture creates and shoehorning it into virtually every product is practically the core ideal of American consumerism.

    • (Score: 2) by karmawhore on Friday January 23 2015, @04:31PM

      by karmawhore (1635) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:31PM (#137295)
      Maybe they could make the next Mustang sound like a horse.
      --
      =kw= lurkin' to please
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by M. Baranczak on Friday January 23 2015, @05:30PM

        by M. Baranczak (1673) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:30PM (#137332)

        With coconut shells?

        • (Score: 1) by fritsd on Friday January 23 2015, @08:29PM

          by fritsd (4586) on Friday January 23 2015, @08:29PM (#137406) Journal

          If it's good enough for Monty Python [wikipedia.org], it's good enough for a Ford Mustang.
          I'm quite sure I once saw an interview with John Cleese, who said that the coconuts were not some kind of joke, but just a practical solution for the lack of budget. The BBC didn't give them budget to rent an actual horse...

          As long as the dashboard has a switch to choose between three sound-tracks:
          1. (default) masculine engine roar
          2. soothing clippity-clop like a real Mustang [wikipedia.org] (or maybe one that wears horse shoes)
          3. the quiet of an efficient 21st century electric engine

          • (Score: 1) by Paradise Pete on Saturday January 24 2015, @11:25AM

            by Paradise Pete (1806) on Saturday January 24 2015, @11:25AM (#137601)

            The funny thing is that actual horses almost never sound like coconut shells, but it's become such a standard that it seems "wrong" without it. It's part of the language now.

        • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:10AM

          by hash14 (1102) on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:10AM (#137517)

          Carried under the dorsal guiding feathers?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:55AM (#137512)

        Which end?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by frojack on Friday January 23 2015, @09:29PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @09:29PM (#137432) Journal

      Could you please call the Foley Artist Union and tell them film winders aren't used in cameras any more, and strobe lights don't go Foomp when you shoot a photo?
      Kthanskbye.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Sunday January 25 2015, @03:20AM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday January 25 2015, @03:20AM (#137758) Journal

        Isn't funny how much ancient shit ends up just becoming a part of "what is expected" in movie sound? The camera gear sound and "whoomp" of the flash of course goes back to the old cameras with their loud gears and insane flash bulbs (the whole "Hollywood stars wear shades" thing came about because those lights and flash bulbs were so insanely bright to deal with shitty film it literally damaged their eyes and made the early stars light sensitive) and some of it like the horse "clop" and wilhelm scream have become "in jokes" that sound effect guys put in there for so long that people have come to expect it.

          I wonder if people would think there is something wrong with the movie if a photography session in a movie didn't have the wind and flash noise? Would they not go for a western without the clop? The little "tink" you get from the modern coin slots instead of the crazy loud mechanical sort on the old coke machines? Hell we still have floppy for save and a big dial phone handset for call with our modern handhelds so who knows how long that will keep showing up.

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:32PM (#137296)

    I might want my Hyundai Elantra tricked out with Harley-Davidson engine noise. Until I get tired of that, then maybe I'll check out what Lamborghini drivers get to hear.

    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by ikanreed on Friday January 23 2015, @04:36PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:36PM (#137302) Journal

      I want [to make motorcycle] noise.

      I instantly conclude you're an awful person.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:41PM (#137337)

        How about Super Mario Brothers?

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 23 2015, @07:11PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @07:11PM (#137384) Journal
        To be fair, he probably wants to make it loud motorcycle noise. I think that at least partly redeems the idea.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:22PM (#137325)

      I want mine to sound like I just ate at McDonalds, a wet juicy farting noise complete with chunks.

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday January 23 2015, @06:16PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @06:16PM (#137353)

        The McD's sound is difficult to replicate because of it's proximity to the Taco Bell sound.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 23 2015, @06:57PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:57PM (#137376) Journal

      I want mine to play 'Baby Elephant Walk' by Henri Mancini.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:17PM (#137471)

        Only if the package comes with an Elsa Martinelli-lookalike.

    • (Score: 2) by WillR on Friday January 23 2015, @09:19PM

      by WillR (2012) on Friday January 23 2015, @09:19PM (#137426)
      Why limit yourself to faking the sounds of real engines? I want an electric motorcycle that sounds like the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by martyb on Friday January 23 2015, @04:32PM

    by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @04:32PM (#137297) Journal

    Just wait until the aftermarket industry makes external speakers for the sound of a big block V8 to install on electric cars.

