Summer is almost here and convertible tops are going down across the nation, but not just to let in the sun. Today's sports cars are so refined, often the only way to hear the sweet tunes they play is to go topless.
But a few automakers have found away to turn up the volume inside the car using clever and questionable means. Hear are a few.
The Ford Mustang was the first to use an Induction Sound Tube, which taps into the intake system and runs the noise through a diaphragm that pumps it into the firewall for increased roar in the cabin. On the Boss 302 model, Ford doubles down with a second set of tuned exhaust pipes that exit the side of the car below the doors for a full surround sound experience.
The latest Hyundai Genesis Coupe uses a similar system to Ford's, but on a V6 engine, which probably needs it even more than the 'Stang.
Porsche's "Sound Symposer" works on a similar principal, picking up intake vibrations between the throttle valve and air filter and pumping the result into the cabin via a tuned membrane. It's fitted to both the rear-engine 911 and front engine Panamera sedan, where the noise is injected into the car's A-pillars. Porsche being Porsche, of course, does the competition one better (or worse) by giving the driver the option of turning off the system.
The new BMW M5 may be the ultimate sports sedan, but it won't sound like it if the audio system isn't working. Instead of creating a mechanical connection to the engine bay, BMW has sampled the sound of the M5's twin-turbo V8 and created a computer program that plays a simulation through the car's speakers that perfectly matches what's going on under the hood.
Maseratis may be known for their screaming V8 engines, which need no aural assistance whatsoever, but its upcoming Kubang SUV will also be offered with a diesel motor and the muted exhaust note that goes with it. Reports are that the company will likely employ an electronic sound system similar to BMW's to give the car a "sportier engine note," aka: something that doesn't sound like a diesel. As if the name of the car wasn't weird enough.
Don't always believe what you hear.