Following the monumental emissions-cheating scandal at VW, further horrible revelations demonstrate just how corrupt the modern automotive industry has become: many cars make fake engine noise. And we’re not just talking about those darn sneaky Priuses.
Ford, BMWs, Porsche, and yes, Volkswagen are all doing it, to different degrees. Some of the systems, like the one in the BMW M5, play engine sounds at low volumes through the stereo system. As you’d expect from a BMW, it’s an overly-technological solution: they have built essentially a BMW engine-sound synthesizer that responds to the tachometer and gas pedal data from the car’s data bus. They also let you turn off the “acoustic experience”.
To our taste, the Porsche Sound Symposer and Mustang Boss 302 systems are a little more honest. The former has an actual additional pipe in the exhaust system that (optionally) allows authentic engine sound into the cockpit. The Mustang adds extra resonant tubes to the exhaust, running alongside the mufflers. There’s a restrictor plate that separates them, limiting the amount of extra noise produced. Remove this plate, and you’ve got a noise monster.
These cars are all victims of their own success. The BMW’s frame is so good at noise damping that it became eerie to drive for some enthusiasts. All of the engines run quieter and more efficiently than their gas-guzzling predecessors.
But we’re in this strange transitional period where the tech has outpaced our own preconceptions of power. People still want the roar, even though cars with silent electric motors are going to be beating gas guzzlers out of the blocks as a matter of course in the very near future. You just can’t beat the starting torque of an electric motor (without burning out your clutch).
Our guess is that future generations will look back and laugh. That said, we’re all still taking photos with CMOS sensors that have a speaker attached just to go “click” and the old-timey phone bell ringtone is still going strong. People are funny.
Thanks [Jack Laidlaw] for the tip!
124 thoughts on “Sporty Cars Making Fake Engine Noise”
Breaking news: Doors, bonnets and trunk lids are highly engineered to sound “massive”. Well…they have been for ages. Those superlight doors made out of thin sheet metal on a reasonably priced car (e.g. a 2006 Subaru Impreza, 1400kg of weight despite AWD) sound very heavy and massive when you close them. But they’re light enough that a person of average stature (180cm and ~75-80kg, me) can easily carry two of them, each in one hand. Same goes for the bonnet which is even lighter as it’s made out of aluminium sheet.
It’s absolutely nothing new that cars are engineered to sound better. To make the owner/driver feel like they’re in a well built car that is worth its money but without the drawbacks of the old ways (weight, emissions, cost). Sure, the cars really are built really good, but with the new technologies and materials, they just wouldn’t sound like it.
Oh, btw, don’t look at some of the higher class manufacturers regarding this (Mercedes, Audi, etc.) as those are actually built like they sound, except the exhaust. An Audi RS6 Avant weighs over two tons, 1.6 of which are on the front axle, making the RS for “Racing Sport” sound quite ironical.
i dont believe any automobile is “built like they sound”
they are worth too much for that, if anything the acoustic design of high end cars is even more thorough.
Well, of course it’s all relative, they’re still engineered to sound like they’re worth their money, it’s just easier if you put more material in there. No vibrations, no clattering, no unwanted sounds anywhere.
Don’t trust anything you hear from a Subaru fan boi. I love cars, but the Subaru guys have vaped them self silly.
Heh, i used to not get this one, because over here in germany we don’t have too many subaru drivers. And i’ve yet to meet a vaping one.
There is a lot to be said for a product that has a “comforting weight” to it.
@Gregg Bond – Like a ‘blackjack’ (cosh for those of us in UK).
Loud engine noise has always been for idiots who are trying to compensate for something. Ask any good engineer and they’ll tell you the quieter a device, the more efficient it is, and thus it has MORE power than a louder rival.
But people as a whole are morons. This is why vacuum cleaners still sound like freight trains even though the industry has been capable of a virtually silent machine for decades. Stupid house wives in focus groups didn’t think they were working because of the silence.
Here’s a pro tip. If your car gets you from point A to point B in a timely manner without any struggling then it’s powerful! If your vac cleans up a mess then it’s working!