    And, that's not entirely in jest — I've had a couple electrics "sneak up" on me as they were so quiet compared to ambient noise. Just need to select from a few different presets:

    • Booming big block V8
    • Sedate 6-cylinder sedan
    • High-reving twin-turbo 4-cyinder
    • Duck (quack! quack!)

    For extra fun, provide an slot for a USB stick or SD card and you could upload your own car-sound-mix!

    --
    Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:00PM (#137314)

      A news story about Tesla vehicle had gas engine vrrroooom dubbed in. It was later removed.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:36PM (#137407)

      Ice cream truck music

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:53PM (#137414)

      You forgot to include Lawn mower and leaf blower engine noise.

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:49AM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:49AM (#137510) Journal

      I vote for strait piped big bore diesel truck engine running the jake brake after full throttle.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:20AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:20AM (#137576) Homepage Journal

      Filter error: Comment too short.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 2) by mechanicjay on Friday January 23 2015, @04:33PM

    This all such BS. I'm only speculating here, but I suspect automakers are doing this because its cheap. What's a couple extra lines of code in the ECU -> Infotainment interface to simulate "Engine Noise"? Actually tuning the hardware (Exhaust System) to produce the desired effect, well that takes someone who knows what they're doing and hence, costs money. I'm sure there is something to be said about the downfall of society here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

    OTOH, if you're going to make fake engine noise, at least make it sound cool, like a TIE Fighter or the Millennium Falcon. If I ever find myself owning a Battery Car, I will hack that MoFo to scream like a TIE Fighter.

    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:00PM (#137313)

      What it costs is fuel efficiency.

      American vacuum cleaners and leaf blowers, where energy efficiency is not a concern of the manufacturer, are deliberately engineered to be louder because quiet models of equal power don't sell as well.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @05:14PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:14PM (#137319)

        I don't know anyone who's listened to their leaf blower before picking it off the shelf, but I'll take your word for it.

        Europe considers Noise as a pollution, and noise-level enforcement rules are getting stricter. Obviously, the US has some ways to go before getting to that point (outside of some OSHA rules).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:53PM (#137341)

          I don't know anyone who uses a leaf blower before picking it off the shelf either.

          What actually happens is that people talk to their neighbours, borrow their equipment and get a "feel" and part of that feel is the sound.

          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @06:02PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:02PM (#137345)

            That requires the person to talk to their neighbors, be allowed to borrow the equipment, and actually finding the same one in their target price range.
            The proportion of people who can pull that off is shrinking rapidly.

            • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday January 23 2015, @06:19PM

              by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @06:19PM (#137355)

              Good thing i wasn't drinking coffee : ) I completely agree. You can choose the house but you can't choose the neighbors. I'd be happy with some that waved back instead of looking away or scowling.

              --
              SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:47PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:47PM (#137370)

              WTF is it with you literalist idiots?

              Have you never bought anything yourself?

              First off, you don't have to actually borrow it to get your friend's opinions, just talking to them gets you halfway there.
              Second, people frequently settle for a different model from the same manufacturer when the identical model is not easily available, that is the entire reason companies invest so much in building a brand. Much of the time they don't even know an exact model to begin with.

              I swear you sheldon cooper wannabes have no clue how actual people live their lives. Most people are not binary robots like, you apparently believe yourself to be.

              • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @06:53PM

                by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:53PM (#137374)

                > people frequently settle for a different model from the same manufacturer when the identical model is not easily available
                > (...)
                > Much of the time they don't even know an exact model to begin with.

                The sub-topic is the affirmation that "the louder models sell better".

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:59PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:59PM (#137378)

                  Holy hell sheldon cooper.

                  What kind of myopic idiocy does it take for you to think that brand is completely distinct from model?

                  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @07:07PM

                    by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:07PM (#137383)

                    > What actually happens is that people talk to their neighbours, borrow their equipment and get a "feel" and part of that feel is the sound.

                    > First off, you don't have to actually borrow it to get your friend's opinions, just talking to them gets you halfway there.

                    Now tell me again how many of your friends will tell you that theirs is better (subtracting confirmation bias), and how many have HEARD multiple models from different brands and, all other things being equal, decided on the louder one.

