Remember when cars sounded like cars?

Posted by freedomforall 1 week, 4 days ago to Government
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"One thing it hasn’t cost – in the case of the new Tundra – is the sound. The 3.5 V6 sounds convincingly like a V8 when you give it gas.

And that is very good, indeed.

But – as it turns out – it’s not really the sound. Well, it is – and it isn’t. The sound is real – because you can hear it when you floor it. But it’s not the sound of the 3.5 V6 that replaced the 5.7 V8. It is a recording of the sound of the previous 5.7 V8, pumped through the sound system, when you floor it – to remind you of how V8s used to sound when you floored it – before the government forced Toyota (and the rest) to replace them with engines that don’t make that sound.

Girl you know it’s true . . .

Except, of course, it isn’t.

Toyota isn’t the only company doing this, either. BMW is another – because a four cylinder engine does’t sound like the inline sixes that used to come standard in most BMWs, which have been replaced by turbocharged fours for the same reason that a turbocharged V6 has replaced the V8 in the Tundra. But people who spend $50k-plus on a BMW were unenthused about the sound of a four cylinder engine when they floored their $50k-plus Beemers, so BMW gave them they sound of what they used to get for their $50k, pumped through the speakers.

It is called sound augmentation technology. A way for us to remember how things used to sound when things were real – and better. But at least we can pretend there’s something more than a four – or a six – under the hood.

Milli Vanilli style."

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  • Posted by VetteGuy 1 week, 4 days ago
    Truly sad that it has come to this. Augmented reality in vehicle exhaust sound. Pretty sure the exhaust sound from my '12 Vette is authentic and not 'lip sync'd'!
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  • Posted by Lucky 1 week, 2 days ago
    Another entertaining input from Eric Peters Auto but this one I disagree with.
    I drive a 20yo 4 cyl turbo from a Japanese manufacturer with a reputation for reliable vehicles. It has no fake sound, it is quite noisy enough, especially after my mods, the noise is distinctive- unequal length headers.

    Power, torque and fuel efficiency may be similar to a motor of 50% or more greater displacement with no forced induction, but such a motor would not fit in the car. It is a small car, suits city streets and back lanes, and high rise parking structures, as well as serious off-tarmac competition.

    My old school mechanic used to say, 'There is no replacement for displacement'. That was a generation ago, nowadays just look at the performance vehicles outside his shop, was 90% V8, now about 10% V8s. Some now even with automatic transmissions, they say they are good, I am still reserved about that.
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    • Posted by 1 week, 2 days ago
      I don't think you are actually in disagreement with Eric. Government edicts have forced manufacturers to build very few cars with V8 engines, and (except for EV's) to reduce weight in order to comply. Your 20 year old small car (and my 23 year old small car) aren't the ones Eric is commenting about. iirc, Eric has praised use of turbos/superchargers in such vehicles in past articles just for the reason you state: space considerations.
      I think one of Eric's underlying points is that this process of downsizing has an ulterior motive: to remove the 'fun' aspect of driving by removing the feedback that drivers enjoy and convert them into mere passengers. Then, when that is done, the freedom of being a driver, with free will to go when and where he wishes, can be more easily withheld.
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      • Posted by Lucky 1 week, 2 days ago
        Agree, there is a lot of regulation on fuel efficiency. As a buyer/user that is what you want right? Well generally yes but the choice of a consumer has been lost.

        For me nowadays I am driving a lot less than 10 or 20 years ago so I am not so concerned with fuel prices. If I am buying, a V8 auto may be just the ticket, but few are available as new. These gov regs and controls are not just adding to the tax on fuel but determine what types of vehicle gets to the market.

        The funny noise generators come from the manufacturer, but the reason is gov regulations of type of engine you can buy.
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 1 week, 2 days ago
      I have resisted turbos due primarily to the potential failure and relative finicky-ness of the turbo itself. They are more sensitive to lubrication issues due to the high temps and high rpm's they run. If you are willing to be meticulous in maintenance and operation, they are probably very reliable these days. I'm not sure I can trust my wife to allow a cool-down every time she shuts it off. Also she makes a LOT of trips less than 5 miles, and all the start-up/shutdown cycles would be hard on a turbo.

      I may get forced into one at the next vehicle replacement (my wife's car) as all the interesting alternatives seem to be going away. But I made myself a promise several years ago: NO MORE BORING CARS!
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 week, 4 days ago
    The very first thing I hated about electric cars is that there is no SOUND!
    But worse than that is the sound of the younger generation's modification of the 4cyl sound...which is worse than a overly loud FART!..never mind the intermittent off beat explosions between shifts.
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