Sometimes true, however your statement is as oversimplified as the idiots you refer to. A louder exhaust usually has the benefit of less pumping losses, less negative work. The quieter car is not always recovering some of the noise energy via a turbo (for the most common example, ), usually the noise abatement just produces heat in the exhaust pipe along with more resistance to flow and higher pumping losses (taken from the crankshaft). You are not a Pro in this field, so no cocky “pro-tip” statements please. For sure most enthusiasts are more concerned about the sound that the efficiency gains though.
I second that. A free flowing exhaust will be as loud as it gets and will allow your engine to make more power, especially if there’s a turbocharger involved. Of course only if the ECU has been tuned with the exhaust bolted on. Less backpressure will cause your hot exhaust gasses to evacuate more quickly causing better performance and less heat in the engine.
Noise always means wasted energy. Instead of making a loud pop, you could be using the energy to scavenge more exhaust out of the engine.
@Dax: That’s not how internal combustion engines work. Engines are highly inefficient, they produce loads of heat and loads of noise. That’s where energy is wasted, not in the exhaust. The only way an exhaust system can recover wasted energy is by using a turbocharger, which works by airflow.
The exhaust system is technically somewhat unrelated to the inefficient combustion process, it’s just there for emissions, both gaseous and acoustic. If you want to limit acoustic emissions – as in: make it sound less loud – you need to obstruct gas flow. Any obstruction of airflow results in more backpressure causing your turbo to spin and your exhaust gases to evacuate slower and your engine performance to drop down. The engine will have to push harder against the exhaust backpressure to move out the exhaust gasses, causing it to become less efficient.
To give you an example – and to show you that you have no idea what you’re talking about – i ask you to look at any professional racing series car. Let’s take Formula 1 for instance. Those are the highest engineered cars you’ll find anywhere on the planet. There is no other road vehicle that is more advanced in tech than an F1 car. And they’re one of the loudest kinds of cars. Because combustion engines need unrestricted airflow, which by design makes them louder, or, to be correct, makes them less quiet.
Agree with everything you said, but the loudest and most powerful cars are not F1. Top fuel dragsters win this award by a huge margin. At 11000 Horsepower and 0 to 300+ MPH in less than 4 seconds and 1000 feet, they are the hardest accelerating cars on the planet and they prove your point as they are also the loudest. Here’s a youtube video that tries to demonstrate just how loud they really are.
@Stefan: I’m not really fond of the science behind topfuel dragsters, but they’re not the first vehicle i think of that is super-efficient and powerful at the same time. They do prove the point that more power out of a combustion engine will always result in it being louder, but i think they disregard the whole efficiency thing. I mean…they burn through a set of spark plugs within the first few seconds of a run, that’s not exactly efficient in my world. But, as i said, i’m no expert when it comes to dragracing.
F1 cars on the other hand have a very high demand for efficiency. A more efficient car will be able to stay on the track longer before needing to refuel.
@Stefan – 1000ft? That is an erroneous figure in the context of the argument. Just because drag races are staged over that distance doesn’t mean that these vehicles (as pointless and impractical as they are) can only run for 1000ft.
@Phrewfuf you might be confusing a few things though.
Efficiency is not the goal with top fuel dragsters, they don’t mind sacrificing reliability, longevity and efficiency in the pursuit of creating more power momentaneously. F1 and top fuel dragsters are engineered differently because they serve different purposes.
Efficiency is not the end all be all of proper engineering. It’s just another variable.
Tuning an exhaust system for maximum exhaust extraction can lower noise and increase power at the same time (compared to no exhaust system at all), however there are other trade-offs involved that make such a tuning limited in its utility. One is that the noise reduction of such a system can be inadequate, such as reducing the noise from 120 dB to 110 dB, and further noise reduction comes not from tuning but from dissipative and restrictive damping, which costs efficiency and power. Another is that exhaust systems that do substantial quieting are HEAVY, and that reduces overall vehicle efficiency and acceleration.