                    The original AC stated "deliberately engineered to be louder because quiet models of equal power don't sell as well". You are allowed not to believe my objections. Why do you prefer to believe the original AC, and if it's you, can you substantiate your claim?

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @07:19PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @07:19PM (#137386)

                      Now tell me again how many of your friends will tell you that theirs is better (subtracting confirmation bias), and how many have HEARD multiple models from different brands and, all other things being equal, decided on the louder one.

                      The only response to that is you couldn't have done a better job of confirming that accusation of being a literalist in the mold of sheldon cooper if you had tried.

                      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @07:21PM

                        by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:21PM (#137388)

                        I just read a cop-out on the original bullshit claim.

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:49PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:49PM (#137412)

                          Sure, that's exactly what sheldon cooper would read.

                          What actually happened is leonard just gave up arguing because it is too difficult to get a man to understand something when his sense of superiority depends on his not understanding it.

                          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @09:28PM

                            by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @09:28PM (#137431)

                            Let's reply this:
                            AC: The loudest ones sell better
                            Me (not AC): I don't see how, because [silly reasons]. Can you explain?
                            AC: You're just a Sheldon!

                            Does Leonard usually defend random unproven statements? I thought he was usually on the side of common sense...

                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26 2015, @04:58PM

                              by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26 2015, @04:58PM (#138219)
                              Thank you both for reminding me why I hate that show.
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 23 2015, @09:52PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @09:52PM (#137438) Journal

          Europe considers Noise as a pollution

          Bob-who-speaks-for-all-of-Europe fails to notice virtually everywhere in north america there are noise pollution laws [noisefree.org], and you can be pulled over for nothing more than driving a car that is too loud, or you can get a visit from police for your dog barking too much.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @10:54PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @10:54PM (#137458)

            I've spent enough time in enough US states to know that enforcement of noise laws isn't exactly a priority of the cops, unless called or in need of an excuse.

            Said cops are a major noise contributor inside cities, where vehicle-mounted sirens (cops, fire, ambulance) are set at absurd and actually painful levels, tens of dB higher than anything I've ever experienced in other countries.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:25AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:25AM (#137487)

              cops in America prefer to shoot first and ask questions later

    • (Score: 2) by keplr on Friday January 23 2015, @05:31PM

      by keplr (2104) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:31PM (#137333) Journal

      Agreed. Engine noise is an epiphenomenon related to actual performance and power of (certain kinds of) engines. We can now produce the same power now with less noise--which means less energy wasted being converted to useless sound pollution. There's only one crass automotive affectation that I find more offensive to good taste and basic decency. I can't fathom what it feels like to be this much of an insufferable, spiteful, moronic, douchebag. [wikipedia.org]

      --
      I don't respond to ACs.
    • (Score: 1) by Gaaark_1000 on Friday January 23 2015, @05:48PM

      by Gaaark_1000 (1000) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:48PM (#137339)

      I want the 'clip clop' noise, and make is sound like there is a guy beside my car clip-clopping 2 coconut halves together.

      The sound speeds up and slows down as I do (and when i stop, i want the 'whoa.... (and horse exhale sound as well)).

      And if i hit someone with it, i want it to say 'merely a flesh wound... come back you coward!'

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:26PM (#137361)

        Someone on the other site mentioned the sound of turning on the light wands from ghostbusters.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzLobQxY6gg&t=15 [youtube.com]

        That would be amusing :)

        Or a tardis that would be cool too.

        • (Score: 1) by Gaaark_1000 on Saturday January 24 2015, @06:36PM

          by Gaaark_1000 (1000) on Saturday January 24 2015, @06:36PM (#137656)

          Ah Tardis!... oh man, would Tom Baker be driving?

          Please!

          --'This is my chauffeur, the Doctor!'
          --'Would you like a jelly baby?'

          Sweet!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:54PM (#137375)

        I've been predicting "ringtones for electric cards" for a few years now.
        As of now the manufacturers are just doing boring sounds that play at low speeds. [businessweek.com]

    • (Score: 2) by emg on Friday January 23 2015, @06:10PM

      by emg (3464) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:10PM (#137349)

      It's not necessarily done electronically. A couple of the cars we looked at buying last year had tubes designed to take noise from certain parts of the engine and feed it into the passenger compartment.

