“Sound Symposer” gives Ford Focus ST more growl
Electronically controlled valve triggers under heavy acceleration to make the hot hatch roar -- on the inside.
Between the soundproofing trend that has led to quieter cabins and green cars that reduce or get rid of engine sounds completely, some drivers are missing the visceral experience and aural feedback that a roaring engine provides while behind the wheel. High-end manufacturers such as BMW and Audi have addressed the loss of vroom with their own versions of exhaust notes -- real or simulated -- pumped into the cabin.
For those drivers whose pocketbooks don’t allow for quite as rich of a ride, Ford provides a way to get more growl out of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine powering the 2013 Focus ST -- when drivers want it. A device called the “Sound Symposer” puts the muscle back into the machine by providing a sportier roar in the cabin when the driver accelerates.
“Focus ST drivers want to hear the engine sing when they put their foot on the gas,” said Bjoern Boettcher, Ford of Europe’s sound quality expert, in a news release. “Our cars are engineered to be quiet inside the cockpit, so we have to pull out a few tricks to give enthusiastic drivers the sound they crave -- and that’s where our Sound Symposer comes in.”
To develop Sound Symposer, Ford engineers devised an electronically controlled valve that triggers under heavy acceleration. This amplifies the sound produced by the engine and channels it along a pipe to the dashboard panel, where it makes it more audible to the driver and can as much as double in-cabin volume levels. It remains closed at times when the driver -- or a passenger -- is likely to appreciate a more peaceful environment, such as under more moderate acceleration.
For now, you’ll have to go to Europe to experience Sound Symposer, which is available in the 5-door hatchback or wagon version. But the automaker does plan to bring the Focus ST stateside soon.
Do they plan on adding a Coffee can for the exhaust as well and call it the Sound Symposer Tuning Canister?
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