IIRC, Jaguar also uses the Porsche system.
As for electric cars making noise, my vote goes to the sound of George Jetson’s flying saucer!
any bets on how long between the time that such systems are deployed and when they start getting hacked to play other sounds? and not just by the car owners.
That’s my plan for my electric conversion. I still need to find a good sound clip. They all seem to be doppler shifted to match the car flying across the screen.
I’ve been wishing for a way to make my Prius play ‘the Imperial March’ from Star Wars. People (usually looking at their cell phones) keep walking in front me when I’m creeping through the parking lot in EV mode.
In CM Kornbluth’s “Marching Morons” the jet planes have hoppers of iron fillings that are sprinkled into the exhaust because the people voted to have rocket powered planes.
The new Porsche has a place for clothes pins to hold playing cards against the spokes.
Holy crap, the Jetson’s flying saucer sound would be awesome!
Nothing new really. Just that manufacturers are starting to do it instead of enthusiasts adding it themselves. Lots of people added Thrush bombs to race cars….Somehow that loud roar added up to more horsepower(5 maybe? They weren’t that much higher flowing).
Mostly it’s about attention. For some damn reason we have an inborn need to draw attention to ourselves and a dead silent car just doesn’t do that.
As a kid I had a ’76 Nova with a stock 305 in it. It was a hole shot machine. Almost perfectly balanced power to traction. Not a 6 second type of hole shot, but the car just wouldn’t burn a tire. I sold it to a cousin who swore at me for selling him a piece of junk. He put thrush bombs on and added air shocks to jack it up. That car would burn the tires off the rims. All he did was alter the balance of the car so that it no longer gripped on takeoff. Then it was cool in his mind, cause it could do burnouts. He could show off. Point being I guess that the average person doesn’t really care about true performance, but rather perceived performance.
This is kind of the opposite though. This doesn’t make the car sound any louder from the outside, only from the inside.
That is the logic. The one “inside” feels big and powerful.
The Emperor’s New Clothes sounds (pun intended) very familiar …
I never got the poit of smoking tires, proves nothing. Take a Geo Metro, put emergency spares on the front, set the parking brake and “light them up” big whoop.
I seem to remember a Ford Focus ST having a silicone tube running from the engine bay through the bulkhead to behind the trim on the LHS A-pillar to do this.
Just came here to say this, it does indeed. and they rip causing a boost leak lol
That is amazing :)
This one is pretty great, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J187Pw6UkCM
Don’t forget bicycles! :P
one has to add this to the pedals, for complete shifting sounds….
We did that in the early 1970s. Pieces of cardboard didn’t survive long, so we cut open cans … the guy with the loudest bicycle was “king of the road”. Needless to say that there were plenty of cuts in king-of-road-shins as well, because our techniques of taping the spoke-rattlers to the bike frame weren’t exactly “German High Class” (we were, obviously, more of the VW German kind – fakers, liers and bullshitters).
Reminds me so much of the 70’s era toy for bicycles that made motorcycle sounds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnzZaIagkXE
Actually, that’s about right. This is probably targeted at those very same kids who can now afford more expensive toys.
…Strength through Joy!
This just in: Most consumers easily fooled
Up next: Does the pope shit in the woods?
Are bears catholic?
I’ve heard that Harley Davidson Motorcycles are carefully engineered to produce just the right sound, as well.
Well they sound great since ancient times, because
of the angle between cylinders. What they did was
to trademark their characteristic sound.
Nowadays I am sure they and everyone else pays
attention to their image, sound image.
No. The have obsrlapping valves. It has nothing to do with the angle of the cylinders. You sound like my uncle talking about how scientists dont really know what electricity is. Way out of his depth.
On their twins, both cylinders are connected to the crankshaft via a single pin,which means that they fire “unevenly”. The antithesis of that design is the boxer design, which the cylinders opposed to each other to minimize vibration (I once owned a BMW R75/5).
:) All bark and no bite. Give me something quiet and fast. I would not even care to have my corpse dragged around by a Harley.