      Seemed bizarre to me, in a world where reviews complain about engines being noisy, but some people do seem attached to their engine noise. Look at all the complaints about CVTs 'droning' because they keep the engine at peak performance when you floor the gas, leading to manufacturers putting fake shifts into the CVT computer which means they sound like a traditional automatic, but accelerate slower than a real CVT.

    • (Score: 2) by caseih on Saturday January 24 2015, @10:42PM

      by caseih (2744) on Saturday January 24 2015, @10:42PM (#137709)

      Wrong. They do it because that's what customers are demanding. This was mentioned on slashdot by a guy who worked for an auto company for many years. Consumers have a complete list of contradictory things they want in a car, and they want them all. So auto makers have been faking things for years and consumers are lapping it up. Everything from engine noise augmentation to inserting fake shift points into a transmission program to make people think their car is accelerating very fast. I think it's BMW that worked out a system for piping exhaust partly right next to the passenger compartment to provide them with a certain sound. They worked out a fancy valve to control it (a type of waste gate setup I suppose). When CVTs became mainstream, consumers complained that the acceleration was poor (it wasn't) because it was smooth acceleration, so companies have added fake shift points to the computer. Fortunately things are changing slowly, with the acceptance of cars like the Tesla electric cars. But in general people are pretty rigid when it comes to what they want in a car. You almost have to wait for a generation to die off for each new change to become mainstream.

    • (Score: 1) by treeves on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:33PM

      by treeves (1536) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:33PM (#139004)

      I'm not sure it's lazy to do this instead of tuning the engine and exhaust to make the desired sound...it may very well be that fuel efficiency does not come from the drivetrain that *sounds the best*, and fuel efficiency is, thankfully, improving.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Friday January 23 2015, @04:34PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:34PM (#137299)

    but give me a disable button, so I can selfishly enjoy decades of progress in soundproofing technology...

    I propose that they fake the Harley sound inside Harley-branded helmets, and give peace to the rest of us.

    • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday January 23 2015, @04:41PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:41PM (#137305)

      I'd actually buy those for Harley riders.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday January 23 2015, @05:18PM

      by Freeman (732) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:18PM (#137322) Journal

      But then, Harley would get sued by it's customers for damaging their hearing...

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
    • (Score: 1) by dltaylor on Friday January 23 2015, @05:28PM

      by dltaylor (4693) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:28PM (#137328)

      Then you'd have two sources: the engine and the helmet on the sissy bar with the volume cranked up.

    • (Score: 1) by rcamera on Friday January 23 2015, @05:39PM

      by rcamera (2360) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @05:39PM (#137335) Homepage Journal

      harley riders don't believe in helmets. a brain-bucket is about as much as they'll wear - IFF required by law AND they haven't paid off the local fuzz to not enforce said law. and brain-buckets don't cover the ears.

      --
      /* no comment */
    • (Score: 1) by cliffjumper222 on Friday January 23 2015, @07:12PM

      by cliffjumper222 (2628) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:12PM (#137385)

      Yep. Living in a town next to a road, I'd love for all the engine sounds to be piped into the cabin and none of it outside.

      --
      He who dares wins, Rodney
    • (Score: 1) by strength_of_10_men on Friday January 23 2015, @10:24PM

      by strength_of_10_men (909) on Friday January 23 2015, @10:24PM (#137452)
      ... but...but... loud pipes save lives!
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @06:10PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @06:10PM (#137348) Homepage Journal

    it's not simply that more-efficient engines make less noise. If the engine is noisy, energy is being expended that could otherwise go towards the drive train.

    My elderly mother once owned quite a quiet, comfortable car. Overpowering a car gives it a more-comfortable drive, something my mother is into. That's why I once laid a rather noisy three hundred yard long scratch with my mother's quiet car.

    It was a Toyota, I'm not sure but maybe a Camry.

    I myself prefer the rumble of old pickup trucks such as my grandfather's Chevy Indian, but really it's more important that we reverse global warming, cut air pollution and stop killing people in the middle east. Those come at the cost of quiet engines.

    Did you know that you can buy aerosol containers full of "New Car Smell"? It's plasticizer - the chemical that makes plastic flexible, and is commonly carcinogenic.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 23 2015, @10:18PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @10:18PM (#137449) Journal

      it's not simply that more-efficient engines make less noise. If the engine is noisy, energy is being expended that could otherwise go towards the drive train.

      I wonder if that is really true.

      After all, mufflers do sap considerable horsepower compared to straight pipes.

      True, the exhaust valves open and closes with a small degree of lead and lag [cdxetextbook.com], but by this time, all available power has been transferred to the drive shaft, and the lead in opening before bottom dead center is within that part of the stroke where there is little motion of the piston. Unless you are running way too rich, all fuel has already been burnt, and your cylinders are as close to ambient pressure as it is practical.

      Add a muffler and long tail pipes and you can waste a lot of power pushing exhaust. Back pressure is not your friend [veryuseful.com], and most modern engines sacrifice a little (or a lot) of power to quiet the exhaust.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @10:58PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @10:58PM (#137460) Homepage Journal

        Engines are always mounted one some manner of spring mechanism, typically heavy rubber pads with pins through their middles.

        An older engine will shimmy a great deal while it is running, as well as vibrate the entire car. A modern engine, I expect will to a modest degree but definitely not as much.

        I would find artificial engine sound quiet dissatisfying. I want my hot rod to throb, when I rev its engine.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 2) by hash14 on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:14AM

      by hash14 (1102) on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:14AM (#137518)

      it's not simply that more-efficient engines make less noise. If the engine is noisy, energy is being expended that could otherwise go towards the drive train.

      Exactly this. This vanity flush is about as important as choosing between slightly differing shades of off-white for the dining room curtains. I'll take things that aren't even first world problems for $800 Alex...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:01PM (#137418)

    Sounds like an emission controlled POS, until you pull the lever on the exhaust cutout valve, then it's "uncapped exhaust"

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @10:16PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @10:16PM (#137447) Homepage Journal

    I've always wanted to do something like this:

    Pull your muscle car up to a stoplight, right next to a cop.

    Give the cop a knowing smile while revving your engines. The cop will take interest.

    When the light turns green, synthesize the sound of burning rubber as you power-on an air blower and theatrical smoke generator.

    Proceed cautiously through the light as you carefully observe the speed limit.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:57AM (#137513)
      * WARNING! Do not attempt while black.
    • (Score: 1) by VanessaE on Sunday January 25 2015, @04:43AM

      by VanessaE (3396) <vanessa.e.dannenberg@gmail.com> on Sunday January 25 2015, @04:43AM (#137770) Homepage Journal

      And get a ticket for "Exhibition of Power".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:02AM (#137515)

    I want air horns on my electric car for when I sneak up on pedestrians.

  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Saturday January 24 2015, @04:32AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday January 24 2015, @04:32AM (#137545) Homepage

    The obvious consideration is that the resources going into the development of fake engine noise, as well as power from the vehicle going to create said noise, is wasted, when all of those can go to, you know, getting from point A to point B quickly and safely.

    There are two other effects of this fake engine noise I can think of, one positive and one negative. The negative is that this also contributes to noise pollution, which along with light pollution are often ignored but very real and potentially very harmful types of pollution. The positive is that the visually impaired will be able to hear cars. I can't speak from personal experience, but I'd imagine that if I were blind, I would be deathly afraid of setting foot outside knowing that silent cars exist.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:03AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:03AM (#137573) Homepage Journal

      It was explained to me that whenever one makes a decision, Opportunity Cost is the cost of not making some other decision.

      The way I usually explain it to others is that "If you vacation in Rome, it comes at the cost of not vacationing in Paris".

      That makes it sound a little too like Twelve Step *Anononymous Propaganda, however one can often put a realistic dollar figure on opportunity cost. Consider all the effort that Apple puts into iOS system software development. While there is some common code, much of it is not. Producing the iPhone comes at the cost of not focussing all of its resources on Mac OS X.

      While the iPhone is wildly successful, I myself have come to regard OS X as profoundly intolerable and will soon install Linux Mint on my Retina Display MacBook Pro.

      While Apple did sell me my MacBook Pro, they sure as Hell won't ever sell me another one. It's unlikely I will ever purchase any Apple product ever again.

      That is the opportunity cost of Apple blowing its wad on the iPhone.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26 2015, @04:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26 2015, @04:49PM (#138210)

        You lose $100 billion, you get $600 billion. Suck is life.