They have also tried to patient that “wake you up at 4am” sound.
As did Bubb Rubb
You ought to be cookin’ someone breakfast or somethin’. Woo woo!
And I’m glad they sound both loud, beefy and strong so I won’t be accidenly ran over when trying to cross/walk/bike/manuver around blind areas.
Electric cars should have this (ref: article) synthetic sound just as a warning: “Big massive danger maybe heading your way, be aware!”
Blind spots and idiots that don’t indicate (and have the cheek to commit road rage/beep horn/swear etc) are the closest I’ve been to getting ran down. Even when triple checking and then checking again.
I’d never have this feature turned on in a car (electric engine noises), but at least some have fun with it. Renault have a system where you can make it sound like different vehicles, such as a UFO.
As someone who loves cars though, the noise of the engine is just part of it’s soul. For people who like engines, they’ll know and accept that an electric motor has a big flat torque curve with power always on tap, but the noise it makes will always pale in comparison to the snarl of a good internal combustion engine.
I’ve really come to like the subtle space age whine my LEAF makes while being the first car away from the stoplight. (unless I’m stopped next to a Tesla)
My mate gave me a lift in his 1996 Ford Fiesta which sounded like we were being followed by a jet or UFO, he just had a dodgy wheel bearing.
Heh, I almost pulled off the highway the other year when Episode I was playing on the DVD system and it got to the pod racing scene and went “woop woop woop woop, bang bang bang bang..” thought I’d lost a CV joint or something… lifted my foot off, then was “Oh wait, doh.”
I cry “BAH!” I bet you all watched ‘Knight Rider’ or ‘Airwolf’ and wanted a car/helicopter which ran silent.
“You just can’t beat the starting torque of an electric motor (without burning out your clutch).”
And you don’t have to because there is no need to. Beginning with zero RPM at the wheels, the amount of power that you can put on the street, is very limited. The problem that limits acceleration 60 mph for many cars, are all those rotatory masses that make the car “big and fat”; in particular at the engine to make it comfortable and all the subsystems. …or such as putting in a sound generator… People want a sluggish engine because thats all they can handle and they want the sound generator, aso. What happened lately to gas-powered engines is the same that e-cars have by default: The driver is not driving, the computer is; including handling; e.g. amount of gas (the pedal is nothing more than to be interpreted as the driver´s wish of what should happen); when to shift, aso.
In gas-powered cars, you could replace rotatory masses with electronic components as well and some components you don’t really need at all.
At a specific RPM, the engine delivers a specific amount of power. But when revving up, energy needs to be put into the rotatory masses. This increases the time that the engine requires for revving up significantly. Nowadays, revving up is even limited by electronics for reasons of temperature gradients, fuel economy, comfort, exhaust values.
Maybe that is the only way we accept an engine nowadays. But they are not under-performing, we make them this way on purpose.
Tell that to the Lamborghini Drives that get smoked off the line by a Tesla sedan.
Are you referring to RWD vs. AWD comparisons stupidly or intentionally made by ideological people? You cannot accelerate faster than what the tires are capable of.
Tell me please which modern Lambo has RWD. Because i can only think of the old ones.
WTF are you ranting about?
Duuuuuuude, make one out of styrofoam!!!111
I believe that if the engine is perfectly balanced you don’t need a flywheel.
Well sure, if you don’t mind a 3000rpm idle speed to keep it running.
How exactly does an electric or hybrid car make the ‘fake engine sound’ / high-pitched annoying sound? PWM of the drive motors or an actual loudspeaker?
The high pitched sound is the PWM of the drive motor. The low speed warning sound in the LEAF is produced by a speaker in one of the wheel wells.
I kind of like the PWM sound this vehicle makes (15s into the video)
I never thought a square wave could sound so satisfying…
Then you might find this even more interesting
Helsinki’s old metro model m100. The sound is coming from the thyristors and their coupling coils not the motors.
There’s the Soundracer, but it only works in vehicles that have an unregulated 12V power port or lighter socket. The volts have to vary some with engine RPM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RZwwYXNzgM
Looks like there is an Android app for that as well!
Though I wouldn’t use it, I’d rather crank-up the radio.
Holy crap, that is awful.
Ahah, I guess it’s the same principle as reading the cylinder timings on the glitches on the power rail like Ben from Applied Science did with his DeLorean.
Since the alternator is putting out rectified AC with no filter, there’s some voltage ripple in the 12 volt power, so it should be easy to determine alternator speed on most cars. Older car radios were sometimes sensitive to power noise and you could hear the alternator whine in the speakers.
Of course, if the car regulates the power to the lighter port or turns off the alternator (BMW), or gets its 12 volts from a DC-DC converter, it wouldn’t work.
I like to race a motorbike on the racing circuit. But in the Netherlands, there are strict rules for the amount of dB that my pipe is allowed to produce. The dB is actually so low that I can’t hear the engine sound over the wind noise anymore when I’m riding over around 150km/h. That’s really crap, because it makes me have to look at my rev counter to see when I should shift, while I should keep an eye out on the traffic around me. And it sometimes happens that I run my engine into the limiter, which startles me because it feels like my engine just died. All in all it’s detrimental to safety on the track.
So I have often thought of reproducing the sound of my engine in my helmet. I do have a shift light, but that only warns me when I should shift up. There’s also shifting down, where I want to hear the rev count.
That’s exactly what the BMW folks say — they made the car so quiet that you couldn’t tell where to shift. Dunno if it’s true, or just marketing hype/spin.
With the wind noise on a bike / helmet, though, I totally believe it.
Someone will market an audio feed into bike helmets and make millions.
I’d see how far you get with a high impedance earphone and an induction coil on the inside of your lower leg to pick up ignition EM emissions.
in F1 they use a beep in the helmet in addition to the shiftlights
Car makers are all about making the cars sound good. And yes some even go as far as plumbing the intakes into the cabin. It creates a more visceral feel. Two of my personal favourites, for overal sound 1. The Lexus LFA. Yamaha deliberately designed that exhaust to sound like an F1 car, 2. Audi’s testing of the full electric R8. Because it makes no noise people can’t hear it coming, so they installed speakers on the outside to make noise.
hmm … i have an old car and i have noticed that i almost never look att the speedo since the engine noise tells me what RPM / speed im diving at. maybe a bad habit though since when i borrow a new car i almost always go too fast!
Illuminati… new world order… !!!! F&G
What kind of tech “news” is this? Paint the logo yellow. It is well know for years that Auto OMS tune their exhaust generation for performance as well as sound, adding resonance chambers and special valves, so that the car sound better.
I may be considered a weirdo, but I’d much rather have as silent car as possible.
… until you actually sit in such a vehicle and you finding it very disturbing.
I find the electric cars to be a huge problem when you’re a cyclist and they sneak up on you. Normally you hear engine noises before you hear tire noises.
One of the quietest vehicles I’ve heard was a Mercedes diesal limo (not a stretch but one of there larger luxary cars). I was out riding in some farm country and that thing snuck up on me. I heard it about 100 to 200 ft behind me but only shortly before I could heard the hum of the tires. I expected a small car and was shocked at this monster passing me (safely).
It’s about as disturbing as turning them music up till you can’t hear the engine. It’s annoying when you’re just starting and don’t know your shift points, but after you learn to drive it’s no longer a problem.
I used to drive with earplugs on because I had to sit in a car for 80km a day and then work 8 hours in a loud factory, so I tried to give my ears a rest on the way.
“The Marching Morons” is a science fiction story by Cyril M. Kornbluth, originally published in1951. In the story, it was a feature of the cars available to the masses (the morons of the title) that they sounded fast and powerful when they were anything but.
For years people have been hanging air fresheners in their cars that smell like offgassing vinyl so they can pretend the car is fresh off the lot. This mentality is nothing new.
I hate to say it, but… Well, duh.
Anyone who watches Top Gear has known about this for at least the last 10 years or so. What’s the big deal?
Some people don’t watch Top Gear (although i can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t). Something doesn’t have to be a ‘big deal’ to warrant a blog post on the internet.
However, I’m not sure how any of this has anything to do with ‘corruption’ in the auto industry. There are many other things that are actually corrupt in the auto industry.
“…Further horrible revelations demonstrate just how corrupt the modern automotive industry has become: many cars make fake engine noise.”
How is this a “horrible revelation” about “how corrupt” the industry is? People in the car like the car to sound good. People outside the car want the car to be quiet so it doesn’t wake them. Car manufacturers have been transparent about the fact that they’re doing this and consumers are free to choose whether they want the car and whether the lack of “authentic” sound is a selling point to a deal breaker for them. This sounds like a perfectly reasonable and rational solution to satisfy all parties.
Here’s an article from 2011 to show you how incredibly behind the times you are in this ill-researched slant piece. (https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bmw-m5-generates-fake-engine-noise-using-stereo/)
Er, pretty sure that bit about horror, corruption and Illuminati lizard people in the article was meant satirically. Although for that moment it sounded like it was ghostwritten by a certain Mr. Benchoff.
The “click” noise on a camera serves the purpose of letting you know for sure that a photo was taken. The electric car internal combustion engine sounds serve the purpose of pedestrian safety.
Digital cameras sold in Japan are required to make a sound that can’t be disabled – due to the pervs taking upskirt shots.
Almost ALL European premium cars have this kind of technology implemented in the audio amp. There are a lot of technologies involved
– Engine coloration by implementing extra sound in the stereo (that’s when you push the “sport” button)
– resonant cavities in the center of the car from engine to cockpit or in exhaust
– And the latest and weirdest of all (mainly for 3 cylinder engine): exhaust speaker. It’s simply a speaker in the silencer to increase 2sd and 3rd harmonics of the engine
To finish, most of those sporty sound are not even told to customers (the so called german quality). But this gives a lot of opportunities for other problems such as cancelling road noise.
For electric car there is a big market that just open for pedestrian speaker which is the new standard for those cars which make almost no sound at low speed!
The automotive audio industry is going crazy right now with all those new tech. Wait for ten years and you’ll be surprised by the quietness…. And fakeness of cars. From USA, maybe wait for 20 years ;-)
What is the exhaust in the picture from?
Never mind. Found it in the Porsche Symposer link.
This is definitely not new(s).
Most badges actually promote these features. Ford’s system is called the “Symposer”. In the hugely popular (current) Fiesta ST, it is a physical diaphragm in the airbox connected to a pipe that goes into the cabin. Some people cap it off and are left with an eerily quiet cabin, which they quickly remedy with an awful aftermarket exhaust.
As for the most recent Focus ST, this has an electronic system piped thru the cars audio. My one actually had a factory sub in the spare wheel well which was there solely to increase the realism.. This system was even easier to disable (disconnect the microphone in the air system).
As for other manufacturers, a recent Renault Megane RS offered a system where you could select your engine noise, even up to big V12 engines (in a 4 cylinder hot hatch….)…
It’s just another feature.
It’s not just cars. The Montreal metro system’s original equipment had mechanical DC choppers as part of the traction system that (they claim accidentally) sounded the first few notes of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man when leaving a station. This was so well loved by the users of the system that the new trains are outfitted with chimes that make the same sounds.
Everything in this article just reminds me that we’re just monkeys, after all, basing our value judgments on raw sensory inputs.
I read something the other day, that said they’re now making constantly-variable transmissions that don’t adjust to keep the engine speed constant – they use discrete ratios that they switch between, because focus group testing has determined that people like the sound and feel of “shift points”. *Facepalm*
Don’t forget the save icon 15 years after anybody last used a floppy disk.
“…15 years after anybody last used a floppy disk.”
Wrong place to make that claim!
Just reset that counter yesterday to get AHCI driver into a WindowsXP Installation ;)
Just use a USB drive in floppy emulation mode. Or… use an operating system that understands AHCI and/or USB flash storage devices to install drivers :(
i will chime in with the traditional “floppies are still used in industrial equipment”
Not the same thing. Any Human-Computer Interaction textbook will tell you that it comes from two factors:
1. Affordances (making icons look like familiar items) help compensate for people being too old to learn as fast as little kids, but stop here. That’s what the diskette was for before generations who grew up on computers.
2. Once people know what to look for, it doesn’t matter what it is AS LONG AS IT STAYS CONSISTENT.
Anyone who knows how to design a UI properly recognizes that the diskette is on the road to becoming an abstract glyph meaning “save”, just like “&” hasn’t been a cursive “et” for a long time, “ampersand” hasn’t been “W, X, Y, Z, and per se and” (a recognition of “&” as a letter itself) for a long time, and “A” hasn’t been an ox’s head for an order of magnitude longer.
(That’s why I have little respect for whoever is designing icon themes for the GNOME desktop and think it makes sense to arbitrarily change them to a naked internal hard drive with a green arrow pointing at it. Not only is that not eye-catching at small sizes and inconsistent with what we’ve trained our visual cortexes to pattern-match for, almost nobody but programmers know what an internal 3.5″ rotating-platter hard drive looks like and the arrow is already occupied meaning “download” on its own. Despite it being accidental, the silhouette of a diskette, with label, is a very recognizable abstract glpyh.)
Representations of lidless hard drives have been used as hard drive icons for at least 2 decades….
This one is from the MUI widget toolkit on Amiga platform circa 1993…
Derp, know it says 1997 there, but I recall that icon was in earlier releases.
Yes but these aren’t lidless and, more importantly, this is the opposite of following the “stay consistent” rule. GNOME has a history of cargo-cult copying Apple’s design decisions while completely missing the rationale underlying them and this is another case of that.
Here’s the icon I’m talking about.
As you might guess, that’s inferior to the more recognizable silhouette of a diskette at small sizes and also easier to confuse with the “download” icon used everywhere when trying to “acquire” (technical term) the toolbar button.
It also has the additional downside that, unlike with a diskette, there’s no natural, intuitive way to extend that to “save project” or “save all” the way you can with a cascade of diskettes.
And here’s a thought: most people who use computers can READ. How about putting a WORD in TEXT that describes what the button does? I get so tired of media players with their opaque icons. How can you possibly distinguish between “play faster” and “skip ahead” and “single frame” in pictograms? These pictograms started with Japanese manufacturers wanting to globalize their products without having to make different buttons for each language. But with computers, we’ve had internationalization mechanisms for decades.
And what does this have to do with Vrroom! (TM Mattel) for cars?
“And here’s a thought: most people who use computers can READ. How about putting a WORD in TEXT that describes what the button does?”
That’s what tooltips and consistent iconography are for. I’m fully with you on the *complete* lack of explanation though and I regularly rage against websites too lazy to add a title=”” attribute to their icons.
Putting text on the buttons is bulkier and requires more effort to locate within a toolbar. I always set my toolbars to “Small Icons, No Text” because I only need a tooltip once or twice before I’ve learned, but textual labels waste space all the time.
Im sorry but the mustang does not pump in exhaust sound into the cabin, it is connected via a vibrating membrane into the intake of the car. The boss gets additional sound via cut outs on the secondary exhaust system that is a true side exhaust. The secondary exhaust system bounces the sound off the ground and into the cabin. Is it fake sound when your pumping in intake noise via a tube through a membrane? Or is it fake sound when you bounce the actual exhaust pulse pre-muffler on the ground and make it resonate in the cabin? There is even a mod for the mustang guys that pull out a small piece of foam from inside the tube to increase the volume. The boss guys drill out or remove the restriction plates all together.
I first heard of this a couple years back — think it was in reference to a Mustang. First thought was, “Would you buy that for a quarter?” That’s a reference to Kornbluth …
Flimflam is nothing new. Remember all those fins to make ’em look aerodynamic? Late ’60s there was a review of some sporty Detroit car — Car and Driver maybe — the stock spedometer went up to 120mph, but you could get one that went all the way to 140 as an option. Trouble was, the car’s top speed was 110.
And speaking of speedometers, here’s a true story. Had a ’58 VW bus that was 20 years old. The needle of the speedometer had deteriorated and fallen off. So I naturally took it apart and found an interesting substitute — a twig from a tree. It was an interesting shape and gave the instrument a nice homespun kindof look.
And it sortof worked but failed the weight and balance test — it was accurate at two speeds, zero and 55mph. In between it would rush upwards way ahead of the curve. If I remember correctly, I’d shift into second at about 20 (indicated) and then to third at 40 (indicated). Now if you have ever driven an old VW bus with transfer cases you know that’s just impossible…
But when I went to sell that thing, let the buyer drive it and you should have seen his eyes bug out! He was watching that speedo and speed was all he could think of. That car got sold on the spot on account of a twig.
Dude. Inflation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ9mJQpBKMg
My old Nissan had that ‘feature’. Speedometer went up to 160 MPH (where in the hell are you doing that?), but the revlimiter kicked in at 110.
My 1997 Ford Taurus LX with DOHC V6 is supposed to have a 120MPH speedometer. Standard equipment on the LX with that engine. But for some reason it has the 110MPH speedometer from the base model.
It was probably a rental fleet car. Manufacturers love to build ‘nonexistent’ combinations of features for rental fleets. When a design is nearing its end, they’ll start throwing in leftover parts of superseded designs – whatever will fit. That’s how you end up with some vehicle and drivetrain combinations that were never available through a dealer.
I had a 2004 Dodge Dakota crew cab. Final year of the design that originated in 1997 and had pretty much zero exterior alterations all that time. For 2004 Dodge upgraded the brakes, which eliminated the 15″ wheel option. Partway through 2003 they made a bunch of changes to the engines, but in some 2004 rental fleet trucks they installed leftover early 2003 engines, with 2004 spec accessory components like the slightly redesigned valve covers that require a different gasket. mid 03 and earlier gaskets in late 04 and newer valve covers will leak. Another mid 03 change was eliminating the metal plate bonded timing cover gasket, replacing it with a couple of o-rings and RTV silicone. My 04 had the mid 03 and earlier metal plate gasket. It also lacked antilock brakes and most of the other fancy features that having the V8 normally had as mandatory parts of the V8 package. Apparently the rental company told Dodge “We want a V8, 4×4 and *nothing else*. We’ll buy this many trucks if you make that happen.”
When I grow up, I want a car that sounds like KITT from Knight Rider. None of that “I’m the loudest a$$hole in the neighborhood and I wake you up whenever the frack I want to” crap. Just something that sounds like a jet engine and a clothes dryer had a baby. And goes from 0 to 60MPh in 4 seconds on its electric motors.
“Just something that sounds like a jet engine and a clothes dryer had a baby”
This got me thinking about more precise ways to describe that sound and the best I’ve got is “They’re both turbine noise, but KITT’s is much quieter and the harmonic pitch imparted to the hiss of the rushing air is lower.”
“..and next week we present to you the Arduino based sporty car fake engine noise…” ;)
More coolererer would be a coil pickup on the ignition, fed to a small bank of filters and envelope shapers like a mini analog synth.
Is there an app for this? Could use the OBD port for the tachometer. Your car could make even weirder sounds! I have thought about speed controlled music player, faster you go, higher the BPMs : )
You even can by a new Sound System for your car: (german shop).
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My car came with a sound tube to pipe the engine noise into the cabin. I removed the sound tube so I can enjoy the sound from the engine and the exhaust pipes.
Mazda is reported to have studied the sounds of the British sports cars made circa 1960 (think MG and Triumph) when developing the Miata, in order to achieve a similar user experience.
I can just see the Mazda engineers sitting around a conference room:
“Management/Marketing want us to make this high tech engine that we developed for the sports car sound like the tractor engine that Triumph put in their car 40 years ago!”
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